There's almost nothing better than discovering a new author. And when I first read
Kelly Mills Johnson is a 39-year-old mother and wife stuck in the rut of her middle-American suburban life. A routine relationship with her lawyer husband, two uber-successful businesswomen for best friends to envy and an all-around predictable existence motivate Kelly to reinvent herself.
In an often-times humorous manner, Kelly begins diving into new projects (armed with Post-it notes and a Things to Change list), revisiting old memories and rediscovering passions. Whether she is taking care of the anorexic teenager dumped on her doorstep, making up with an old high school friend or avoiding the boozy advances of her divorced neighbor, Kelly’s insistence on moving her life in a new direction and finding the perfect blend of home and career is inspiring and entertaining.
So without further adieu, here's Kaira Rouda!
Lisa Steinke: What's the #1 reason someone should read your book?
Kaira Rouda: To smile.
Some books challenge your way of thinking about an historical event. Other books are romance or pure escape. Here, Home, Hope – if I had my wish – would leave a reader smiling, thinking positive things about herself and her life, and a bit enlightened about something in her world. I don’t presume to elevate this story to the level of dramatic or traumatic, but I do think the characters are relevant and the story is enlighteningly warm. Is that a phrase? I love how Beth Hoffman, author of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, described Here, Home, Hope as “witty and uplifting”.
That should equate to a smile.
LS: What are three words that describe your book?
KR: I’ll let Amy Hatvany, author of the upcoming Best Kept Secret, answer that! She
described Here, Home, Hope as “warm, witty and engaging.”.
LS: What's one word to describe how readers will feel when they finish reading your book?
LS: Nook or book?
KR: Both. I love my Nook, but if I could never hold a paper book again, I don’t
know what I’d do. We now have the best of both worlds, right.
LS: If you had to star in a reality show, which one would you choose?
KR: The Voice. I don’t have one, but I would love to do that. The show’s set grabbed me with the judges’ spinning chairs and arbitrary button pushing. I was transfixed. All of those shower-singing practice sessions could be put to good use. (Hey, I can dream!) And I love Christina Aguilera.
LS: What's something your readers don't know about you?
KR: Well, since you now know I love Christina Aguilera, there isn’t much left.
Kidding. I suppose the most perplexing aspect of my personality is my telephone
aversion. I love to talk in person – and I love to type. Telephones drive me
batty. I don’t know what that is. Oh, and I love cheese. Any type, any time.
LS: What book are you reading right now?
KR: I’m so lucky to have received an ARC of Claire Cook’s upcoming Best Staged Plans.
I love it. I’m laughing out loud.
LS: What's the last movie you saw?
KR: The Tourist. It’s all because of Salt. Have you seen that? Because of Salt I am now a huge Anjelina Jolie fan. I loved her in Mr & Mrs Smith. It’s solidified now.
LS: Fill in the blank: When I’m not writing, I’m:
KR: thinking about what I’m going to write next. And if I’m
not doing that, I’m hanging out with my kids, my husband and my dogs and
pinching myself, because I feel so blessed.
LS: Are you working on your next book? Any hints as to what it's about?
KR: Yes. I love this question because I’m bursting with stories – hopefully well told – and my next one is very dear to me. It’s a manuscript I’ve been grooming for quite some time. Hints? It’s set in Grandville, the same suburb that is the setting for Here, Home, Hope. Some of the same characters make appearances in the next story as well, although it isn’t a series and the stories are not dependent upon each other. It’s about one of the most heart-wrenching situations I could ever imagine as a mom. It’s a bit heavier than Here, Home, Hope – but I believe, ultimately, still uplifting.
Kaira's also visiting us over at Chick Lit Is Not Dead. Stop by and leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Here, Home, Hope!