Hey everyone, I have my friend Kai Strand writing a guest post today. I expect you guys to be on your best behavior while I’m off doing really fun stuff like cleaning and laundry. If I catch you acting up I’ll make you help just like I do with my kids LOL!
Kai is going to tell us a little bit about writing middle grade. Now I know that my blog mainly focuses on YA Lit, BUT I am a firm believer in the cross pollination of ideas and experiences. So, sit back and enjoy. Take it away, Kai…
The main character of my newly released book, SAVE THE LEMMINGS, is much like my host, Kimberly Sabatini. Happy, positive, uplifting and inspiring.
*Wait…I haven’t started cleaning yet. Okay, so maybe I wasn’t really going to clean. Maybe I was actually going to fart around on the internet. Sue me. If I’d been being domestic I would have missed this lovely compliment. Okay…I’m going…sorry Kai.*
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? Will she be able to SAVE THE LEMMINGS?
There are two rules in writing middle grade. 1.) Make sure the reader can relate. 2.) Exaggerate the heck out of everything. One common issue to a kid in middle school is feeling like they don’t fit in. Natalie Edwards is an incurable priss. She walks around spouting things like, “Be pleasant to your neighbor and they’ll water your garden when you’re out of town,” and “A task performed is most rewarding when it is in service to others.” Luckily for our main character, she doesn’t let the groans and eye rolls from her fellow 8th graders bother her. So even though Natalie should feel like an outcast, she has the security of her three close friends and the love of her parents to shelter her from the meanness of others.
However, when her Texty-Talky invention makes her an overnight sensation, nothing can protect her from the meanness of the headline hungry media. Being accused of things like stealing her invention from aliens and coming up with the invention in a drug induced stupor, Natalie finally knows what it feels like to be picked on – even though she has been her whole life.
How she overcomes the media bullying and takes control of her life again will inspire readers who might be struggling under similar circumstances. Though hopefully nothing involving aliens!
You can read and excerpt and order your copy of Save the Lemmings here: http://www.featherweightpublishing.com/ShowBook.php?YA=KS_SAVE_LEMMINGS.
About the author: 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.
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.
Yes, I’m back? So now that you’ve had a mini lesson in MG I’m wondering what you think the biggest similarity between MG and YA is? What’s the difference? Are there any books out there that you think should be YA instead of MG or visa versa? What’s your favorite MG book? Does anyone write both? Any thing about MG that really makes you crazy? Come on…lets talk.