To celebrate the release of her new novel Laguna Nights (which just hit stores last week), we interviewed Kaira Rouda and asked her questions about her new novel, her writing, and even what she has coming up next. I loved getting to know Kaira through her Q&A session and we are thrilled to have her on the blog today!
Thank you for having me here, Karen! The inspiration for Laguna Nights is all around me, as I’m so lucky to live in Laguna Beach, California! I knew I wanted to start a series with this gorgeous town as a setting. A friend of mine is married to one of the former stars of the MTV Reality TV Show Laguna Beach: The Real OC. We started talking and the notion of what happens to reality stars after the spotlight of fame has dimmed. The other notion that struck me was what would it be like to be frozen in time in high school, forever, with the episodes available for instant download everywhere.
How do you come up with your ideas for books?
In general, I’m a writer who is firmly grounded in setting. Settings, to me, provide the anchor to all of my stories. So whether it is the suburbs of Ohio where I spent most of my life, or more recently, a beach community in California or an island off the coast of South Carolina where we vacationed for years, my stories begin with a place.
What is your writing process like? Do you write an outline and do you write every day?
I’m not a plotter but I’m beginning to appreciate the benefits of an outline – as long as I don’t have to stick to it as I write the story.
What has been the best compliment you’ve received about your books so far?
This just happened the other day! A reader wrote to tell me she’d just re-read my first novel, Here, Home, Hope, and loved it as much as the first time. That pretty much made my day! The best part about being an author, and sending your stories into the world, is when something you have written resonates in a positive way with a reader. It’s the best feeling. Of course, there are plenty of other days when those one-star reviewers clobber your heart, so I try to focus on the positive. My hope is that my books, whether contemporary romance or women’s fiction, leave readers feeling entertained and with a happy heart.
I love the cover of Laguna Nights! Who designed it and how many different ones did you go through until you found the right one?
Thank you so much! I’m especially proud of the cover because my oldest son, Trace, who is a fabulous photographer (check out his website www.traceroudaphotography.com) shot the photo. The wonderful cover designer Sarah Hansen of Okay Creations made the cover magic happen. Laguna Heights, the next story in the series, will showcase their talents again!
What are you currently reading?
I just finished At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen, which was amazing, and I’m looking forward to jumping into my TBR pile. It’s huge right now; so many great books, so little time. I’ve been writing a lot lately and when I’m mid-story, I can’t read. But I have a little writing break now and I’m diving in.
Read. Read everything. All types of genres. And then write, write all the time. And then repeat all of the above. And most important, don’t ever give up.
Do you have any fun plans for the summer besides celebrating your new book?
I’m headed to my first ever RWA (Romance Writers of America) Conference in New York City, so I’m excited about that. My whole family is coming with me, so I know it will be a busy, wonderful time both at the conference and around the city. We’re mostly at home this summer as we prepare to send my youngest away to college at the end of August.
Do your children love to read as much as you do?
Half and half. I have four kids and two of them are big readers, but all four of them are creative. I mentioned my oldest son’s love of photography. He’s brilliant visually/spatially and has just launched his career in commercial real estate after a couple of years at a leading digital ad agency. My daughter, who just graduated college, is a screenwriter paying her dues in LA. My middle son who will be a college junior is a Mandarin major who loves languages, is working on a novel and already has a book published called Teens Happen that he wrote in high school. My youngest is a singer/songwriter who is following his dream and attending Berklee College of Music in the fall. I’m so proud of my creative kids.
If you’re allowed to tell us, what can your readers expect next? Are you currently working on anything new?
My next story in the Laguna Beach series, Laguna Heights, will be released on September 15th as part of a boxed set called Love Ever After releasing. And my next women’s fiction novel – title still TBD – is releasing May 2016! I’m so excited for that one even though it seems like a long time from now. If I’ve learned anything it’s that time flies!
Thanks again for having me, Karen!
Connect with Kaira:
- Website: http://www.kairarouda.com/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KairaRoudaBooks
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/KairaRouda
To celebrate the release of her new novel, Kaira and her team have graciously provided Karen’s Korner with a copy of Laguna Nights for a giveaway! Enter via the Rafflecopter below (US entries only):