Swagbucks Book Club – Meet the Author, Part 2

Welcome to the Swagbucks Book Club where throughout June we are celebrating Swaggernauts who are also published authors.  Today we are speaking with Zi Kehimkar, aka warriorkona, author of two children’s books of short stories.

Tales of Pixie the Cat: Four Short Stories follows an orange tabby on his adventures outside his house. He learns about privilege and being grateful for what he has.

Newfoundland Nights: The Invisible Newf and Other Stories are unconnected short stories each with their own message.  This one is sure to make a dog lover smile.

Both books are available in the Swag Store in Kindle form for just 599 Swag Bucks each.

Zi Kehimkar (warriorkona) has been wriitng ever since she learned how to as a child.  When she’s not reading, writing, gaming or watching movies, she’s cooking or relazing iwth her husband and her beagle; and of course swagging!  warriorkona has been a Swaggernaut for roughly 6 months.

I spoke with warriorkona earlier asking her about her writing process and inspiration. Please feel free to join the conversation and ask her any questions you may have.  I will be choosing 10 random comments and hooking up the users with 25 swag Bucks each so don’t be shy.

And come back next Friday as we meet Amanda Johnston (swag name: jobhaer) author of The Broken Road.


Q: What was our inspiration for writing these books?

A: I was volunteering at my local animal shelter walking various dogs and spending time with them.  I fell in love with the shelter and the animals, which made me want to give back in some way.  As a writer, I thought I could write stories featuring cats and stories featuring dogs, and then I’d donate half the proceeds to the shelter I love.  Pixie’s stories happened to be very focuses on issues, almost like an introduction to the need for animal rescue and shelters.  The stories in Newfoundland Nights are more lighthearted, with each story starring different characters with something to overcome.

Q: Describe your intended audience?

A: I wanted to cater to animal lovers of all ages, as I don’t think you’re ever too old to read a sweet story.

Q: Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

A: Just practice and write a lot, and keep challenging yourself. I honestly hadn’t written children’s books before, at least not since I myself was a child, which in my mind doesn’t count. And yet, I’ve accomplished just that.

Q: What was your biggest challenge – finding time to write, actually putting the words on paper, finding a publisher, promotion, etc.

A: For me, it was actually writing. Writing for a younger audience is a lot harder than I thought! Mainly I felt I needed to pay much more attention to the vocabulary I was using. After that though, it was promotion. I self-published these books because I couldn’t afford to try to find a publisher who would be able to meet the goal I hoped to achieve with these books, which was donating a decent amount of proceeds while still giving me some compensation for my work. Publishing on Amazon was the best way I thought of to do that, even if it meant being limited to a Kindle. I’m not very good at marketing, as I quickly discovered. Ironic, considering I write product descriptions as freelance work now and I do well with that.

Q: What authors or books would you recommend to fellow Swaggernauts?

A: I recommend one of my favorite books to everyone who asks: The Eight by Katherine Neville. It’s an adult book, so it may be off topic, but it’s one of the most fun reads I’ve experienced. I never thought a book involving Chess would become one of my all-time favorites, considering I don’t like the game at all. If I had to sum it up, I’d call it an action-packed adventure involving history, math and magic. It’s been awhile since I’ve read it (about 10 years ago), but I loved the plot. I also love The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak, which I suggested as a book club read here. I’m also a fan of Peter S. Beagle (grew up loving The Last Unicorn), J.K Rowling, Scott Westerfeld, and more. I could keep going, lol.