From The Real Housewives of Toronto to Novelist: Kara Alloway Shares Her Story of Ingenuity & Hope
Kara Alloway is the self-proclaimed protagonist of the Real Housewives of Toronto and a former international fashion and beauty editor, television and radio host, reality TV show producer and author of her new novel, Most Hated.
When Kara isn't busy writing, you can find her working out, talking fashion, or creating, listening to, and sharing stories...like this one!
Thanks for sitting down with Confidence Daily! Tell us about what you do.
I was the anti-hero on The Toronto franchise of The Real Housewives, and I produce reality tv content. I’m a wife and mother of three boys, and I care for my mom whose age I cannot tell you or she’d kill me! I am also an author of my debut novel, MOST HATED (releasing May 30th but available now for pre-order on Amazon and Barnes & Noble).
How do you cultivate confidence?
Confidence for me is all about being your most authentic self--owning your past mistakes, being humble about your insecurities, and knowing what your unique purpose might be. When you realize your purpose, you can really embrace confidence. Passions change throughout our lifespans but purpose - that remains the same.
What does being a woman-owned business mean to you?
As a female voice, there’s a great deal of responsibility. I cannot help but think I’m writing and creating as an ambassador for all women. Especially with authors, a win for one of us is a win for the team. That’s somewhat contrary to the dyadic way in which we raise girls, but I hope to see that change.
How are you making a difference through your work?
I’d like to think I’m entertaining people first and foremost, but beyond that, my fun, beach-read novel has layers. I hope I’m opening discussions and conversations among women who have been mistreated by other women. It’s both baffling but relatable at the same time. My story unpacks the idea of misplaced misogyny as seen from the participants of female-centric reality tv shows and examines how that occurrence can be relevant for women in their everyday lives as mothers, neighbors, co-workers, and friends.
We don’t speak about it very much because it’s somewhat like friendly fire. However, as relational creatures, women want to know that their experiences are not unique to themselves. We need to change the way we are raising our girls since these behaviours start at age eight in the playground. We need to encourage the truth-tellers and the ones brave enough to be different and celebrate those differences.
You went from Real Housewife to novelist. Did you always have a passion for writing?
I always have loved to tell and listen to stories. I didn’t realize I wanted to write, but when I was working at a posh Beverly Hills restaurant, and organizing splashy parties for Condé Nast, I had a chance to get my foot in the magazine world door and I pursued that. I applied and was hired to work at ALLURE magazine.
It was a dream job and fanned the flames for my writing. I met my 9th grade English teacher many years back and when I told her I was writing she said, “oh I never saw you as a writer.” I share that because you can never let others shape or constrain where you want to go. I heard Margaret Atwood say something similar about one of her high school teachers in an interview and I chuckled.
Okay, coming up with a great idea for a book and actually taking the time to write one are two very different things. How did you know it was time to get started?
I knew I had a novel in me, and because of the female-centric world I had grown up in (all girls in my family, mostly female cousins, all girls’ schools), I knew it would be surrounding female relationships and friendships. It wasn’t until I had completed Toronto Housewives that I landed on a backdrop for the story I wanted to share. In terms of producing, I was in the right place at the right time and was brave enough to ask for what I wanted.
The road to success can sometimes feel like a hard and isolating journey. How do you stay confident along the way?
Knowing your purpose and how that relates to what you are doing is key. I am an encourager. That’s my purpose. Realizing that, I have confidence in what I do to fulfill that purpose because it’s so much bigger than one isolated task. You must look at the big picture, and when you get discouraged you must stop and take a brief glance in the rear-view mirror to see how far you’ve come. But like driving, only a brief glance or you will crash and veer off-course.
If you had to list three traits or attributes that have been pivotal for your success, what would they be?
Tenacity. I am like a dog with a bone sometimes. I will not give up.
Ingenuity. Think outside the box. Think how you can stand out and be different.
Gratitude. This is huge. I have had so much kindness directed my way and I always take time to show and express my gratitude. This is key to moving forward and increasing your productivity and happiness in your career.
Becoming a best-selling novelist is no easy feat. Are there any life lessons that helped pave your way?
Stay humble. Be grateful to everyone who helps you and let them know that gratitude. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want, but be prepared for many “no's.”Just don’t take those nos personally.
Understand the assignment and don’t be afraid to ask questions