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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Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Kaira Rouda. Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?
Thank you for having me here! I am actually multi-published! My first book was a nonfiction title, Real You Incorporated: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs. I am thrilled women entrepreneurs are reading and connecting with the book and its message – a message that, ironically, fits well in today’s publishing industry where authors must become entrepreneurs, too.
I followed that work with my first fiction novel, Here, Home, Hope – a story about a mom having a midlife crisis. My next novel, All the Difference, is a romantic suspense novel with a murder mystery and more. In the Mirror is my third novel and it asks the question: If you knew you may die soon, what choices would you make?
Q: When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?
My first book was mainstream/large publisher, my next was small press and my last two are published by my publishing company, Real You Publishing Group. Authors today have a lot of choices, at least the lucky ones do. I’m proud to be a hybrid author. I have a great literary agent who helps me navigate the process and most importantly, a loyal readership who in most cases doesn’t care who publishes the books as long as more keep arriving on their virtual or real bookshelves. That’s why I believe entrepreneurial authors will continue to asses all of the options available to them – and make choices based on what the market dictates and what the author feels comfortable with. Things are changing quickly, that’s for sure.
Q: How long did it take you to get published once you signed the contract?
Both of my traditionally published books were 18 months from contract to publication.
Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?
Holding the finished book in your hand for the first time is a surreal experience. I remember, too, walking into a bookstore and seeing my book on the shelf, facing out, and it was probably one of the best moments of my life. It’s something I’d always dreamed about – and it came true. A really fun moment was finding my novel at the airport bookstore.
I celebrate each new release by reminding myself how lucky I am to be living the life of my dreams.
Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?
I did a huge radio and television tour for my first book. That was daunting. I also spoke at events around the country. For a shy author, this was a big step. I still get butterflies in my stomach thinking about all of that!
Q: Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?
I’ve learned the value of the re-write. Seriously, I hated editing and revision before but I’m starting to embrace the fun of it and it always makes my stories better.
Q: What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?
The supportive writing community is amazing. I am constantly in awe of the generosity of most authors. It’s exciting the support out there. And eventually, those divisive distinctions – Indie vs. Traditional – will disappear and we’ll all hold hands and support each other as an author community. (Seriously, it’s going to happen. And, the New York Times will review more women authors and ….)
Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?
Writing – and being able to say that’s what I do for a career. It’s awesome!
Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?
Don’t give up. I published my first novel in my 40s. It’s never to late! So get going!