The first Writers Who Read interview of 2016 begins with author Kaira Rouda. Welcome, Kaira!
Who are you?
Hi! I’m Kaira Rouda, and I write sexy modern romance and women’s fiction novels sparkling with humor and heart. New to the romance world, I’ve been a published author since 2009. My family and I live in Laguna Beach, California – the setting for my most recent romance contemporary romance series.
Which book or series was your gateway into the world of reading?
Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey. Second grade. I knew I wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember.
Nowadays, what makes you crack open a book instead of pressing play on your favorite Netflix show?
Same thing. I’ve always been a reader. I have a pile of TBR books beside my bed, and on my eReader. Reading is life…that said, you do have to socialize in the real world sometimes!
Which authors are auto-buys for you? Why?
Jane Porter, because she’s my mentor. Melissa Foster, same reason. Beyond those two, I read widely and at different heat levels in the contemporary romance world. I’m also a women’s fiction or mainstream fiction writer, whatever that means, so I read a lot in the women’s fiction world. Recently, I’ve been reading stories with a little edge, like The Dinner by Herman Koch, and all of Gillian Flynn’s books. I go through phases, because I’ve also had my murder-mystery phase. See, there is no end to the fun in books.
What is your book kryptonite–those unique settings, tropes, or character types that make you unable to resist reading?
For me, setting has been the key. My books, no matter the genre, typically start with place. My Indigo Island series of contemporary romance are set on a fictive South Carolina Sea Island, called Indigo Island, based on the real life island called Daufuskie. Laguna Beach Series is, obviously, set in my hometown of Laguna Beach. When I start with place, it gives me grounding and the setting becomes a very important part of the story. My women’s fiction novels to date have been set in a Midwestern Ohio suburb called Grandville, a place very similar to the suburb of Upper Arlington where we lived for many years. Lately, with my romance stories, I’ve been writing about billionaires, tycoons and celebrities – and these folks tend to hang out at the beach, and in LA and New York City. It has been a blast. All three of my Kindle Worlds novellas are set in New York.
What is your ideal time and place to read?
At night. In my bed, with my puppies cuddled close.
Are you a re-reader? Why or why not?
Nope. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve re-read a book.
What makes a book a satisfying read for you?
A book is satisfying to me if it lingers on the brain after the last page. When I’m thinking about the story, its characters, long after I’ve finished, that’s a good book. Years later, well, that’s a great book.
What are you reading right now?
Tenth of December by George Saunders. My book club read it, but I was on deadline so I couldn’t read it, didn’t even buy it, before we met. I know, a slacker. But I still went to the meeting and was mesmerized. (We have a fabulous book club leader who speaks with a South African accent and makes literature sparkle and shine.) After book club I knew I had to get the book – a collection of short stories – and read it. It’s fabulous. And yes, memorable.
Kaira Rouda is a USA Today bestselling, multiple award-winning author of contemporary women’s fiction and sexy modern romance novels that sparkle with humor and heart. Her women’s fiction titles include HERE, HOME, HOPE, ALL THE DIFFERENCE and IN THE MIRROR. Her bestselling short story is titled, A MOTHER’S DAY. Kaira’s work has won the Indie Excellence Award, USA Book Awards, the Reader’s Choice Awards and honorable mention in the Writer’s Digest International Book Awards. Her books have been widely reviewed and featured in leading magazines.
Her sexy contemporary romance series set on INDIGO ISLAND includes: WEEKEND WITH THE TYCOON, Book 1; HER FORBIDDEN LOVE, Book 2; THE TROUBLE WITH CHRISTMAS, Book 3; and THE BILLIONAIRE’S BID, Book 4. Each of these novellas can be read as a stand alone, or enjoyed as a series. Her new series is set in LAGUNA BEACH and includes: LAGUNA NIGHTS, Book 1; LAGUNA HEIGHTS, Book 2; and LAGUNA LIGHTS, Book 3 coming winter 2015. She also helped launch Melissa Foster’s The Remington’s Kindle World with her bestselling novella, SPOTLIGHT ON LOVE, and is part of Carly Phillips Dare to Love Kindle World with THE CELEBRITY DARE.
Her nonfiction titles, REAL YOU INCORPORATED: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs, and REAL YOU FOR AUTHORS: 8 Essentials for Women Writers (available for free download on her website) continue to inspire.
She lives in Southern California with her husband and four almost-grown kids, and is at work on her next novel. Connect with her on Twitter @KairaRouda, Facebook at Kaira Rouda Books and on her website, http://www.KairaRouda.com.