While I was preparing for this interview, I cruised on over to Kristan’s website and
stalked her did some research into her life. I clicked on the link to her blog and ended up spending TWO HOURS reading her posts.
I’ve never spent that long on anyone’s blog before – not even mine.
Kristan’s novels have the same effect on me. They suck me in and don’t let go until I’ve sobbed my way through the happily-ever-after. If you like romance featuring strong, quirky families, lots of dogs and even more smooching, Kristan Higgins is your gal.
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions, Kristan, and for giving away a copy of your latest release, UNTIL THERE WAS YOU!
Absolutely my pleasure, Kat!
1. One of countless things I love about your books is the strong sense of community you build. It makes me think that living in a small town must kick city-life’s ass. Is there anything bad about life in a small town (I ask this as someone who’s moving from London to the vast emptiness of the northern Netherlands, so please say no)? How do your communities challenge your characters and help them grow?
Anything bad about a small town? Er, um, of course not! Small town life is perfect! Especially if you love people knowing you perhaps a bit better than you’d like, eating at the same restaurant over and over and over, being viewed as exactly the same person you were when you were thirteen and threw up in math class, no, there’s not one drawback!
I think life in a small town challenges my characters to be more than they were back when they were puking in Mr. Eddy’s class. But there’s an intimacy and caring that’s very evident in a small town; a person gets hurt, and there’s a spaghetti supper to raise money for medical costs.
I do think that’s true in big cities, too; cities are nothing more than a bunch of different neighborhoods, but there’s something about a small town that invites personal interaction.
2. Most of your novels are written in the first person from the heroine’s point of view, but UNTIL THERE WAS YOU is told in third person and lets us see things from the hero’s perspective too. What made you decide to switch things up for this one?
Well, a couple of things. First and most important, Liam just had so much going on that I didn’t think I could do him justice without getting into his head.
Secondly, I wanted to give it a shot just because as a writer, I didn’t want to do the same things over and over. I was curious as to how I’d “translate” into third person…would the humor come through, would the voice be the same?…and I was wicked happy to see that it did. At least, to me.
3. Was it difficult to write from a man’s perspective after being used to showing his thoughts to the reader through the filter of the heroine’s (often skewed) point of view?
It took a little doing, sure. Every time I found myself waxing poetic, I’d say, “Would McIrish (my sainted husband) say it that way?”
I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the wonderful writer Virginia Kantra, who taught a class on deep POV. I’ll paraphrase here, but one of her lines really stuck in my head: would a guy think “her figure was lush and inviting” or would he think, “great rack!”
4. What would you say are the most important elements for a contemporary romance? (I’m taking notes now.)
I think the challenge for us contemp authors is to create a realistic and challenging conflict. After all, they’re two consenting adults, right? You don’t want to have the “big misunderstanding” that could be cleared up with three lines of dialogue. “Oh. You mean you’re straight after all? Okay then, let’s get married.” 🙂
The other element I think readers want is more than just a romance. That’s my opinion, of course, but I think a great contemporary weaves a romance with all the aspects of life we ourselves juggle: family, work, insecurities, past relationships. When I read a book that can balance all that, I know I feel like I got my money’s worth.
5. You write emotionally gripping stories with characters who stay with the reader long after they put your book down. Which of your characters has stayed with you more than any other?
Thank you, Kat! You know, they all drift in and out, visiting me. I love my more difficult heroes, like Malone (from Catch of the Day) and Ian (from All I Ever Wanted)…and Liam, of course. Liam was hard to get over, let me tell you.
Tell us all about UNTIL THERE WAS YOU.
Liam Murphy once roamed the halls of Bellsford High, breaking hearts left and right until he found The One. She was NOT Posey Osterhagen, who spent two years worshipping Liam from afar.
Now, 18 years later, Liam’s back now a widower and the father of a teenage girl, and he has the same effect on Posey as he did back in high school. On some levels, he seems the same—still smokin’ hot, still fighting off the women. On the other, he’s showing another side, too.
Posey can’t help wonder if he’s the careless bad boy who unknowingly broke her heart back then, or if that secret side she thought she once saw might have some merit, too.
Kristan’s giving away a copy of UNTIL THERE WAS YOU to one lucky person. Leave a comment by Monday, November 14 to enter!
I’m loving the advice here. I’ve heard nothing but praise for Ms. Higgin’s writing and was fortunate to be in the room when she won her first RITA award. (That’s a speech few could forget. *g*) Congratulations on all the success and I am loving this advice. I write small town Contemporaries and just reading this blog gave me several ideas to make my work better. So thanks!!
Thanks for the advice ^_^ Good luck with your next novel and thanks for the giveaway!
Nice interview. It’s always nice discovering a new-to-me contemporary author.
I love Kristan Higgins’ books, and this was a great interview. Full of good advice.
I’ve only learned about Kristan Higgins and her books earlier this year through another author’s blog or facebook page (couldn’t remember which one). Within a few weeks, I’ve read all the books from her backlist, and she is now my favorite contemporary romance author!
It’s also very interesting that we can always see a glimpse of the author herself through the heroines she created (e.g. love for animals, big Yankees fan (hello Mrs. Jeter!!), love for New England small towns, etc).
Love your books I always know I’m getting a great read when I buy one of your books!
Kristan Higgins is one of my favorite authors!!! Great interview!
I just love Kristan’s books! Even her interviews are a good read as well.
Can’t wait to read the new release. Great cover!
There’s no book from Kristan Higgins that didn’t show me something new about good writing. I’ve been reading romance for several years now and no one can build characters so believable like Kristan’s. The heroes in particular, they’re real men, and they speak like real men. They don’t say cheesy stuff that maybe when you read it it’s romantic but if someone said that to you in real life you’d be thinking he’s a weirdo.
My favorite heroes are Malone and Cal, and my favorite heroine is Callie (I’d love to be friends with her!).
I still didn’t get Until There Was You (I’m from Buenos Aires, Argentina) but I’m sure I’m gonna love it, ’cause there’s no book from Kristan I didn’t obsess over. (In a good way) (Sometimes in a-bit-intense-way) (But still normal)
Congratulations on your new book Kristan, and thank you for writing!
love all the books i’ve read so far, keep on writing for us :}
Love your books. I am always so sad when I finish it. Cannot wait till the next one!
I was first introduced to Kristan Higgins at the Orlando RWA’s book signing last year so I have a signed copy of All I Ever Wanted. I would love a copy of Until There Was You.
I haven’t read any of Kristan Higgins book’s but after reading this interview I want to check them out. I have never lived in a small town but would love to try it someday. Please enter me in the giveaway, it would be a great way to start reading this author. I hope the book is autographed. I love autographed books.
It’s true, it’s hard not to stalk Kristan to be sure and catch everything little thing she writes. Her voice comes through so strong, and it’s a voice that one never tires hearing/reading. I’m one of those people that re-reads her novels all the time while I await her next release. *I don’t even care if this makes me sound close-minded and lame. LOL* Kristan ROCKS!
I’m so excited about this book. It’s on the top of my never ending reading list. I will get comfy and obsess until the last page.
Sounds as if this is a book I would like to read. Thank you for
having the drawing.
Reading your books is like riding on an emotional rollercoaster. One minute i’d be giggling like an idiot, only to cry a few pages later. It drives my husband up the wall!
Keep on writing Ms Higgins
Love all of her books! I was excited to see the book come up on my library’s overdrive ebook site- I’m on the wait list can’t wait to read her new one 🙂 thanks for putting it on there so quickly!!!
I would love to be included in your giveaway. I just finished Just One of the Guys for my Nov. bookclub read it was great.
I’m in the middle of reading it write now! I’m really tired today because I could barely put it down to go to bed. Luckily, I brought it to work and plan on reading it at lunch. I know I plan on giving it to a couple friends as Christmas gifts so I certainly wouldn’t mind another copy – keep up the great work, Kristan!
Thanks, guys! Lovely to be here!
I normally stick with historical books, but now I really want to give one of these a try. Thanks for the interview and the giveaway!
Loved all the other books, can’t wait to read this one too! Thanks for the email keep up the good work!!!
Love your books — it was a great interview
Love the responses to the questions. Even though I would never attempt to write a novel, I know a great one when I read one. Your answers are what makes a good read that makes the reader want more.
Loved your interview! You’re a new author for me and am looking forward to reading your books! Thanks for the giveaway 🙂
love your books . I just finished My One and Only
i hope you have mny more good books come out and then i i would
love read and sorry haven read any of them email@example.com
this one’s sitting next on the ‘to be read pile’. i’ve read most of the others and can’t wait to read this one — prob over Thanksgiving weekend!!
I can honestly say that she doesn’t have a cover I don’t love. Go to books if you need that warm fuzzy feeling.
What a fun interview. Thank you!
Thanks so much for the shout out, Kristan! I’m actually giving this workshop to my local chapter this coming Saturday…and using UNTIL THERE WAS YOU as an example of deep third person point of view!
(No need to enter me in the giveaway – I bought your book the instant it hit the shelves.)
It was interesting to read your answers! I’m looking forward to you showing the man’s point of view, and hope to have a few laughs with the tears I’ve been warned about. This latest book is the only one I haven’t read… please keep them coming. 🙂
I found Catch of the Day in my local library one day and have been a fan ever since. I always enjoyed the rich characters and the fact that I went to college in the area and stayed a number of years beyond helps me reminisce. Hearing Liam’s POV has brought one more facet to the writing and I enjoyed having it.
Books set in small towns have a special place in my heart since I grew up in a small town. Please enter me in the giveaway.
I haven’t read any of Kristan’s books yet, but the more of her interviews I read, the more of them end up on my wish list. I grew up in a small town & don’t feel complete unless I have at least one dog in my life, so reading that Kristan’s books include these elements is a double draw for me.
drainbamaged.gyzmo at gmail.com
I’m a big fan. I’ve read all of Kristan Higgin’s book except this new book. So please enter me in the giveaway. And pick me!
As a reader, several of your comments struck home. First of all, I want more than just romance going on in a story. It is one reason I favor suspense and historicals. Too many contemporaries concentrate on how fast they can get each other’s clothes off and not much more. That isn’t why I want to read a story, even a romance. Life is about much more than sex. A relationship doesn’t exist in a vacuum. So many other factors influence how two people relate to each other.
Virginia Kantra’s advice about point of view – would a guy think “her figure was lush and inviting” or would he think, “great rack!” – is so true. While working at the library, I previewed many books. I will say, the male POV is definitely different. Much more basic and to the point.
Now that I know your books are about more than just the “standard relationship” and not much more, I will be looking for them.
I hope the release of UNTIL THERE WAS YOU goes well.
Love Kristan’s writing–could not put her book down until finished!
I have read all of Kristan’s books. She is on my auto-buy list.
Thanks for the giveaway!
I think Kristan is awesome and so are her books! Thanks for the giveaway!
I know what you mean about reading Kristan’s blog, I did the same thing. When I checked out her website the first time and started reading her blog, I had a hard time stopping. She is so much fun to read, I love her light-hearted humor.
Great interview. I love your books. I would love to win and read this book, so please choose me for the giveaway. Thanks for the chance to winn.
Loved the interview! and I’ve always wondered about how female authors write the male POV. Love the cover for Until There Was You! Thanks for the giveaway
I enjoy Kristan’s books so much that I frequently reread them. The stories always touch my heart!
castings at mindspring dot com
I feel outnumbered but wanted to say I am happy for you and your book. I would love to read it and maybe get lucky enough to win it. susan Leech firstname.lastname@example.org Hope your clean up is coming along..we had flooding here in Sept and still have people in bad shape.
Jumping on I love Kristan’s books bandwagon! I want to devour them, but yet, don’t want them to end! LOL!! Thank you Kristan & thank you Kat!
Robin in NC
I just love Kristin’s books. They are a must buy for me. Thanks for an opportunity to get this book (even though I already have it). I will give it as a gift to my sister. Love to you and keep up the good work.
I haven’t read any of Kristin’s books, but hope that changes! Hope to win a copy.