Sunday, September 23, 2012


Today it my pleasure to introduce
an intriguing YA book titled,

"Save the Lemmings"
Nothing "fishy" about this story - promise!

Written by that talented and well published author of books for c

Kai Strand

Kai Strand writes fiction for middle grade and young adult readers. Her debut novel, The Weaver, was a finalist in the 2012 EPIC eBook Awards. The Wishing Well: Another Weaver Tale is set in the same storytelling village as The Weaver. 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. 

I can appreciate her love of Oregon, because apart from loving Kai's books and the way she writes them, I also live in Oregon and love it.

8th grade inventor, Natalie Isabelle Cailean Edwards is the N.I.C.E. girl who finishes last with the kids in school. Sappy inspirational phrases and monochromatic outfits have all but her best friends wrinkling their nose at her. When Natalie’s invention, the Texty-Talky, goes nationwide, she becomes an overnight sensation. Suddenly her days consist of photo shoots and interviews with little time left for her friends. A local reporter shatters her good-girl image by reporting a graffiti incident, and the media launches into a smear campaign. It is so bad, even her friends start to believe the stories. Will Natalie be able to overcome the lies being printed about her? And will she SAVE THE LEMMINGS?

*Did you ever feel like a Lemming when you were a teen?

I think if you had asked me then, I would have answered no. But when I look back on my middle and high school years I think I spent way too much time worrying about blending in, fitting in - NOT standing out in a crowd. If I had to do it over again (God forbid!) that is what I'd want to do differently. I wouldn't want to worry so much what other kids thought. I'd spend more time doing what I enjoy - even if it wasn't considered cool.

*What tempted you to write a YA WITH Lemmings in the title?

Two ideas melded together to make this book. 1) I wanted a main character who did something extraordinary and who was first revered by the media as a whiz kid, an example, a hero, but then they twisted that into something ugly in their never ending quest for a bigger and better headline. Frankly, I think this happens WAY too much in today's society and I feel that we (as the media consumers) fuel it by eating these gossipy stories and ridiculous 'reality' t.v. shows up. 2) I wanted the popular saying of 'being a lemming' to play a part. As I was drafting the book, I did a little research on lemmings and learned that the common assumption that lemmings blindly follow each other off cliffs in hordes was false, and that a huge company facilitated the lie back in the 50's with a documentary they produced. CRAZY! That fed into my theme even better than I'd ever expected. It is amazing the things we will just blindly believe!

*Did you need to do a lot of research about 8th graders + the media? 

The 8th grader part was pretty easy. I have four kids. My youngest is just now entering 8th grade, but over the last six years I can safely say I've known an 8th grader or two. I did read a lot of articles and watch a lot of news and tabloid shows to see how the media would report a story. I took particular interest in ongoing stories so that I could see how they treated the subject of the story as it unfolded. 

*Do you ever plan to write for an adult audience?

I do have a couple of story lines that are adult focused, but I don't have any immediate plans to write them. I really enjoy writing for children, and consider myself so lucky that I am writing shorts for younger kids (, novels and the occasional short in middle grade and young adult. Each audience has it's specific needs in an appropriate story, which keeps my brain busy enough sorting it out.

*Are your family supportive of your writing – or mainly uninterested?

My family is AWESOME! My husband is my go to guy for when I have a plot issue I can't quite figure out. My kids will sit (and have!) for hours while I read my stories aloud to them. They answer questions I pose, they ask questions or offer input that is helpful. But the single most important thing they do is ask for more! "Have you finished the second book in the series yet?" or "Have you worked on that friendship story lately?" Recently my son asked if I could reread one of my longer novels. My first thought was that I didn't have the time, but then I realized that too soon he'll be grown and gone, and I won't have him to read to. So I worked it in. Each evening, the family sat down in the living room and I read several chapters. Really, a writer can't ask for a more supportive family than I have! 

*Are you in a critique group, and if so, did their feedback prove helpful?

I've been a long time member of an online critique group. I love them. They offer great input to the development of my story and they provide me a safe place to whine. Seriously, they are so good for my mental health!

*Are you planning to write more books with this Lemming theme – a series maybe?

I've always intended SAVE THE LEMMINGS to be a stand alone. The tween novels I have published with Guardian Angel Publishing, The Weaver and The Wishing Well: Another Weaver Tale, are stand alone stories set in the same storytelling village. My upcoming young adult novel, King of Bad, is the first in a series.

*What do you think a book's plot and characters must have to GRAB the red hot interest of this teckie minded younger generation.

That is a great question. Good pacing is critical for keeping their attention. No saggy middles or else they'll switch their reader over to a game of hangman! Also, relate-ability. The kids must be able to relate with the issue the characters are dealing with. You can wrap it in a science fiction setting on Venus, but those aliens better be having a personality conflict with the head cheerleader or have an alcoholic parent or maybe the younger alien ripped his pants at school. But something has to be recognizable to your reader.

*Do you plan to publish a paper version later, or are you a die-hard ebook fan?

The print version is available now!

All the digital versions (Nook, Kindle, pdf) are also available through the publisher's website:

*Tell my readers something about yourself that you have never shared before.  Funny or shocking, they lap it all up, mate.

I guess this is a good time to admit that I can relate to Natalie, the main character in Save the Lemmings, a little too well. I was such a prim and proper priss growing up, and my sister always teased me about it. She could - and did - belch the alphabet just to see me collapse into a pool of quivers. I couldn't handle anything that wasn't proper or that was outside the rules. I've loosened up a bit since, thank goodness.

Thanks for letting me visit, Margot!

It is absolutely my pleasure, Kai.  And I so envy you the interest your kids have in your writing.

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: She loves to hear from readers, so feel free to send her an email or visit her facebook page, Kai Strand, Author.  


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