I am honored to welcome Kai on my Blog!
She will be the first guest speaker and author to discuss her work with my students on October 13, 2016, at Lycée International Nelson Mandela, Nantes, France.
Here are the Project Padlet and the presentation slides I will use to study the excerpt from her novella.
Hello! My name is Kai Strand. I write fiction for kids and teens. The main reason I choose to write for a younger audience is because they tend to be such passionate readers. When they connect with a character, they make him or her into a real live person! They cheer for a favorite character, and are devastated if they fail. Teenagers fall in love right alongside the main character. Are there passionate adult readers out there? Absolutely, and I love them too. However, those young readers with their lively imaginations take reading (and the interpretation of the text) to a higher level.
I write both contemporary and fantasy. There are so many stories to be told and they shape themselves differently inside my head. Who am I to ignore the structure that pleads to be built? For example, one morning I woke up and asked myself, “Who trains the bad guys?” I sat down that day and started writing King of Bad, Super Villain Academy, book 1. Yes, there are fun superpowers and snarky teens throughout the series, but overall it explores the importance of good vs bad and the need for both in our world. On another day it became important for me to tell the story of homeless teens. But there was one problem. I knew nothing about their situations. So I visited a local organization that provides transitional housing to teens that want to integrate back into the mainstream. I learned so much about the plight and vulnerabilities of underage homelessness and I worked hard to make my Worth the Effort series respect and portray their circumstances. So whether it’s a wish granting gnome-elf or an eighth grade inventor, I’ve written it and there is one thing I hope all my books have in common. Good storytelling.
I live in Oregon, a beautiful state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. My town, Bend, is directly in the middle of the state on the east side of the Cascade Mountain range. It has views of snowcapped mountains, a river running through it, and miles and miles of groomed hiking and mountain biking trails. With world class snowboarding, fly fishing, and cycling, it’s a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts.
Thanks to modern technology, I’m very excited about my upcoming visit with Marie-Hélène and her students—right in their classroom in Nantes, France. The students will have an opportunity to read and analyze an excerpt from one of my young adult books, Worth the Effort: Ella’s Story. I can’t wait to hear their thoughts on the snippet. Find out what stands out to them, what piques their interest, if they can relate to the character. I was thrilled to receive and accept Marie-Hélène’s invitation to visit with her students. Nothing is more inspiring for an author than talking with readers.
For a list of my books and all of my online haunts, visit my website: www.kaistrand.com.