Happy Launch to the amazingly talented, Kaira Rouda! Her debut novel, Here, Home, Hope is a must-read for any woman who's ever thought about changing her life. Which, let's admit it, is pretty much all of us! We'll admit that we've each had a "mid-life" crisis meltdown (or five!). So when we read, Here, Home, Hope, we were seriously LOL'ing (and you know it takes a lot to get a real LOL out of us!) as we thought about our own lives.
So Liz was beyond honored to be asked by Kaira to blurb for her book.
And here it is... (so official!)
“A must read for anyone who's had their own mid-life crisis, Here, Home, Hope reminds us that it's never too late to reinvent ourselves.” – Liz Fenton, author of I'll Have Who She's Having, The D Word and creator of Chick Lit is not Dead
Synopsis of Here, Home, Hope: 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.
And if you leave a comment here, you could be one of the five lucky winners of a copy of Here Home Hope! We'll randomly select the winners after 6pm EST on Wednesday, May 4.
1. How many agents did you query before you found "the one"?
Yes, well that is the question. I looked back at my files and I would guess, since 1997 – the year I first started querying literary agents – that I’ve approached/pitched about 300. That’s funny, actually. And sort of depressing if you let it be.
My first agent very much believed in my manuscript, WARNING. We met at the Antioch Writer’s Workshop and we had it sold, too, to a huge editor at a big house. The famous editor actually called me. I’ll never forget it. She loved the book. The next day, she died in a taxi in Manhattan. I didn’t have a contract.
My second agent was wonderful. I found her because she was in the same literary agency as my nonfiction agent who represented REAL YOU INCORPORATED. My second agent helped me understand what was selling, what the basic structure should be. She helped me draft the very first version of what is now HERE, HOME, HOPE. But she was, as all agents are, extremely busy. When we didn’t get a hit, she needed to move on.
So, the answer is, I haven’t found the one. Would I love to have a partner to guide my career and to help me through the next book, to help place it and make it better? Absolutely. Will that person come along? I don’t know. I guess it all depends on whether HERE, HOME, HOPE resonates with people – whether readers like it and want to read more. I hope that happens. I hope an agent comes into my life. It’s tough going it alone, it really is. But, given the choice of going it alone, or never going for it – I decided to go for it.
I’d love “the one” beside me.
2. What was your rock bottom moment during the process?
December 13, 2010. I’m not kidding. I realized it is all up to me. I’m publishing my first novel with a small press and I don’t have an agent. I don’t have a big six publisher. For the first time in my life I don’t have a full time job. I have four kids – one in college and one about to go. I had that ….oh my goodness what are you thinking moment. It comes back, quite often. But I’m trying to climb out of the bottom.
I know I’ve written the best novel I can. I’ve done the best I can. I’ve partnered with the best publisher, publicist, event planner and support folks I can. My family is behind me. I have hope.
3. How long did it take to write your book?
About 2 ½ years.
4. What did you do to celebrate your book deal?
With a bottle of champagne and a walk on the beach with my husband, my biggest fan.
5. Knowing what you know now about publishing your first novel, what would you have done differently?
I truly believe things happen when you’re ready; if I had been ready sooner, I would have published the novel sooner. That said, I wish I would have had the confidence to publish the novel sooner.
6. Who is your writer crush?
Jenna Blum. She’s an adventurer, an author of amazing range and a great supporter of other authors. That said, I’m also enamored with Eleanor Brown, Beth Hoffman and, from a very far distance, Jennifer Weiner and Jodi Picoult who stick up for women writers whenever they can. Love that!
7. What's your biggest distraction or vice while writing?
My new puppy, Tucker. I cannot stop smiling at him. He is a living, walking Teddy Bear.
8. GNO drink of choice?
Dirty martini. Stuffed olives. But most of the time, it’s Chardonnay. California, preferably.
9. Favorite trashy TV show?
Housewives of ______ fill in the blank. I am fascinated, but not usually remembering to tune in. When I do, love it. I do have Bachelor/Bachelorette moments, too.
10. What celeb would you love to have a Twitter war with?
Whichever celeb happens to be denigrating women at the moment…pick one. There are many. That sounds snarky, but it drives me crazy. We need to stand up for ourselves, for other women. Stick together.
Thanks so much for having me here!
You're welcome, Kaira! xoxo, L&L