Coffee Talk: Kaira Rouda

By: Kaira Rouda

1. How did you get published? Please share your own personal journey.

I knew from elementary school on that I would be a writer. It's what I dreamed of becoming as early as I could envision a profession. It still makes me smile to think about it. Later, in middle school and high school, I lost confidence in my writing and didn't write for publication until after college. I was an English major without a byline. That changed once I graduated and started working in the real world first for newspapers and then magazines, and then advertising agencies. But I wanted to write novels. So I did. On the sly, at night after the kids (4 in five years) arrived, and somehow kept the dream alive. Ironically, my first book published was in 2009, a business book for women entrepreneurs titled REAL YOU INCORPORATED: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs. I had never dreamed of writing a nonfiction book, but when I was asked, it made sense. It became a great summary of all I had learned in my working life up to that point. It's still popular and I'm proud of that as it was one of the first business books for women without a pink cover. (I'm not kidding.)

My first novel, Here, Home, Hope was published in 2011 and marked the beginning of the next chapter in my life. We moved from Ohio to California, my husband and I sold the business we created, and it was time to take the chance.

2. What was your inspiration for writing "Here, Home, Hope?"

Because REAL YOU INCORPORATED struck a chord, and empowering women is a topic close to my heart, I knew the first novel I wrote would have an empowerment theme. And it does, it’s just couched in a fun story with – I hope – loveable characters who make the idea of changing your life for the better believable and attainable.

3. What do you find is the most challenging part of being an author?

The “industry”.

4. What do you find is the best part of being an author?

The people – especially the other authors I’ve met either online or in person. They are, without question, the most supportive amazing group of women I’ve had the opportunity to meet and spend time with. The other best part is when I see somebody smiling as they read one of my books. That is the best feeling.

5. What is ONE thing that you have done that brought you more readers?

Hiring a good publicist, or two. It’s a lonely career and you need a team behind you.

6. What's one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you?

I am very shy at heart, but I’ve learned to step into my power. The first time I had to publicly speak about my writing, eghads. I’ve gotten better over time.

7. What are your top 3 tips for writing great women's fiction?

1. Write what you know, in your heart.
2. Don’t write for money, fame or other people. Write because it is what you must do.
3. Read, read, read. And then, read some more.

8. Who is one author you'd love to have dinner with and what would you order?

That’s a tough question, as there are so many people I would love to meet. Can I have a dinner party? No? Ok, fine. In my particular view of the world and of the fiction I write, two of the women who have led the way for me are Claire Cook and Jennifer Weiner. I’d love to meet them both, thank them and order a bottle of wine.

About the Author

Kaira Rouda is an award-winning entrepreneur and author. 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. For more about Kaira and her books, please visit wwww.KairaRouda.com.