Once upon a time, someone very wise asked me, “Have you read any books by Kristan Higgins?”
I had not, but I decided to give one a try. Two pages in and I was hooked. Sweet, funny and believable heroines – the kind of women I would invite over for wine and movie night. And sexy, silly, delicious heroes. The type of men you think your significant other COULD be, if only you’d never seen him in ratty sweatpants. Today I have the privilege of interviewing Ms. Higgins for this edition of “Interview an Awesome Author.” Kristan is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author and two-time RWA RITA® award winner. She gives a great acceptance speech, and is as charming in person as her characters are on the page. As she says on her website, “I love to write books about relationships, since the search for love and security is one of the driving forces of life. My characters are regular people, folks like us, and I hope to give them a big, memorable love story rich with family, pets, food and laughter
TB: Kristan, thanks so much for visiting today! Please tell us, how long have you been writing and at what point in your career did you feel confident in calling yourself an author?
KH: Oh, do we get to be confident? Something to look forward to! I jest…I think writer is a better word than author, and I distinguish between the two. The author gets to go out and dress up and wear sparkly shoes, whereas the writer sits in a worn out chair with her dog and types and mutters. I’ve been writing for nine, almost ten years. But whereas I acknowledge that I have a career as a writer, and eight books behind me, I never take for granted that I’m entitled to this job. I have to earn it with every book.
TB: I’ve seen you in the fancy dress and sparkly shoes. You clean up nice! But I’m glad to know you’re not wearing high heels at home. Who was the first person you contacted when you learned your first book had been purchased by a publisher? What was that conversation like?
KH: You know what? I was alone when I got the call from my agent, and when I hung up, the first person I “told” was my dad, who died many years ago. Something along the lines of, “Hey, Daddy, guess what? I’m gonna be a writer.” He always had such faith in all three of us kids, and he was a wonderful storyteller. My first book is dedicated to him, because without his example, I don’t know that I would’ve believed in myself to even start the process.
TB: That is wonderful, and I can relate. My father passed away when I was fourteen, but I remember him telling me when I was little that I should just make up stories in my head until I feel asleep. Of course that sort of backfired because now I have to get up and write those ideas down! What a five things (not including live beings) would you take with you to live on a deserted island for one year. Let’s say this island has food, shelter and plumbing! Like St. Thomas.
KH: Oh, I like this island! Let’s also assume it has Wi-Fi, okay? So I’d take my Kindle (of course!); a hard copy of Gone With the Wind; sunscreen (ever practical); a radio that got Yankee games; and a set of paints, because I’ve always wanted to try painting.
TB: That’s funny, because the very first book I loaded onto my Kindle was Gone With the Wind! It is sort of irreverent to read it that way, isn’t it? The hard cover is always my favorite choice. What are a few ‘myths’ about being a writer that you’d like to dispel?
KH: That if you’re a writer, books just come to you in some magical fashion because you’ve been tapped by the muse. I have no muse. I never have. Muses avoid me. I must not pay well enough. Also, the notion that I can just “crank ’em out.” Writing is not like factory work, whether you write six books a year, like Nora Roberts or James Patterson, or whether you write one book in six years. It takes a lot of heart and soul-searching and thought.
TB: There you go, changing my life again. I’ve spent a lot of time waiting for my muse to come back. Now you’re telling me I have to just sit down and write using my own imagination? Okay, I’m kind of kidding. But it is a relief to know that veteran writers still have to push and struggle a bit. Not that I want you to have to work harder! It’s just good to know that the secret formula is perseverance – and talent, of course! Tell me something most people don’t know about you and would be surprised to learn.
KH: I dream about the dead a lot. Family, friends, my accountant’s wife…they seem to visit me when I’m asleep. They’re always lovely dreams, too.
TB: I have some recurrent themes in my dreams, too. Richard Dreyfuss. He shows up a lot. And folding chairs. I think maybe I should see somebody about that. Anyway, what is your all-time favorite movie and why?
KH: Hmm. I have a lot of favorite movies: The Natural was the one that leaped to mind first, so I’ll go with that one today. Baseball, the aging hero, luscious backstory…the moment when Bobby picks out the new bat for Roy’s last chance to win the game for his team (New York, of course). I’m usually sobbing at that point. Did you know the short story ended differently? This is, in my opinion, one of those times when the movie is better than the book.
TB: Your love of baseball is well documented. I see on your website that your nickname is Mrs. Jeter. I guess I won’t mention that the Detroit Tigers just beat the Yankees….. (Is it in poor taste to taunt one’s interviewee?? Sorry, I’m from Michigan and we don’t get to brag too often!)
Kristan, I can’t wait for the release of UNTIL THERE WAS YOU, October 25, 2011. Best of luck for your continued publishing success (not that you need luck!) and thank you for sharing your time and story with us today.
Learn more about Kristan at http://www.kristanhiggins.com/ (like what type of tiny creature she’s afraid of, and how she met her McIrish husband.) And if you haven’t read one of her books, get thee to the kindle store and load yourself up. You’ll be so glad you did!
29 thoughts on ““Interview an Awesome Author” with the fabulous Kristan Higgins”
Yes, thanks for not mentioning the Tigers. Obviously, my money’s on the Brewers. Go Milkwaukee! And about the Richard Dreyfuss dreams…really, couldn’t you have picked a better celebrity? Gerard Butler? Jake Gyllenhaal? Just throwing names out there…
I know. Richard Dreyfus is always a big disappointment. Where is Daniel Craig when I need him?
I just love your books, Kristan. I am so glad that I discovered them. I look forward to devouring your next book as soon as it comes out. 😀 I am amazed at how fast you can write a book. 🙂 Best to you on your upcoming release!
I’ve got to look for more of your books, Kristan. I’m more of a historical reader, but I tried Too Good to Be True on a recommendation and loved it. And it taught me something about writing, too. I like your idea of a writer. That’s me, sitting here in my bathrobe with my laptop in my lap, a cup of tea on the sofa beside me and my bare feet on the coffee table.
Four words for you, Ash! “Catch of the Day.” Malone is yummy with a capital Ya.
Kristan, congratulations on your upcoming release! I love your comments on muses. I have put out help-wanted ads for a muse, and I’ve yet to be taken up on it, though I can’t deny a few angels have patted me on the head in the process. Still…
I must confess I don’t usually read contemps, but I clicked to your site, read your excerpt, and MUST. DOWNLOAD. So thank you for writing such a wonderful story! It’s now pre-ordered!
Do it, Jenn! You’ll be so glad you did! You will laugh, cry, and sigh. And then you’ll go and download another one.
YAY Kristan! I always love getting to pick up a new book by you – You 100000% deserve to be confident at this point (Look how opinionated i am …but in a good way!) 🙂
Bria, I love your opinions (even when I disagree – about Gerard Butler). 🙂
I adore ALL of your books. The witty banter between characters, the unlikely situations, and the happy endings…what’s more to love? I think you have such a great style in writing and absolutely cannot wait to be entertained with your next novel. I live for them! 🙂
I don’t want to post any spoilers here, but one of the funniest (imho) scenes is when the heroine is out on a blind date and discovers that the guy’s hobby is making jewelry – out of human hair…..
A Kristan Higgins book is always a must read. Great characters to fall in love with. Get this one, folks!
I love your books, Kristan. So do my daughters. You’re on my keeper shelf. I’m curious if you work with critique partners or solo. Who reads your book when you’re stuck or when you’ve done all you can with it? So looking forward to Until There was You!
I used to have a WONDERFUL crit partner, but her life took a different turn. We’re still great friends, but now the first person to read my manuscript is my agent. I do have some fabulous plotting friends, though (hear that, Plot Monkeys?). So when I say, “How about if she slips into a coma?” they talk me down…
Must confess…I just teared up at your dad being the first person you told when you sold your first book. That’s the best story! And so very “you”, I think 🙂
And I second Tracy wholeheartedly on Malone The Loner! In a way, he’s a completely unconventional hero, and yet…yuh-uh-uhm! Of all your heroes, he was my favorite (although Nick is a cloooooose second. I love me a man who can get good and sarcastic, hah).
So excited for the new book– October 25th is my anniversary. I think my husband just bought me your book as my gift 🙂
Tracy, great questions. Like you, I’ve never read Kristan’s books. You can be sure I’ll look for them now! Kristan, I love your answer about the “muse”. We can waste a lot of time waiting for her to show up instead of putting seat in chair & fingers on the keyboard.
It’s just like Kristin Higgins to make me laugh and cry all within the same 15 minutes. I’ll pipe up for my favorite hero… the *young* Nick… so confident in their love.
Can’t wait for Until There Was You
Very nice interview! It’s articles like these, and well, Facebook – that has me realizing you all are real people! Which is not to say I wouldn’t be a babbling idiot if I were to ever meet one of you all- ( I’m sure you’re familiar with the type)- but it’s really fun to “meet” you this way so I make less of a fool of myself! :0)
Babble away! Can’t think of a nicer compliment! Then you’ll calm down and we’ll become old friends…
Tracy, An Awesome Author she is. I cannot tell you how blessed I was to stumble upon her books. I discovered Kristan by searching for books alphabetically in the Romance section at my library and ever since I reached H- Higgins-, I think I picked Just One Of The Guys, and instantly fell in love with her work. I was hooked. Since then I had to read all her novels. After reading The Next Best Thing, I read in the front pages that she likes to hear from us, so I went ahead and sent her an email. She wrote back the next morning and I couldn’t believe it! With that I was so touched that I can proudly say I became her BFF (Biggest Fan Forever)! Now I sincerely tell you, it’s been hard for me to enjoy other authors because they’re not Kristan, some come very close, which I am glad to say upon her recommendations, but she is so special! I know I’m not the only one who feels this way because I’m always nodding at the comments her fans leave on FB which express my same thoughts. I hope to meet Kristan one day, it would be an honor and probably be like we’ve known each other forever! Not only is she an amazing author, but an awesome person, too.
BTW there should be a warning note saying her books can be addictive ;D. Her novels are among the few I can reread over and over and never tire. Her books always in the end leave me with a happy feeling. I think that’s what makes her work so special. So to anyone that hasn’t read her books, you don’t know what you’ve been missing! Go ahead, make your day! ;D
Thanks for the endorsement, Lorelei! xox
I must confess, I haven’t read your books before, but I have two of your books on my TBR pile because my (smart!) critique partners keep badgering me to pick them up. I definitely will now! Thanks for a great interview, Tracy, as always. Good luck on your upcoming releast, Kristin. I think I might be adding that to my TBR pile as well!
And yummy Malone the Loner?? I’m starting with him. 😉
Great interview and so much fun. Can’t wait for the new book! I’m actually reading an older one right now, “Too Good to be True.” Oh man, sooo good and sooo emotional!
What a fun interview. Kristin – love your books! But I really love that you give back to the writing community. I remember jumping up and down after I discovered that you’d judged a contest I’d entered. (Comments were spot on.)
You also sent a note when I finaled in the Golden Heart. Thanks for all you do. You are a wonderful representative for the Romance Writing Community!
Hey, I LIKE Richard Dreyfus!
Kristin, I confess to being one of those sad souls who has not read you, but now I must immediately go and correct that terrible oversight.
Thank you kindly, madame!
Thank you so much, guys! Man, what a nice thing to come back to after all day in a car! Granted, I’m in the Finger Lakes of NY, touring wineries, so okay, okay, it’s been a great day…made even better by all your kind words!
I have to say, I think Maloner the Loner and Nick may have strong competition from Liam Murphy in UNTIL THERE WAS YOU. I still have a huge crush on that guy…very distracting.
Oh, heck. I forgot about Liam (and the fact that I did is a testament to the fact that I haven’t had enough coffee). Can I just have a smorgasbord of Higgins heroes and be done with it? 😉
What a great interview! I’m looking forward to reading this book. . .after I track down this Malone guy. 🙂