Kristan: Thank you so much for having me! Let’s see: Kristan Higgins is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author as well as the two-time winner of the Romance Writers of America RITA Award, which thrills her to her very toes! She is the author of seven romantic comedies which have received lovely reviews and many awards. Kristan lives in Connecticut with her very nice firefighter husband, two fantastic kids, the cutest dog you’ve ever seen, and a cat. Hobbies include baking, eating out and stalking whichever celebrity male reminds her most of the hero in whichever book she’s writing at the moment.
Jen: Tell us about your books and where they can be purchased.
Kristan: Well, recently reissued was my first book, FOOLS RUSH IN, which is so dear to my heart…writing a first book is such an innocent, hopeful time, you know? This one is about Millie Barnes, who’s been obsessed with Joe Carpenter much of her life. She’s back on Cape Cod now, a brand-new doctor, and determined to catch Joe’s attention. Whether or not Joe is everything Millie’s imagination had conjured…that’s another story.
My most recently release is MY ONE AND ONLY, and this book was really fun to write because it involved a divorced couple who reunites at a destination wedding, then finds themselves trapped together on a road trip. Also very present in the car is their past, and what’s supposed to be a one-day trip turns into two…then three…as Nick and Harper fight with their mutual attraction as well as the old insecurities and issues that drove them apart.
I’ve got another book coming out in November—UNTIL THERE WAS YOU, which contains something new for me…the hero’s point of view. Liam Murphy, once the hottest bad-boy of Bellsford, New Hampshire, returns after almost twenty years, now a widower and father of a teenager girl, to find that his past isn’t quite as distant here as it was when he lived in California. Especially not to Posey Osterhagen, who worshipped him from afar way back when and, though he never laid a hand on her, still managed to have her young heart crushed by Liam.
All my books are available on Amazon, B&N, Books-a-Million and through indie bookstores. Recently, a fan wrote that she’d seen MY ONE AND ONLY in a Rite-Aid in a tiny little town in Texas, right next to the Pajama Jeans. It was a proud moment!
Kristan: I was always a writer of some kind: PR, advertising, research. I started writing fiction when my kids were tiny. It was a way to do something more than think about diapers and naps, you know? I got the call when my daughter was in kindergarten; I’d found an agent pretty quickly, and she called to tell me HQN had made a multi-book offer. I told my daughter, “Mommy’s book sold!” and she said, “That’s nice. What’s for snack?”
Kristan: My mom recently retired as an editor at a small, nonfiction publishing company. My late father was fantastic storyteller…when we were little, he delighted in telling absolutely terrifying stories till we begged him to stop. People often ask if I’m related to Mary Higgins Clark or Jack Higgins. Alas, no.
Kristan: Seltzer water and Hershey nuggets with almonds. And quiet.
Kristan: I write things down on napkins or call myself and leave a message. My husband is pretty great about remembering what I blather about; he really likes to hear the ideas in their formative stages.
Kristan: Well, I did make the switch from first person to third, though I don’t want to rule out another first person book, since I love that voice. But for UNTIL THERE WAS YOU and SOMEBODY TO LOVE, I felt like the hero had too much to say. I was surprised at how much fun it was to write from a guy’s point of view, think about how a guy would see an issue vs. the female perspective I’ve always focused on. I really enjoyed that.
Kristan: My editor, Keyren Gerlach, and I are a great team, we both think. She really understands what I want to do accomplish in a book. When I get a little too zany, she very gently pulls me back from the edge, but she has a lot of faith in my instincts, too. In a lot of ways, my books aren’t “typical” romances…they blur the line between women’s fiction and romance, they’re sexy without showing sex, they have a lot of emotional honesty, in that some serious soul-searching is required before they get a happy ending. My editor and the entire company has really embraced that.
Kristan: When I was first writing that book, I dreamed that Robert Downey Jr. was Nick. Worked for me! For Harper, I could see Drew Barrymore, maybe, because she’s so dang beautiful and also such a talented actress; I think she could pull off both sides of Harper—the bad-ass divorce attorney and the kid whose mother abandoned her.
Kristan: I wish I had a separate life in which I could read all the livelong day. I have a zillion favorite authors: Jill Shalvis, Susan Andersen (I’m reading Playing Dirty right now), Robyn Carr, Susan Mallery, Sherry Thomas, Eloisa James, Cindy Gerard. Outside of romance, I love Stephen King, Elizabeth Strout and Elinor Lipman.
Kristan: The most interesting was “I can’t believe God hasn’t struck you dead” regarding TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, in which the heroine’s sister swears very creatively. But the most meaningful was from a young woman who was in an abusive relationship and read ALL I EVER WANTED. She said that after reading that book, she left her boyfriend, because “your books showed me what love was supposed to be like, and what I deserve.” I have never felt more electrified or humbled by a fan letter. Burst into tears upon reading that, let me tell you.
Kristan: Well, UNTIL THERE WAS YOU comes out pretty soon; I’m working on SOMEBODY TO LOVE, and when that’s done, I think I’m going to take a stab at a series.
Kristan: Sure! What is an element of a book that you absolutely love, and is there an element that’s an automatic turn-off (for example, for me, it’d be a story about a kidnapping. I just can’t read anything where kids are in danger. Maybe when my bunnies are all grown up, I’ll feel differently).
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