Monday, 9 September 2013

Featured Author: Kai Strand

A warm welcome again to YA and Middle Grade author Kai Strand, who is visiting from the USA to share the inspiration behind her new Young Adult novel. I love the idea of a Super Villain Academy! First a little about King of Bad.

King of Bad: Super Villain Academy Book 1

Jeff Mean would rather set fires than follow rules or observe curfew. He wears his bad boy image like a favorite old hoodie; that is until he learns he has superpowers and is recruited by Super Villain Academy – where you learn to be good at being bad. In a school where one kid can evaporate all the water from your body and the girl you hang around with can perform psychic sex in your head, bad takes on a whole new meaning. Jeff wonders if he’s bad enough for SVA.

He may never find out. Classmates vilify him when he develops good manners. Then he’s kidnapped by those closest to him and left to wonder who is good and who is bad. His rescue is the climactic episode that balances good and evil in the super world. The catalyst – the girl he’s crushing on. A girlfriend and balancing the Supers is good, right? Or is it…bad?

Inspiration Behind the Story

You may ask, “Um…why super villains?”

This story, these characters, the whole concept, came to me one morning quite unexpectedly. As a wife, a mother of four school aged children and a part-time employee outside the house, I was having a difficult time finding the discipline to write. So that particular year I decided to participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) where writers all over the world commit to writing 50,000 words in one month. That averages out to almost 1,700 words a day. In order to be ready for that many words day after day, I did something I never do. I outlined my novel.

On November 1st I woke up fully prepared to pound out my 1,666 words for the day and instead of the middle grade ugly duckling novel I had planned, I found myself writing about teen super villains. I had never even considered a superhero novel before, so it truly took me by surprise to think, “What about the bad guys? Who trains them?”
What about you, have you ever intended for one thing to happen and found yourself doing something completely different and unexpected? What was it?

King of Bad is available from: Publisher, Amazon, Barnes and Noble And you can add it to Goodreads

When the electricity winked out, Kai Strand gathered her family around the fireplace and they told stories, one sentence at a time. Her boys were rather fond of the ending, “And then everybody died, the end.” Now an award winning children’s author, Kai crafts fiction for kids and teens to provide an escape hatch from their reality. With a selection of novels for young adult and middle grade readers and short stories for younger children Kai entertains children of all ages, and their adults.

Visit Kai’s WEBSITE to browse her books, download companion materials or to find all her online haunts.


  1. Thanks for hosting me today, Rosemary. I always love a good reason to visit Scotland.

  2. Love that, Kai and Rosemary.
    Second Chances, on which I am currently finishing up the first round of copy edits was my 2009 Nano Novel.
    I am sure this is a fun book. Love the cover!

    1. Susan, my Nano novel was such a mess! If I can avoid doing Nano again, I will for that reason. But now that I know how much harder the work was, I'll be more likely to stay motivated without Nano, right? ;)

      Oh, and I'm ridiculously in love with the ice on my cover.

    2. Thanks for visiting, Susan! At least NaNo is good for focusing the attention.