Wednesday, June 18, 2014 | By: Angela Brown

Humpday Happy Places

My alter ego, Rayven Godchild, is visiting over at happy place number one, A TiffyFit's Reading Corner, for a spotlight on the Confessions of a Sex Fiend series. My blogspot is happy place number two because we get to hear from author-extraordinaire, Kai Strand.

~~~Take it away, Kai!~~~

In my experience, each new book I write takes me on a different journey than the last. Worth the Effort: Ella’s Story was no different.

The inspiration for writing the story is the first different thing. Oddly, it was inspired more from a professional standpoint than an emotional one. At first, that is. As each year wanes, I review how well I met the career goals I set for that year, and I forecast where I want my career to go in the year to come. Entering 2014 I had the advantage of already having two books under contract for publication, which allowed me to look beyond my standard goal of seeing two new titles published per year. I decided I wanted to provide my avid readers with novellas. Short, emotional reads that are as affordable as they are easy to digest.

I’m an eclectic writer, jumping from contemporary, to speculative, to fantasy, and I wanted to make sure my readers had enough of their favorite flavor to keep their appetite satisfied. So I knew whatever I wrote this year would need to be in ONE genre! That is why I decided to write two novellas in differing point of view. It forced me to write two contemporary stories, instead of flitting off to fairyland or tackling a time travel. Plus, there are two sides to every story, and if you like Ella’s, later this year you’ll find out more about Ayden’s.

The third and most different step in this journey was the research. I write fiction and haven’t found need to do much research beyond some online searches for historical timelines, or how things work. This story, however, has a homeless teen in it. A subject I knew nothing about. So I took a field trip to a local non-profit that provides transitional housing for teens who want another chance. Emotional doesn’t begin to describe what I felt that day. I left that amazing place recommitted to telling the story of an underage homeless boy and to shedding some light on a plight that stays pretty under the radar.

It is true that inspiration comes in many forms, but the journey that shaped this story has been equal parts logical and emotional, thrilling and anxiety producing. But one thing for certain, it has been Worth the Effort.

About the book:

Ella Jones is a coward. There is a teen boy living in the alley behind her work and she is terrified of him.

Desperate to leave behind the stereotypical and judgmental world she was raised in, Ella forces herself to make a true connection with seventeen-year-old Ayden Worth. As their friendship grows Ayden’s quiet, gentle ways teach her true courage.

But there’s more to Ayden’s story than Ella knows. When their worlds collide in the most unexpected place, Ella feels betrayed. Will she find the courage to learn who Ayden really is, or will she determine he’s not worth the effort?

WORTH THE EFFORT: Ella’s Story a young adult contemporary romance novella at 19,000 words.

Only $0.99 on Amazon, Goodreads

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About the author:

When her children were young and 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 the younger ones, Kai entertains children of all ages, and their adults. Learn more about Kai and her books on her website,


SA Larsenッ said...

I love Kai's efforts and her goal setting. And trust me. If you haven't already, you must read about Ella & Ayden. LUV!

Thx for hosting her, Angela.

Misha Gericke said...

Kai's goals for this year make a lot of sense.

And the story sounds wonderful.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I bet the research was heartbreaking...

Kai Strand said...

Yes, Alex, it truly was.

Kai Strand said...

Thanks Misha!

Kai Strand said...

My original reply never showed up! I wasn't ignoring you, Sheri. Thanks for the kind words. Your Writers Rebel Creed has really helped me keep on pace this year - so thanks so much for the inspiration!

And Angela, thank you for hosting me!

Angela Brown said...

Oh blogger...I'll have to scan the comments again to see if anything went awry, which unfortunately happens, Kai. And it was my pleasure hosting you :-)

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