Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Chat With Kristan Higgins

Love Romances and More Q&A with Kristan Higgins
Thanks for having me, Love Romances!

What started your interest in writing?

Reading! But then the more I read (and I’m talking about as a teenager here), the more I wished the author had done something different. You know…like why weren’t Scarlett and Rhett living happily ever after? Why did Cathy marry Linton when she clearly loved Heathcliff? So I started making up “better” endings (forgive me!)…at least, endings that felt happier. Or, if a writer had written a perfectly wonderful book, I’d get mad that it was over, and think up more scenes for these characters I loved so much.

What is In Your Dreams about?

In Your Dreams is a story about the right people who get together for maybe the wrong reasons. Jack Holland is haunted after a car accident in which he saves four boys…but one isn’t doing so well. Emmaline Neal is still smarting from being dumped by her fiancĂ©. They both see something in each other, but neither is in the best place for a relationship at the moment. What I love about the book is that it deals with things like accepting our limitations, but also acknowledging our greatness. And chocolate. And wine. And cute puppies.

How long did it take you to get your rough draft finished for In Your Dreams?

Oh, I’d say about four months Another two to outline and revise, so from idea to sending it to my editor, six months altogether.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

 I’m always writing! I get a rash if I’m not working on something. But I love doing stuff with my kids (I excel at embarrassing them in public, and also getting them to laugh so hard we’re asked to leave restaurants). McIrish, my sainted husband, and I like to do things like take long drives, ride bikes and eat cheeseburgers. I love to bake and watch baseball (I’m secretly married to Derek Jeter). And I value friendship a lot, too; I make it a point to see my friends and spend time with them, because life would be very stark without friends, I think.

Are any of your characters like you? Do you base any characters on people you know?

Yes to both! All my characters have bits of me in there, because I don’t think I could write them otherwise. But they’re not based on me, if that makes any sense. There are just little raindrops of me sprinkled throughout the characters. And while I do occasionally use an acquaintance or relative to base a character on, by the end of the first draft, they’ve morphed into someone else. 

If a reader hasn't read any of your books before, which one should they start with?

Obviously, I like them all, so that’s a tough question. I’m looking at a poster of THE BEST MAN right now, so I’ll go with that one.

What genres do you write in?

I write romantic comedy/small town contemporary and have an upcoming women’s fiction novel coming out next spring.

Is there anything you will never write about?

Terrorism, I think. Kidnapping, rape, animal abuse. I don’t think I could write about someone who’s lost a child, because that’s just too painful for me to put myself into that mother’s head.

Do you have a favorite quote from your book(s)?

Again, I have quite a few. It’s a mother’s prerogative. For today, it’s from IN YOUR DREAMS, the first line of Chapter 1: Nothing kicked off Emmaline Neal’s weekend like using a Taser. 

 Is there anything you would tell aspiring writers?

Believe in yourself. Work hard. Be ruthless. Don’t give up. Even Nora Roberts was once an unpublished author.

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