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?
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.
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!