Kaira Rouda is the author of the new psychological suspense novel Best Day Ever. Her other novels include Here, Home, Hope and The Goodbye Year. She spent more than 20 years in the marketing field and created the real estate brand Real Living. She is based in California.
Q: You note that your character Paul in Best Day Ever "popped into my subconscious almost fully formed." What did you think when he appeared there, and how did you decide on what you'd do with him?
A: Honestly, it was both fun and a little terrifying. The interesting thing about Paul is that he told his story, I just wrote it down. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s true. I’m not a plotter, so it’s up to my characters to tell their stories. Paul was happy to oblige.
Q: You write that "we are all unreliable narrators of our personal stories." What do you think the role is of an unreliable narrator in a story like this one?
A: I do think we’re all unreliable, but to varying degrees. Paul is completely and utterly unreliable because his version of who he is as a husband, dad and provider are completely opposite of reality. But, on the flip side, he truly wants the reader to think he’s a great guy. He likes himself a lot and wants you to as well.
Q: Did you know how the novel would end before you started writing it?
A: I didn’t know the ending. But Paul did. Almost. I did have a general sense of what Mia, his wife, would think of allowing her husband to dictate the story and only provide his version of their life together.
Q: How was the title chosen, and what dos it signify for you?
A: I typically start with the title when I’m working on a new novel, and this book was no exception. We often told the kids a version of “make it a great day” or have the “best day ever”. As they were walking out the door to middle school, for example, it might have been a bit optimistic.
There’s an irony in the word “best.” How do you ever know if it is truly the best day, or if tomorrow may be?
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I’m working on another psychological suspense, which will publish in September of 2018. I’m excited about it!
Q: Anything else we should know?
A: I really appreciate readers, and reviewers. Thank you for taking the time to read Best Day Ever, Deborah!
--Interview with Deborah Kalb