Kaira Rouda is a multiple award-winning author of three novels including Here, Home, Hope, All the Difference, and In the Mirror. Her nonfiction title, Real You Incorporated: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs, continues to inspire women internationally.
She lives in Southern California with her husband, four almost grown kids, three dogs and a fish named Phil. She is at work on her next novel. Connect with her on Twitter, @KairaRouda, and on Facebook at Kaira Rouda Books.
For more about Kaira and her books, please visit wwww.KairaRouda.com.
Congratulations on the release of your latest book, In the Mirror. When did you start writing and what got you into women’s fiction/chick lit?
I finally followed my dreams and published my first novel in May of 2011, at the age of 40 something! I like to throw in the age because I want everybody who dreams of publishing a novel to know you don’t have to give up, that it will happen when the time is right. As long as you keep trying. This particular novel has been ten years in the making – with a lot of hurdles in the way. I’m so glad it is out in the world now, and I’m so gratified by the positive response it is receiving.
What was your inspiration for In the Mirror?
In the Mirror was inspired by too many friends of mine who faced a diagnosis of breast cancer as young moms. It’s an unfathomable diagnosis coming at such a vulnerable time of life. My heart ached each time it happened. We’ve all known people stricken by this awful disease. I am particularly heart sick when there are mothers with children. That’s where In the Mirror starts. A young mom Jennifer Benson has it all: two kids, a great husband, numerous friends and a successful business. The only problem is she may be dying. What choices would you make in the same situation?
Who is your target audience?
My target is women. I know that sounds broad, but I truly believe all women can relate to and enjoy my books. Here, Home, Hope is a story of a midlife crisis full of inspiration and pointers. In the Mirror forces the reader to ask herself many important life questions. My romantic suspense novels, All the Difference and the soon-to-be released (August) Lines in the Sand, are more escapist, but still, I hope there are bits of inspiration to be found in them as well. I believe in living a life that is positive, real and empowering. I hope my novels are a reflection of those beliefs.
Did your book require a lot of research?
No, unfortunately, this book didn’t require research. I’ve lived this story with friends and family, so close to my life to be tapping me on the shoulder. With the exception of some of the treatments Jennifer must endure, most of the novel is real life.
What do you do when your muse refuses to collaborate?
All last year – the entire year of 2013 – the muse was silent. Stubborn. Completely unavailable. I didn’t know what to do, so what I did was get the rest of my life settled. We’d moved five times in four years and we finally purchased a home. I needed to settle. Settle my space to help settle my mind. And once that happened, once I moved in and created an office for myself, the muse came back. At first, quietly, but then she was back. It was an awesome feeling – almost as great as her departure was emptying.
How do you define success?
Success is doing what you love and having the freedom to do so. My life, right now, this moment is better than my dreams. Success is about not worrying about other people’s dreams, but focusing on your own. Success is knowing your personal brand, your writing brand and staying true to it. Success is writing the words you believe in and knowing, or trying to know, what your readers enjoy. And at the end of the day, success is about having a family who loves you and friends who make you laugh. That’s success to me.
What do you love most about the writer’s life?
I love not having to go to an office. I love the freedom of being able to walk the dogs, or do yoga or call one of my kids during my work day. I love living with these amazing characters in my head – growing attached to them and having their stories come to life on my computer screen. I love getting a note from a reader who writes that the story of mine touched her heart.
Do you have a website or blog where readers can find out more about your work?
Please visit me at KairaRouda.com for everything you’d ever want to know about me and my books. I’m also a Facebook junkie so please like my Facebook fan page, Kaira Rouda Books. And if you’re on Twitter, I’m there too: @KairaRouda
What advice would you give to aspiring writers whose spouses or partners don’t support their dreams of becoming an author?
Ok, well, this is unacceptable. Sorry. But if your dream is to write, and someone who loves you doesn’t support that dream, then, well, that’s not right. But, aside from that, the great thing about writing is that you can do it when your partner is asleep. You can write during a break at work. You can get up early and write. Writing can compliment your regular job, until it can become your primary job. That’s what I did! My advice is to look at your writing career as an entrepreneur would. You don’t have to jump in all the way. You can start the career of your dreams on the side. Check out my nonfiction book, Real You Incorporated: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs for more about this. It’s important to believe in yourself, no matter what!
Anything else you’d like to tell my readers?
That’s probably enough. 🙂 Thank you for having me![amazon template=iframe image&chan=default&asin=B00JQQQDT6] [amazon template=iframe image&chan=default&asin=047017658X] [amazon template=iframe image&chan=default&asin=B007MOY8ZA]