The Big Break is happy to welcome Kaira Rouda, author of Here, Home, Hope.
Firstly, I would just like to welcome you to the blog.
Wow, I’m so excited to be on a blog from the UK! Thank you so much for having me!
What’s amazing is that one of the first supporters of HERE, HOME, HOPE was UK author of THE HATING GAME Talli Roland. She and I met via social media, at the time her book was just about to come out. I loved her independent spirit, her story and how she was working really hard to spread the word about her first novel. We are kindred spirits – as are, I think, many people in the UK and the US.
What was your first reaction when you found out that your book was to be published? How did it make you feel?
I don’t have the typical story of success, I’m afraid. There is no ta-da moment, but here is how it happened. I’d been writing, and developing stories – several manuscripts actually – all set in the suburb of Grandville. Along the way, I’d also had a couple of great literary agents who had tried to sell my work. Most of the time, though, I was working full time on my career and raising four kids.
It was only after publishing my first nonfiction book, REAL YOU INCORPORATED, in one of those storybook agent wanted it and publisher wanted it on the same day scenarios, that my break happened. But not like I thought it would.
Something inside of me had given up on the dream of publishing my novel. I had a series of REAL YOU books I was working on and was in discussion with Greenleaf Book Group to publish them. Offhandedly, I mentioned to an executive of Greenleaf that I had a series of novels – and they offered to take a look. The rest, as they say, is HERE, HOME, HOPE.
Who did you tell first?
Since my husband and I had worked together for 7 years building our business, a real estate company called Real Living Real Estate, we are close, in business and life. I told him first that I wanted to go for it. And to his credit, he supported me 100 percent. I dedicated the novel to him because he has believed in me wholeheartedly for more than 20 years. I am so lucky to have someone stand by me like Harley. He’s amazing. Next, we called all of the kids in and told them. They were so excited. They know my dreams – as I hope to always know theirs.
How long did it take for your book to be published after you had been told?
Timelines and calendars aren’t my strong suit, but I believe my book was accepted by Greenleaf in August of 2010 and it is out now, May 2011.
What was happening to your manuscript during this time?
During the years the manuscript had gone through extensive edits, but through Greenleaf I had the opportunity to work with a wonderful editor Linda O’Doughda, and she made the story sing. All of my characters are better with her influence.
How did it feel to see your name in print?
I remember opening the box when the ARCs arrived just before Christmas. The feeling was amazing. Beyond words.
Where was the first place that your saw your book on sale and did you do anything crazy when you saw it?
The town where I live lost its only bookstore unfortunately. So my book tour began at a wonderful home furnishings store called Room at the Beach. My book, with its blue tones, white rocking chair, hydrangea and beachy vibe fit right in there. To see my book displayed, well – it was amazing.
What are you working on now?
I am looking forward to an extensive book tour this summer, with stops all across the country. The support from bookstores has been amazing. I’m also thrilled HERE, HOME, HOPE will be in airports across the country. I hope to see someone reading my novel as she sits on an airplane. That would be such a thrill.
My first short story, A MOTHER’S DAY, will be published - hopefully – sometime around Mother’s Day. The next novel is in revision and will, I hope, follow this novel within a year. You’ll recognize some overlapping characters and the setting is Grandville. I have a lot of stories to tell.
What advice would you give unpublished authors?
Write. Write what you love. Don’t listen to naysayers. Passion poppers are everywhere. Believe in yourself. Hone your craft. Trust real people. Go for it.
Thank you Kaira for taking the time to talk to us today. For more information about Kaira and her book, please see below.
Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRcsMDKlccY
Author website: http://www.kairarouda.com
FB Fanpage: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kaira-Rouda-Books/125389587505763