Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Visiting Dignitary Kristan Higgins!

HELLO KRISTAN!

Guys, I met Kristan on the Levy tour a few years ago. Since then she's had great success writing what I consider to be a perfect blend of romance and humor -- with dogs. Please give her a warm welcome. (Shouts and applause inserted here.)

Yay! Thank you, Cie! Happy to be here!

 So, I've got to ask -- WHY DOGS?

Because dogs rule! That’s why! Let’s face it: if our dogs could take on male human form, we’d marry them. They’re loving, faithful, only want to be with us…and if they eat a shoe here or there, hey. Small price to pay.

 Seriously, I’ve been a dog person all my life. NOT having a dog would be weird to me, so my heroines just naturally had pooches. The exception is Lucy from The Next Best Thing; she has a cat named Fat Mikey. And Posey in Until There Was You owns three cats…well, they own her, let’s be honest.

Most people take romance, love and passion very seriously, and I'm sure you do too, but there's definitely humor in all of your books thatI've read. Why do you choose a lighter, funnier approach?

 It’s just part of who I am. I think I can get as emotional as anyone, but life generally puts us in a stew of emotions, rather than doling one out at a time. I think romance novels make readers feel good by delivering on the promise of a happy ending; I want my readers to feel good all the way through, and even better at the happy ending. That being said, if you don’t cry at least once while reading one of my books, I’ll feel a bit disappointed.

 When did you start writing? Was it always your goal/passion, or did you stumble into writing after another career? If so, what did you do before?
 It wasn’t always my passion by a long stretch. Reading was my passion (is my passion). I worked in PR and advertising for about 10 years before I gave writing fiction a try, so I’d always had those muscles in action, as it were. When my kids (now teenagers) were little, I wanted to find something to do that was just for me, as opposed to grinding up homemade baby food or taking the kids to the duck pond. I also wanted to continue to be astay-at-home mommy and somehow contribute to the family finances, so I said, “You know, Higgins, you’ve certainly read enough romance novels in your life. Bet you could write one.” And the rest, as they say, is history.

 It wasn’t easy, of course; nothing worthwhile is. But it was joyful work, so I knew I was onto something right.

 If you were stuck on a desert island with one of your characters, who would it be? Why?

 Oh, lawd have mercy, that’s a tough one! I’m going to have to say my current hero, because I’m totally smitten with him (obsessed is another word). His name is Levi. That’s all you’re gonna get. Okay, okay, I’ll tell you more. Hot, brooding…sleepy blue eyes, reluctant smile, unconventionally heroic. Sigh!

What animal is closest to your personality? (If you were an animal instead of a person, what would you be?)

 I would be the majestic Lone Wolf, Cie, roaming the dark, cold forests of the North—oh, wait, that’s not quite right, is it? How about a giraffe? I’m pretty laid back, like to hang out with others and eat. Giraffes always seem to be eating, so that works for me.

 Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what kind?

 I do, and it’s terrible. I think I have OCD when it comes to music and writing because I listen to one song over and over and over. I do a vast and exhaustive search, usually with the help of my Facebook fans, and try to find a song that suits the mood of the book, or one scene in the book. Once I’ve found it, that’s all I play. In the car, at home, in my office, and if I had to live with myself, I’d kill me. Currently, the song is Us Against the World by Coldplay. I’ve currently played it 224 times on my computer. But I’m only chapter four. And for the record, I have no idea what Chris Martin meant this song to express; I only know what it means to me and this book.

I’ve found that having The Song puts me in the mood to write almost immediately. A Pavlovian response, if you will, and as you know, writing is hard, so I’ll take any help I can get.

Do YOU have any pets?

I certainly do! I have a rescued mutt named Willow, who is tremendously adorable and snuggly. And I am owned by a cat named Huck, whom we adopted from a shelter. I’m a big believer in rescuing and adopting animals. I don’t think I’d ever buy a dog or cat when there are so many in need of homes. Will get off my soapbox now.

What's one bit of advice you'd give to aspiring writers (and is itokay if I post this on the website I share with Cathy?)

Sure!

 My advice to writers is this: believe in yourself, and get over yourself. You CAN become a published author. It’s hard, and you may have a long road in front of you, but if you believe and work toward that goal and do what you need to do, whatever that might be, you can do it! Everyone who really wants it can get it. I truly believe that.

And then the second part—get over yourself. I think being hard on myself is one of the reasons I’ve gotten this far. I don’t think I’m all that, in other words, but I do think I work hard, I feel deeply and I try really, really hard to write a great book. The day I think I’m amazing is the day my career starts to tank.

You have a fairly extensive catalog at this point. Would youcare to share a link or give us a list? What do you have coming out in 2012.

All my books are listed on my website in the bookshelf section. www.kristanhiggins.com, and on my Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/KristanHigginsBooks. My ninth book comes out in April; it’s called SOMEBODY TO LOVE, and readers will see some familiar faces including…yes!…Maloner the Loner. He seems to have a cult devoted to him. At any rate, readers will visit Gideon’s Cove, Maine, once again for a new story in which Malone and Maggie and a bunch of great characters from CATCH OF THE DAY all appear. That epilogue you guys wanted for Maggie and Malone? It’s in there. 
Who are some of your favorite authors, and why?

That’s always a tough question because there are literally about a hundred authors whose work means so much to me. In romance, they’re Eloisa James, Robyn Carr, Jill Shalvis, Rachel Gibson, Sherry Thomas, JuliaQuinn. But I also love Thomas Hardy, Edith Wharton and Stephen King. My taste is eclectic. Sue me.

 What's a fun fact about you that most readers don't know?

Oh, let’s see. I had a horse named Jenny when I was growing up. I was probably thrown at least 100 times (she was a naughty horse), andthis was back in the days when we rode without helmets. Explains a lot, doesn’t it?

 Well, thanks for coming by. I really enjoyed having you here. I'm hoping to run into you at one of the cons sometime soon. Again, thanks.


Thanks, Cie! It’s lovely to visit with you again, even if it’s via the web. Hope to see you soon, too!

72 comments:

*yadkny* said...

Hi Kristan!
I love reading about romance and humor, but I don't think I've read anything with a dog in yet, but I've seen Until There Was You and would love to read it! "if our dogs could take on male human form, we’d marry them"... LOL! How true!

Congrats on your latest Kristan!

yadkny@hotmail.com

Chrisbails said...

Love your books Kristin. congrats on the new release.
I am also a big dog fan. I have 2 large dogs. I have a Mastiff and a Pitbull. Both outdoor dogs and we live in the country and have plenty of room to run.
Would love to win and read this book. Thanks for the chance to win.
christinebails@yahoo.com

Wolf_girl said...

Hiya Kristan!!!
I absolutely love your books! I happened by one at a table where they were giving books away, and I saw yours. OMG I couldn't believe that they had a perfectly good book there. I snatched it up, devoered it in one day and went to the library for more!

I love how you always include dogs in the story and I can certianly tell you that I have had dogs that acted the same way.

I will be waiting for the next book, and saving money for the rest!!

firewolf.dez@gmail.com

Johanna R Jochum said...

I love Kristan Higgins! Her books are awesome I love humor in my books and she has it nailed!I love to read stories with animals in them it shows a softer side to the characters. Thanks for sharing with us a great post today!

evjochum[AT]aol[DOT]com

LadyRed said...

Kristan, I can't say that I've ever read any of your books (yet) but I do have several on my tbb list. I am definitely an animal person myself but unfortunately I can't have any where we are currently living so my husband is quite thankful for that fact (he is not an animal person at all, lol). I appreciate the tips for the aspiring author as I am working on my first book now! Thank you for the interview! greeneyesredhair@gmail.com

Kristan Higgins said...

Thank you, folks (and fellow animal lovers!) My cat is stalking me right now; I'm armed with a squirt bottle...Good luck to everyone on winning the book!

Sue P. said...

Hey, Kristan. It's just so great when you share your thought process ad personal info with us. Makes me feel like I know you somewhat. And I love dogs, too!April is just around the corner, so won't have to wait too long for the new book, which is great.

pennsdog(at)yahoo(dot)com

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