Molly in the Shower: Kai Strand Shares Her Inspiration Behind Beware of the White

Hi! My name is Kai Strand and I'm a children's author. Now that I’ve been writing for a number of years I understand that inspiration is a fickle thing. It can tempt and taunt and tease you with half formed ideas or story lines so complex you’d need a map to get from beginning to end. Or inspiration can stay away completely and leave you chasing spiders in the empty cobwebs of your mind. Now that I know better, I know it isn’t always as easy as it was the first time.

My very first book started with a Molly.

I was showering, where I do my best thinking. I’d just finished reading the fourth book of the Harry Potter series, having plowed through all four in only a couple months. The fifth book wasn’t due out for at least six months and my mind was crying for more. CRYING! So as the hot water cascaded over me I thought, I should create my own world. That would keep me busy.

The first thing to pop into my mind was a made-up creature. A Molly. A transport animal, related to the mole, used as a trolley. Odd, I thought. Where would you use a Molly? Who would need a Molly? Moles are diggers, they live underground, so obviously a Molly would be a transport animal in the Underworld. And really, they’d only get you where you need to go. To the city. The peaceful underground city. The city of Concord.

And before I'd even run out of hot water, a novel was born. My third child had recently started Kindergarten, so I only had one child home with me in the mornings and my husband went hunting for a week. So I sat down at the computer and wrote. Obsessively. I would become so immersed in it the bus barn had to CALL the house to tell me the bus was out front trying to drop off my son. My two older kids (fourth and sixth grade) made a lot of peanut butter sandwiches and macaroni and cheese the week my husband was gone. He came home and I barely noticed.

Less than two months later, I had an 85,000 word Underworld adventure that I was convinced was the best story ever. The nine years between then and now shaved off 15,000 words and changed a lot within the story, but that is a story for another day (May 23 on Nancy Stewart’s blog to be exact, see my tour schedule for information). And now it truly is the best story ever (grin!)

Not all of my books start in the shower or pour from my fingers. Not all of my books take place in an alternate reality filled with fascinating creatures and Seuss-like buildings. And I seriously hope no other book of mine takes nine years to get to publication. But this book is most certainly my labor of love and I’m so excited to be sharing it with you at long last.

Please enter the raffle – below – for your chance to win book related prize packages which include unique gifts like the Molly pictured above or a framed drawing of a Traveler (another Underworld transport animal.) Be sure to follow my tour for chances to win Spontaneous Giveaways. Only virtual stalkers will be able to participate in all the fun. 

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?

Buy the book: 

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: 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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Mayra Calvani said…
Best of luck with the launch, Kai!

I also do a lot of plotting in the shower, by the way. :-)

Ha ha! The shower, the only place you can't bring pen & paper! Thanks for letting me share my launch on your blog.
T. Forehand said…
sounds like a great book, and love the inspiration. Best of luck.
Cheryl said…
Congrats on your latest book, Kai. It's always exciting when great authors release new works.
Hi Mayra and Kai, thanks for this great post. I get my inspiration dog walking and from dreams. I enjoyed reading and reviewing BOTW. I marvel at the detail in Kais created world and loved the play on words/names, too. Great stuff. Keep me in mind for future installments - reader and reviewer.