I’d like to welcome multi award winning author Kandi M. Siegel today. Kandi graduated from University of Central Florida is 2006 earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and was also certified in Special Education. She received the Editor’s Choice Award for outstanding achievement in poetry by the National Library of Poetry in 1997. She has been a member of the Space Coast Writer’s Guild since 2012. In 2008, Ms. Siegel was hurt on the job while working with special education and was unable to continue her job. Her love for children brought her back to her earlier career of storytelling. She finds writing books for children and meeting people at book signings a very rewarding experience.
Hello, Kandi! Please tell me how you discovered indieBRAG.
Hello Stephanie, My editor of My Summer Triumph was actually the one who suggested I submit my book to IndieBrag and I was so honored when I found out that the book won the BRAG Medallion Award.
Tell me a little about your book, My Summer Triumph.
My Summer Triumph is based on a true life experience from when I first went to overnight camp. All of the actual events in the story really did happen to me, though some of them were exaggerated a bit to make for a better story.
What are Kalia’s strengths?
Kaila is a good person with a huge caring heart, which may have been one of her biggest downfalls as she was an easy target for being bullied. She knew right from wrong, however, she wanted so much to fit in with everyone that she was easily lured into bad situations. Her true strengths really didn’t come into play until the end of the story when Kaila’s dancing lessons gave her the encouragement she needed to be the center of attention, in a positive way.
What is an example of how Shayna helps her?
Shayna was always very positive towards Kaila. She would encourage her to stand up to the bully, Mean Michelle. Shayna even came up with a way for Kaila to get even with Mean Michelle, but unfortunately it backfired and on Kaila. Shayna’s biggest plus was when she loaned Kaila some of her clothes to wear to the camp social, which made Kaila feel a whole lot better as her clothes were not exactly the most stylish in comparison to everyone else’s.
Your premise has a strong message, what would you say to encourage readers to read your book?
My Summer Triumph is a book that should encourage all young adults to be proud of who they are and to stand strong and never give up. The reader should learn from Kaila’s mistakes such as she knew it was wrong to smoke yet instead of walking away, she let the girls talk her into trying a cigarette. Bullying is unfortunately a big part of today’s society, but if everyone joined forces to stand up to these bullies, rather than watching someone get made fun of, maybe we could wipe out bullying once and for all.
How did you get into writing young adult books?
I have been writing children stories since I was in elementary school. My teachers all told me I had a very creative imagination and that I would make a good story teller someday. I started keeping all my stories in a box and little by little, I am building on each story to turn them into actual books.
What is your writing process?
When I am about to write a story, first I jot notes. I make an outline of the different chapters and what I want to write about in each one. I list all the characters I am going to use in the book and I decide how each one is going to look and what their names will be. I keep the outline close by to use as a guide.
What advice would you give to inspiring writers to write in this genre?
Advice I would give to inspiring writers is to create a story where the reader can actually imagine him or herself in the book. Make the sounds, scenes and characters come alive by the way you describe them. For example, if you are writing about a cherry pie, don’t just say cherry pie, but rather exclaim that it is a sweet, juicy cherry pie. By describing the pie in depth, it makes the reader able to actually taste it.
What is next for you?
I am currently working on a series of books, something I actually started writing in the third grade but never really did anything with the stories until now. The main character is the same in all the books with a lesson to be learned from each story.
Where can readers buy your book?
My Summer Triumph is sold on Amazon in paperback form and on kindle. Here is the link: Amazon
Be sure to stay tune for my next interview with Kandi about her latest B.R.A.G. Medallion coming soon!
A message from indieBRAG:
We are delighted that Stephanie has chosen to interview Kandi M. Siegel who is the author of, My Summer Triumph, our medallion honoree at indieBRAG. To be awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion ®, a book must receive unanimous approval by a group of our readers. It is a daunting hurdle and it serves to reaffirm that a book such as, My Summer Triumph, merits the investment of a reader’s time and money.