Kaira Rouda, author of BEST DAY EVER, one of the launch titles for Harlequin’s new Graydon House imprint, recently took the time to chat with me at Miss Ivy’s. Here’s our chat. My review will be posted later.
I read that you’d wanted to write since third grade, yet you went into marketing and did that for over 20 years before writing the non-fiction Real You Incorporated: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs. Why did you choose marketing first?
To be honest, I didn’t have the confidence to follow my true dream. All through college, I wanted to write for the college newspaper. But I was too shy. When I got my first job as a researcher for a business newspaper, I was thrilled. I’ll never forget the moment the editor assigned me my first story and I held the paper with trembling hands when it came out. I’ll never forget that moment. Along the way, I kept my fingers in the journalism field, freelance writing for national and regional publications in addition to my marketing jobs. But I also needed to support myself, so marketing paid the bills while journalism fed my spirit. Fun fact: I was the society columnist in Columbus for ten years while helping build our real estate company. Creativity can be expressed in many different forms.
How does writing compare to building Real Living? Are they more similar than not?
Great question. Building a brand is the best. Creating its essence, its look, its feel, its keywords, the story. Much of what is the best part to me of brand building is creativity, words bring a brand to life. Real You Incorporated encompasses the approach I took to building Real Living, and it’s all about words.
Authors have spoken about characters coming to them with their stories, while others say the germ of the plot is first with the details and characters following. How do your stories begin?
That’s interesting. I would say it has happened to me both ways, plot or a strong character. BEST DAY EVER began and ended with Paul. He popped into my head fully formed and wouldn’t rest until I told his story.
Do you have a preferred genre to write so far?
Psychological suspense is where I started and I love this genre. I read widely and of course also love women’s fiction and romance. But if you forced me to pick just one area, I’d pick this one.
What’s the most difficult aspect of writing for you?
What’s your favorite aspect of writing?
When you begin, with a blank page and the spark of inspiration. There’s nothing better.
You’ve written non-fiction, women’s fiction, romance, and a suburban thriller/suspense. Now, with BEST DAY EVER, you go darker still. Why?
I know, right? To answer your question, I’m not sure. Maybe confidence to see that understanding the darkness actually is the best way to the light. Or maybe I’m just older and grumpier. 😉
Please tell us about BEST DAY EVER…
A suburban husband and father promises his wife that today, the start of their long weekend together, will be her best day ever. He may have something more sinister in mind. What I’ve discovered about discussing this novel in particular is that if I explain too much, it will give too much away.
Have you read anything lately you’d highly recommend?
I have been on a thriller/suspense reading binge. It’s been wonderful. I had the chance to visit London this summer and met so many amazing women suspense writers: Erin Kelly, Alice Feeney, Paula Hawkins, BA Paris, Mel McGrath – and then I was in New York and met JT Ellison and AF Brady and well, I just have to say, it’s a fabulous community of authors to strive to be a small part of and I’d recommend any of their novels. Should I go on and gush about all of my author friends on social media who I cannot wait to meet? I mean read Heather Gudenkauf, Mary Kubica, Kate Moretti, Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke…I should stop here. Right now, I’m reading A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena and scaring myself. It’s the best.
I’ve enjoyed BA Paris and Heather Gudenkauf.
You’ve been successful across several fields, is there anything you haven’t done/accomplished that you intend to go for next?
That’s so kind of you to say. I am blessed to have a wonderful life. At the moment, my husband is running for congress so I’m committed to doing all I can to support his race for the 48th district in California. I also have four kids who are following their dreams, and I love cheering them on. As for me, I’m living my dream so I can’t think of anything better than the chance to write my next novel. Oh, and travel. Because I love that, too.
Good luck to your husband in his congressional bid, and thank you again for visiting.
Thank you for the best questions ever! I thoroughly enjoyed this interview!! Thank you!!
So sweet of you to say that, thank you. Glad you enjoyed it!
Y’all be sure and stop by later for my review of BEST DAY EVER.
The perfect couple is the perfect illusion.
Paul Strom has the perfect life: a glittering career as an advertising executive, a beautiful wife, two healthy boys, and a big house in a wealthy suburb. And he’s the perfect husband: breadwinner, protector, provider. That’s why he’s planned a romantic weekend for his wife, Mia, at their lake house, just the two of them. And he’s promised today will be the best day ever.
But as Paul and Mia drive out of the city and toward the countryside, a spike of tension begins to wedge itself between them and doubts start to arise. How perfect is their marriage, or any marriage, really? How much do they trust each other? Is Paul the person he seems to be? And what are his secret plans for their weekend at the cottage?
Forcing us to ask ourselves just how well we know those who are closest to us, Best Day Ever crackles with dark energy, spinning ever tighter toward its shocking conclusion.
In the bestselling, page-turning vein of The Couple Next Door and The Dinner, Kaira Rouda weaves a gripping, tautly suspenseful tale of deception and betrayal dark enough to destroy a marriage…or a life.
“As I opened the door and stepped into the humid night, her scream followed me out. But I knew there was still love for me in her heart…
Kaira Rouda is a USA Today bestselling, multiple award-winning author of contemporary fiction, including Here, Home, Hope, and The Goodbye Year. Kaira is also the author of Real You Incorporated: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs and the creator of Real Living, one of the nation’s most successful real estate brands and the first national women-focused brand in real estate. She now lives in Southern California with her family, where she’s lucky enough to write full time, and enjoys the beach whenever possible. Kaira’s latest novel, Best Day Ever, is one of the major launch titles for Harlequin’s new imprint Graydon House, and will be available on September 19, 2017.