5 Questions With: Kaira Rouda, Author of ‘The Favorite Daughter’

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[Note From Frolic: Our resident YA expert Aurora Dominguez got the opportunity to interview author Kaira Rouda and ask her five(ish) questions. Kaira’s novel ‘The Favorite Daughter is out now!]

Aurora: What was your inspiration behind your most recent novel, The Favorite Daughter?

Kaira: The notion of the perfect mother. We project so much onto the role in our society. I wondered what it would be like to create a character who looked like the perfect vision of a good mom, but who, on the inside, was perhaps the opposite. Jane Harris is the result.

What character do you most relate to and why?

I love Betsy, Jane Harris’s youngest daughter. My daughter, Avery, a screenwriter and producer, reviewed the dialog with me to make sure I got her right. Betsy is a high school senior who is just counting down the days until she graduates. She is itching to be free, and just biding her time. I hope you can feel her struggle, her quiet strength, as you read the story.

Why do you feel domestic suspense books are so popular and have such a voice right now?

I think it’s the glimpse these books give us below the surface of seemingly perfect lives. At least, that’s what I love about domestic suspense: The cracks in the façade, the psychological warfare.

Please describe the content of your latest book and what can readers expect from the read.

Hopefully readers will be entertained by Jane Harris. She’s the perfect mother, living in a gated community in Southern California. It’s a place that seems too beautiful to be touched by sadness. But exactly one year ago, Jane’s oldest daughter, Mary, died in a tragic accident and Jane has been grief-stricken ever since. Lost in a haze of anti-depressants, she’s barely even left the house. Now that’s all about to change.

It’s time for Jane to reclaim her life and her family. Jane’s husband, David, has planned a memorial service for Mary and three days later, their youngest daughter, Betsy, graduates high school. Yet as Jane reemerges into the world, it’s clear her family has changed without her. Her husband has been working long days—and nights—at the office. Her daughter seems distant, even secretive. And her beloved Mary was always such a good girl—dutiful and loving. But does someone know more about Mary, and about her last day, than they’ve revealed?

The bonds between mothers and daughters, and husbands and wives should never be broken. But you never know how far someone will go to keep a family together…

What’s next for you in the book world?

I’m hard at work on my next manuscript. It’s also domestic suspense.

What’s your favorite writing method that you follow for inspiration?

Inspiration is all around us. I just need the time and space to let my imagination flow. I love it when I wake up in the middle of the night with a great idea for a story. I try to keep a pen and notepad next to my bed, hoping for the muse.

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