Kaira Rouda is the author of the new novel The Favorite Daughter. Her other novels include Best Day Ever. She lives in Southern California.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for The Favorite Daughter, and for your character Jane?
A: Much like Paul in Best Day Ever, Jane popped into my head one sunny day. And the rest of the book flowed from there. I’m intrigued by what goes on behind closed doors of seemingly perfect lives. And, although her family has been struck by tragedy, Jane still believes it’s almost perfect, and can be again.
Q: You write of narcissists, "Although it may seem terrifying to some that I enjoy getting inside the heads of these types of people in my most recent novels, to me, it's cathartic." Why is that?
A: No idea. I suppose once you know these personalities exist, and you see them in action in the world, causing commotion wherever they go, a good way to try to understand them better is through writing about them. That’s my theory.
Q: The novel is set in Orange County, California. How important is setting to you in your writing?
A: Setting is everything to me. I cannot write a good story without knowing the place where it is happening. It’s another, important, character in the book.
Q: Who are some of your favorite authors?
A: I have so many but I’d say if pressed to narrow the list: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Shirley Jackson, Eudora Welty.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: My next novel!
Q: Anything else we should know?
A: That’s it. Thank you so much for reading The Favorite Daughter and for having me here.
--Interview with Deborah Kalb. Here's a previous Q&A with Kaira Rouda.