You might say Lagunan Kaira Rouda has spent a lifetime reinventing lives – her own as well as others. She moved around during childhood, from the mid-west to points south and west, and she has shifted jobs several times, although not careers. From journalist to copywriter to marketing strategist, entrepreneur and business writer to novelist, she has consistently deployed her talents as a change agent in tune with contemporary women.
You wouldn’t know any of this to look at her. Rouda is a ray of sunshine, with bright blonde hair and a broad smile, and even as she carved her initials on many trees, and raised four children along the way, she has the contagious energy of a high school cheerleader.
Long before she published her first book, “Real You Incorporated: 8 Essential for Women Entrepreneurs,” Rouda was interested in the journey to individuality and this has also infused her three works of fiction. She writes about the force and power of change.
Her own moment of transformation came when the family moved from the mid-west to Malibu, where they first settled in an octagonal house designed by the creator of television’s “Flipper.” “We lived in pie shaped rooms,” she says with a laugh. It was there, liberated from the demands of being a branding guru and manager of a family realty firm, which was acquired at that time by the Warren Buffett/Prudential conglomerate, she finally made the switch to writing fiction, fulfilling a childhood dream. Shortly after publishing the first of three novels, the family migrated to a traditional home in Emerald Bay, a bracket to her childhood summers in Laguna Beach, and here she focuses her time on writing.
The titles of her novels speak to the existential longings of women. “Here Home Hope” was followed by “All the Difference” and both portrayed the best options for mid-life reinvention. The latest, “In the Mirror,” does the same, but with the added layer of facing mortality, as the protagonist plans her going-away party, in effect a reunion of the key players in her life story. The novel offers an opportunity for readers to contemplate what matters most before it’s lost. She actually wrote the book many years ago based on a friend’s battle with breast cancer, a tale sadly still important to tell.
True to her marketing heritage, Rouda uses social media to best advantage, with a slew of Twitter followers from every walk of her life, which she uses to promote her books and her primary agenda to continue to empower women. “We still need to come together,” she says.
“In the Mirror” is available at Laguna Beach Books. Read more at www.kairarouda.com.
Freelance writer Randy Kraft writes book reviews for www.ocinsite.com and is the author of the novel “Colors of the Wheel.” Sadly, this is her final “Minding Our Business” column. Follow her book reviews and writings at www.randykraftwriter.com or Twitter: @ocbookblogger.