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The Sirens of Suspense




Kaira Rouda is a USA TODAY bestselling, multiple award-winning author of contemporary fiction exploring what goes on behind closed doors of seemingly perfect lives. Her novels include BEST DAY EVER, ALL THE DIFFERENCE, HERE, HOME, HOPE, IN THE MIROR and THE GOODBYE YEAR. Her modern romance novels are set on beaches, including the Indigo Island series and the Laguna Beach series, also its own Kindle World.


She lives in Southern California with her family and is at work on her next novel.



Find Kaira on Twitter and Facebook.


item1 My Long and Winding Road item1

I love suspense. Love it. Grew up reading Nancy Drew, watching Jessica Fletcher, Law & Order. But it’s taken me awhile to get back to my roots. My circuitous writing route went through nonfiction, sweet women’s fiction, romance and finally, to mystery & suspense. I don’t regret a moment of it, because life is a journey not a destination as we all know. We also learn with each experience, and I’ve learned a lot.

My winding road to finally becoming a suspense author starts with my business book for women entrepreneurs. I’m not kidding. Stay with me here. While I’d always dreamed of writing a novel, the opportunity to share my ideas on brand building with a wider audience presented itself and I jumped on it. I loved writing the book, creating the eight-step Real You Incorporated process of personal and small business brand building was awesome. Speaking to thousands of entrepreneurs around the country about putting your passions into action was one of the most rewarding times of my life. And then we sold our business and I found myself out of a job, and pondering my next step. It was probably time to put my own advice to work in my life.

It was time to pursue writing that novel. So of course, I wrote a suspense novel, All The Difference (a novel I eventually self-published). And then, another, called Lines in the Sand. My agent at the time tried to sell them, but gave up. She told me the market was yearning for sweeter women’s fiction with uplifting messages. Messages like the one I convey in Real You Incorporated. And so I wrote Here, Home, Hope—a heart-warming story of a woman overcoming a midlife crisis by making changes in her life. My women’s fiction writing career was born and became increasingly darker with each novel. You are what you are.

When my friend asked me if I’d like to try writing romance, I jumped at the chance. Why not? Of course, my romance veered a bit to the suspense side. What’s in your nature is hard to ignore. In fact, I reworked my original murderer character into a bad boss, recreating Lines in the Sand and turning it into Her Forbidden Love. I’m not kidding. Again, I loved trying my hand in the contemporary romance-writing world. The best part of the experience was the fabulous women authors I have met and I’m proud to call my friends today. I even had the chance to speak at RWA’s national meeting in New York a couple of years ago. My presentation was based on putting the Real You in your author brand, something I believe is vitally important for writers no matter your genre(s). I have a free download on my website, if anyone is interested: www.kairarouda.com/real-you-authors/.

And now, I’m back to my roots with my new novel, Best Day Ever. Ironically, when I first started the story for this one, I was at work on a women’s fiction series with my agent. I had finished book one and we were working on edits when my protagonist Paul Strom popped into my head. I knew I had to tell his story, no matter how dark and edgy it would be in comparison to what I was working on. And it was. Much darker.

I wrote Best Day Ever quickly and surprised my agent with the manuscript. She rejected it, unread, explaining she doesn’t like reading dark male protagonists. I tucked Best Day Ever away and went to work on the edits for book 1 in a women’s fiction series. That is until I was speaking with my friend, Andrea Katz, who runs the author and reader Facebook group, Great Thoughts, Great Readers. Andrea told me to send her my new book, despite the rejection. She stayed up all night reading and told me to submit again. Without her encouragement, I’m sure I’d be working on book three of the women’s fiction series. Not that I don’t love that world, too. I do.

But dark, edgy women’s fiction, psychological suspense is my love. My agent stayed up all night reading Best Day Ever. She loved it. And now, here we are. I hope readers agree that this is my sweet (dark) spot. I know I feel like each step of my varied writing career has been additive. I’ve learned from each genre, each novel, each writer friend and each person I’ve met. As a writer, it’s been great to – hopefully – inspire readers through my women’s fiction and to make them happy with a happily ever after romance story. And, if I’ve done my job, scare them just a bit with my domestic suspense.




WHAT WAS THE FIRST SUSPENSE NOVEL YOU READ? TELL US or leave a comment on the blog below or on our Facebook page and you’ll be entered to win a copy of BEST DAY EVER! (US entrants only, please.)



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