I am so delighted to have as my guest today, Kai Strand, a friend, colleague and fellow author at Guardian Angel Publishing. Welcome, Kai. I know the readers will enjoy your post!
At the beginning of my tour – on Mayra Calvani’s blog – I explained the inspiration behind BEWARE OF THE WHITE. But that was only a small part of the story. This book has taken a long and arduous NINE years to make it to publication. Here’s why.
BotW was the first novel I wrote. The inspiration and the story flowed out quickly, but most unfortunately not very cleanly! The first draft of the book topped out over 85K words! After some research I learned that first time authors don’t have a lot of luck selling middle grade works with such high word counts. Every single one of those words was a masterpiece in and of itself, but alas, I had to cut. And cut. And cut.
After I thought I’d whittled and tweaked enough, I started querying. And querying. And querying. Nothing. This was back in the day when I had to print the cover letter and first chapter or ten pages or whatever the publisher or agent requested and physically mail it and then wait. And wait. And wait. I submitted to agents first, but didn’t see any interest and then I submitted direct to publishers and was encouraged by at least some positive feedback and the occasional request for more. However, I didn’t find any takers and eventually I tucked the manuscript in for a long rest.
A really long rest, actually. Years long rest. The interesting thing is, as I toured my other books, hosts often asked about my other works-in-progress and I often bragged about this book. I loved this adventure and knew that I needed to wake it up and rework it. And you know what? This time around, after having written more books and after having gone through the editing process with a couple publishers, I came at it with a more experienced eye and I could see what wasn’t quite working. So I worked really hard on a very major rewrite.
By this point, I had developed a dramatic love/hate relationship with the story. As much as I loved the story, I hated the amount of work it was. The rework was probably the hardest I’ve ever worked as a writer and I was feeling like a big hater, but I had a publisher in mind and that helped to keep me focused. After I finished with the extensive edits, I read the book out loud to the kids and when I finished reading, I was back in love. Thank goodness. So with a big deep breath and while blowing kisses I hit the send button on my submission. THREE days later I got an email of acceptance.
You know those stories of ‘overnight sensation’? That’s what it felt like. After all those years and all that hard work, it felt like it happened overnight. At that point, I was truly in love with my story.
If you’d like to know how my relationship with my book faired through edits, be sure to join me when I visit the Pen & Ink blog on June 3rd. My complete tour schedule can be found here.
About BEWARE OF THE WHITE
As is tradition, Terra learns on the Saturday past her twelfth birthday that she is a Natures Spirit. It is her legacy to serve in the peaceful underground city of Concord. Learning she is named in a prophecy and being threatened by the leader of the death tribe…that part breaks tradition.
The Trepidus are the death janitors of the Underworld, responsible for delivering fatalities with a smile and cleaning up after themselves until Blanco, recent leader of the Trepidus, decides the day of reckoning for his species is coming. He begins organizing the creatures and leads them toward an uprising. The prophecy says there is one person who can stop him. Terra.
With Spirit of Security, Frank, protecting her, Terra attempts to complete her training and discover her Spirit talents. Together, they go on a rogue investigation to learn how to defeat Blanco. In the end, it comes down to a battle of the minds. The future of Concord is at stake. Will Blanco, the older, more experienced being win? Or will Terra, the young, new Spirit earn back the peace of the city?
As if the big book related prize packages giveaway wasn’t enough, I’m going to choose one lucky reader to win this beautiful bookmark made by my amazing friends at Broken Top Digitizing & Stitching. Just leave a comment telling Nancy and me the hardest work you’ve ever done (physical, mental, boring, exciting – there are no wrong answers here) and include your email address. I’ll choose one random name from comments left BEFORE May 25.
About the author:
Kai Strand writes fiction for kids and teens. Her debut novel, The Weaver, was a finalist in the 2012 EPIC eBook Awards. She is a (very lucky) wife and the mother of four amazing kids. The most common sound in her household is laughter. The second most common is, "Do your dishes!" She and her family hike, geocache, and canoe in beautiful Central Oregon, where they call home.
To find out more about Kai’s books, download companion documents, find links to her published short stories and discover all the places to find Kai both virtually and in person, visit her website: www.kaistrand.com. She loves to hear from readers, so feel free to send her an email or visit her facebook page, Kai Strand, Author. Beware of the White may be purchased at:
Or look for it on iTunes