I first ‘met’ Kaira Rouda when I lived in Seattle and a publicist sent me her debut novel, Here, Home, Hope to read and blurb. Things were so hectic at the time that I couldn’t get the blurb done in time for Kaira’s PR purposes, but I ended up reading the book later on vacation and loved it.
It wasn’t until I moved to Southern California that I had the chance to meet Kaira in person, and she’s literally brighter and sunnier and more wonderful than all this California sunshine. She is genuinely kind and bubbly and positive and I am thrilled she’s going to be publishing a story with Tule Publishing’s Southern Born imprint in August, and even more thrilled she’s become my friend.
Kaira has a brand new novel out yesterday, May 1st, and so I’ve asked her here to join us so you can get to know my friend!
Kaira, what do you love most about being a writer?
Being a writer was all I ever dreamed of becoming. I pinch myself because it’s my reality now, and has been since Here, Home, Hope came out three years ago this month. It took me until my 40s to finally go for it. I’m so thankful everyday!
Is there anything that has surprised you about writing or publishing your books?
This is going to sound funny, but I’ve discovered publishing today is a lot like the residential real estate industry was in early 2000. My husband and I built a national real estate franchise called Real Living during the time and the industry was fraught with change. Technology and big aggregators were creating quite a stir. Sound familiar? Whether authors define themselves as traditional, indie, hybrid or just simply, AUTHOR, content is what matters in the end. Good content – in this case a wonderful story and a skilled storyteller; in the case of real estate – good listings, great agents – presented to the right audience is key.
Do you incorporate any of your own life experiences into your stories?
Of course. J And my friends all know it by now.
Tell us about In The Mirror. What inspired you to write this story?
In the Mirror is without a doubt the most poignant story I’ve written to date. Ever since I was a young mom myself, I have known far too many moms who have been stricken by cancer in their prime. In particular, a dear friend of mine with children the same age as mine fought a valiant almost 11-year fight with metastatic breast cancer. Her grace under pressure continues to be an inspiration and a lasting legacy. The charities she established continue to raise huge sums of money to fight the disease.
We all know our time on earth is finite, there are warnings all around us, but how many of us think of life that way? In the story, Jennifer is a young mom fighting for her life, but she is still a woman who finds the attention from an old boyfriend exciting. The story asks the question: What choices would you make if you knew you might die soon?
This book has been in the works for 10 plus years, and I am so grateful for the response it has received from early reviewers. I hope you will give it a read.
What are you working on now?
Lines in the Sand, an Indigo Island romantic suspense novel, for Tule Publishing, scheduled to be out this August! I’m so excited to be partnering with Jane’s publishing company and I’m coming to RWA in San Antonio for the first time. So many exciting things are happening right now – I pinch myself!
What’s your astrological sign?
I’m a Taurus, but I love the ocean.
Three things you know now that you wish you’d known before publishing your first book?
Most authors don’t go on a 22-state book tour. I’m sort of an overachiever. That was a fun tour, but quite exhausting as you may imagine!
Last song you listened to?
This is so cool! (I think!) My youngest son is a junior in high school and just released his first EP. His name is Dylan Rouda and you can find him on iTunes etc. (Yes, proud mom moment.) Yesterday he came into the family room and played a new song he just wrote. It is amazing and I can’t wait for him to record it. (Yes, I’m completely biased, but still it’s good, I promise!) I guess what I’m saying is nothing beats the sound of your child following his dreams!
What words would you use to describe your book?
I love Tracey Garvis Graves’ blurb: “Emotionally gripping and heart-achingly beautiful, this novel will make you think about what’s truly important.”
Kaira Rouda is an award-winning and bestselling author of both fiction and nonfiction. Her books include: Real You Incorporated: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs; Here, Home, Hope; All the Difference; In the Mirror; and the short story, A Mother’s Day. She lives in Southern California with her husband and four children and is at work on her next novel. Connect with her on Twitter, @KairaRouda, and on Facebook at Kaira Rouda Books. And of course, on Pinterest! For more about Kaira and her books, please visit her website KairaRouda.com.
Thank you, Kaira, and to celebrate this little ray of sunshine I’m giving away a Southern California gift with two Kaira Rouda novels, an Orange County Starbucks mug, and Orange County Starbucks drink card, a very cute California t-shirt, and lots of reader swag and treats. How to enter the giveaway? Tell me something you learned about Kaira, OR tell me something you liked that Kaira said! That’s it! How easy is that?