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.
Her latest novel is the women’s fiction, In the Mirror.
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Hi Kaira, can you tell us what your book is about?
In the Mirror is the story of Jennifer Benson, a young mom who has it all: a loving husband, two kids, a successful business. The only problem is she may be dying.
Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel or do you discover it as you write?
I am one of those authors who tends to let the characters and the plot unfold as I write the first draft. That said, I can see the benefits of having some idea where you’re going as it may help the process. I’m experimenting with actually having a synopsis for my next novel. Stay tuned – I’ll let you know what works better for me. What I’ve learned is each writer’s process is completely unique!
Your book is set in Grandville. Can you tell us why you chose this city in particular?
Grandville is a fictive suburb of Columbus, Ohio, based loosely on a suburb where I lived for much of my life. But I’m thrilled that is a place people across the country feel like they know the setting and can related to it. Grandville has been the setting for Here, Home, Hope, All the Difference and now In the Mirror. It’s surprising how similar suburban settings are across the country.
Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?
Setting is an important part of this novel. For what it represented before Jennifer’s cancer diagnosis – success, stability, comfort – and for what it represents as we meet her: someplace she’s longing to return to from the treatment facility where we meet her. It is quite easy to take everything for granted until something like a diagnosis, or a death, or a tragic accident wakes us up and reminds us to live in the moment and appreciate what we have.
Open the book to page 69. What is happening?
Jennifer’s father is visiting her at Shady Valley, the treatment facility. He is accustomed to being able to fix everything for everyone – he is a powerful, wealthy and successful businessman who is brought to tears by his inability to “fix” Jennifer’s situation.
Can you tell us about your family?
I love my family!! I am so blessed. My husband and I just celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary. I have three sons and a daughter who are all amazing and gifted in the arts and life. I couldn’t be more proud to be their mom. My three dogs keep me company as I write.
What kind of advice would you give other fiction authors?
Keep writing and don’t give up. Never belittle other author’s choices in this ever-changing publishing environment. Be true to yourself, support others, read, and oh, keep writing!