Hi Kristan! Thank you for taking the time to be here with us today at Love Romances and More!
You’re very welcome! It’s lovely to be here.
Let’s start with an easy one--how long have you been writing?
Eleven years. I started when my son began nursery school. He’s in high school now.
What inspired you to pick up the pen (or sit down at the computer) one day and create characters that capture the imagination?
I guess I was always the type of person who daydreamed a lot, especially in relation to books. I wanted to be on a quest with Gandalf or married to Rhett Butler. I finally committed to writing fiction when two things happened: I couldn’t find a romance that dealt with us regular types; and I wanted an excuse to avoid the heaping mounds of laundry that spilled out of the laundry basket. “I’m writing a book” sounded so much better than “And look at these towels I folded!”
In some respects, I wrote to be with grown-ups; I was a stay-at-home mom, which I loved with all my heart. But stacking blocks and reading Amanda Pig: Schoolgirl only gets you so far with mental stimulation.
Most people envision an author’s life as being really glamorous. What’s your take on this?
Oh, definitely. That is, if by glamorous, you mean cleaning up dog barf and having bedhead most of the time. ; ) No, I wouldn’t say I have a glamorous life. I occasionally go to a glamorous event, like when my publisher throws a party at a conference. But most of my time is spent alone with just the dog for company. I talk out loud a lot. Sometimes I lie on the floor because I think better there. I probably resemble an insane person more than a glamorous author.
What is the most glamorous thing you’ve done as an author?
This summer, I was a keynote speaker at a big conference, so the organizers put me up in a suite and sent up a beautiful fruit plate and a jug of water with mint leaves in it. I found that very exotic. A friend sent me a bottle of champagne. That was wicked glam, I admit, and I walked around the suite thinking, “Holy guacamole, I can’t believe this is me.” So yes, there are glamorous moments. But there are far more of the everyday types, in which I juggle writing, housework, going to the kids’ events and despairing over what to make for dinner. Just like everyone else.
Your latest book, THE PERFECT MATCH you have several different layers of perfect matches – Goggy and Pops, Faith and Levi, Honor and Tom and then some others that we see hints of during the story and are revealed at the end. Did you set out to create a number of perfect matches when you began writing this story?
That’s an interesting observation! I guess the answer is no, I didn’t intend to do that. Faith and Levi have their own story in THE BEST MAN, and since Faith is Honor’s sister, of course she shows up as a happily married person. I wouldn’t call Goggy and Pops a perfect couple, though. They’re an old-school type—they got married because each met certain criteria for the other.
What I wanted to explore in this book was what makes a solid relationship. We put so much emphasis on chemistry and The One and cute-meets. Online dating tries to match us with people who share the same interests and beliefs via a computer program…but what I wanted to write about with Tom and Honor was a little different. Can two people make a good relationship just because they’re committed to it? Does love come from respect and fondness, or is it that thunderbolt of physical attraction, or do you need a combination of all those?
I will admit I had a hard time warming up to Tom because of his rather mean attitude toward Honor along with his drinking early on in the book. Honor saw something more in him. Do you think that reflects how relationships are or how they should be?
Absolutely. The point of any novel is character transformation. To me, Tom was never mean; he deliberately sabotages his first meeting with Honor because he actually wants better for her than what is essentially an arranged marriage. The essence of genuine love is when one person can see the other’s true self…especially when others might not. Honor sees through Tom’s act (eventually) and calls him on it. That guy has a heart of gold. As for the scene where he has too much to drink, well…first of all, he’s British. ; ) And secondly, he’s nervous. Using someone is easier in theory than in reality, so he tries to give Honor a reason not to go through with their arrangement, no matter how much he needs it.
Fifty years from now, will Tom and Honor be together?
If you could be a character in any of your books who would it be and why?
I’d say Blue, the Golden retriever in THE BEST MAN. He’s had a great life and is spoiled rotten. Spike, Honor’s little Yorkie, has it made, too, but she suffered early on. I’m a wimp. I don’t want to suffer.
Looking over the past year, what has been the best moment for you in your writing career?
Well, there have been quite a few. Giving the luncheon speech at the Romance Writers of America National Conference was an incredible privilege. Plotting with my BFF Jill Shalvis is always wicked fun. I went away with some other writer friends this past weekend, and we had a blast. But truly, the best moments are those spent alone in my office, when a character clicks into focus, and I look at the clock and realize hours have passed.
What do you enjoy doing with your spare time, your non-writing time?
I read, watch movies, go to boxing lessons so my trainer can abuse me, ride my bike, goof around with my kids and husband. I’m a very talented window shopper. I like to go to new places and just stroll around.
If you could invite any famous person, dead or alive, for lunch, who would it be and what would you eat?
Abe Lincoln. We’d have cheeseburgers. I think he’d be a cheeseburger kind of guy.
You’ve gotten the call, a Hollywood producer is going to bring the PREFECT MATCH series to the big screen. Who do you cast in the major roles?
Tom Hardy was my visual, ah, inspiration for the character of Tom, so definitely him. Maybe Laura Linney for Honor?
And….they want you to play a cameo – who will you be?
I’d have to go with Pru, the over-sexed older sister.
What are you working on now? Can you tell us a little about it?
Sure! Jack, the long-suffering brother in the Holland family, gets his own story. He’s struggling a little bit when we meet him—there was an accident, and it has unexpected ramifications on Jack. And his ex-wife wants a reconciliation after leaving him for another man. So when a certain character you’ve already met needs a date for a wedding, Jack says sure. It’d be good to get out of town. ; )
Thanks so much for having me today!
Called “the master of small-town romance,” by Romantic Times, Kristan Higgins is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author and two-time winner of the Romance Writers of America RITA© Award. Her novels have received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Kirkus and Romantic Times. Though she originally wanted to be a Jedi knight and/or pediatrician, Kristan worked in advertising before she became a stay-at-home mom and started writing fiction during her children’s naptimes.
Kristan lives in her hometown in Connecticut with her heroic firefighter husband and two lovely children who sport long eyelashes and advanced vocabularies. The family shares their home with a hyperactive mutt named Willow and an occasionally affectionate feline named Huck. Kristan’s hobbies include baking, eating, boxing (true) and daydreaming about Robert Downey Jr. Visit her at www.kristanhiggins.com or www.Facebook.com/KristanHigginsBooks.