Monday, April 11, 2011

Author Interview & Giveaway: Kristan Higgins, author of My One and Only

Please join me in welcoming USA Today Bestselling Author and two-time RITA award winner, Kristan Higgins, author of My One and Only.

Divorce attorney Harper James can't catch a break. Bad enough that she runs into her ex-hubby, Nick, at her sister's destination wedding, but now, by a cruel twist of fate, she's being forced to make a cross-country road trip with him. And her almost-fiancé back at home is not likely to be sympathetic.

Harper can't help that Nick has come blazing back into her life in all of his frustratingly appealing, gorgeous architect glory. But in Nick's eyes, Harper's always been the one. If they can only get it right this time, forever might be waiting—just around the bend.

Where do you get ideas/inspiration for your novels? How do you research?

I always start with a question about the character: What if you were someone who…hadn’t seen her ex in a very long time…someone who was in love with her boss. I like to take realistic situations—conundrums that a real woman can relate to—and go from there.

I spend a lot of time researching the setting—usually by visiting it, which is one of the best parts of my job. I love finding the right place for the story and wandering around, taking details from a real place and then bending that to fit the story’s needs. I also research the heroine’s profession a lot—I try to talk to someone in the business, so I’ve interviewed divorce attorneys, diner owners, doctors, teachers. Only one heroine, Callie from All I Ever Wanted had a job that I myself had (advertising exec). As for other research elements, let’s just say that Google and I are BFFs.

When you start writing a novel, how much of it is already planned out in your head?

A lot. I feel like I can’t start writing until I know where I’m headed, the same way that I wouldn’t drive to California without looking at a map. I want to know everything I can first…which is not to say I don’t veer off the path occasionally. But I’m a believer in outlining and think that in the end, it saves a lot of time and keeps the plot nice and tight.

Out of all the books you’ve published, which two characters are your favorite and would consider revisiting in the future? Which pet?

That’s a really tough question…sort of like asking a mom which of her kids is her favorite. I really love all my heroes; when I finish a book, I always feel like I’ve been dumped and spend about a week moping around the house, missing the guy. I loved Callie (All I Ever Wanted) and her relentless optimism; I loved Callahan (Too Good To Be True) and his snarky sense of humor. But truly, they’re all my favorites, depending on which one I’m thinking of at the mo.

I think I may revisit Parker from The Next Best Thing (Lucy’s best friend and the mother of the hero’s son). I loved her job—children’s book author of a saccharine and very successful series called The Holy Rollers about roller-skating child angels who visit mortal children and teach them life lessons. Got some ideas percolating for her.

As for dogs, I adore them all, but my favorite was Colonel from Catch of the Day, who was based on a dog of my own. Angus McFangus from Too Good To Be True is probably the funniest dog, though he might be tied with Buttercup from Just One of the Guys.

Do you think you will write a series or stick with single titles? Why or why not?

That’s a great question! I love the freshness of single titles, but I’ve had a lot of requests for series. One of my favorite things to write about is the town where the heroine lives and the secondary characters who live there, so a series may well be in the future. We’ll see!

Your previous book covers feature the lower portion of the hero and heroines bodies, but this one does not. Was that a conscious decision to change up the covers?

The art department at Harlequin comes up with the designs, and I love what they’ve done. The truth is, I had no input on my first three book covers. Most authors don’t! But given that I have some experience in advertising and marketing, I asked to be included in the concept phase, and so now I do get to see the cover idea before it’s a done deal. I think the full-body look was just part of an overall freshening of my look, and I couldn’t be happier with the end result.

Can you tell us a bit about what’s coming up next from you? Can you share any teasers?

The next book is called Until There Was You, and it’s what I think of as Return of the Bad Boy. Back in high school, Liam Murphy was worshipped from afar by scrawny Posey Osterhagen, who could barely get him to acknowledge her. Somehow, he still managed to break her heart. Now, quite a few years later, Liam’s back, a widower with a teenage daughter, and Posey finds he still has quite the effect on her. She has to learn if Liam’s any different from the high school hottie with the bad reputation, and, even if he is, if she can trust the guy who seemed to have so little regard for anyone else back then.

The theme of bad boy tamed by love is a classic in romance—what I had fun with was examining what taming means, and who really does it. Liam is obsessed with protecting his daughter from boys who are cut from the same cloth as he was, and he has to do a lot of looking into his own past—and marriage—throughout the course of the book. It’s my first book with a hero’s point of view, and much to my great surprise, I found that I loved writing that way.

What is a day in the life of Kristan Higgins like?

It’s largely based around my two kids. I make them breakfast, pack their lunches, get them off to school, then head to my little office with Willow, our puppy. Work there until the kids get home, chauffeur them to their activities and such. My sainted husband is a firefighter, so his job isn’t 9-5. If he’s home, he cooks dinner; we help the kids with homework, maybe watch the Yankees or a TV show. I travel about five times a year these days—I’m invited to speak at conferences and book events, but I try to limit that while the kids are still youngish. Aside from the fact that I have a wicked cool job, I have a very ordinary and happy life.

You say you met your husband while standing in line. What were you all standing in line for?

I barely remember, I was so fixated on his green eyes and curly black hair! No, it was a weekend seminar. McIrish was in front of me; I’d recently broken up with a longterm boyfriend and the last thing I wanted was a new relationship. So we got engaged six weeks later, married before a full year had passed. And have been living happily ever after since!
WANT TO WIN A COPY OF THIS BOOK?
{April 11-25, 2011}
*Thanks to Little Bird Publicity for providing the prize!
  • Only residents of the U.S. are eligible to win
  • No P.O. Boxes please
  • Giveaway copies will be sent directly to winners from the publisher
  • 1 copy will be available depending on entries
  • Winners will be randomly selected using random.org and contacted via email
My review of My One and Only
To enter:
  1. Please leave a comment on this post stating what you enjoyed most about Kristan Higgins interview! (Include email address for contact purposes)
  2. Please fill out the form below with your contact information

This giveaway is open to US residents only. This giveaway will end at 11:59pm CST on April 25th.
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19 comments:

ChrisS said...[Reply]

My One and Only sounds like a really good story. What really made me smile reading Kristan's interview was how she met her husband. I also met and married a dark Irishman and love HEA stories.

Alexa said...[Reply]

I have heard great things about My One and Only and I love those heartbreaking romance stories. I think it was great to learn some more about her personal life, her kids and her husband. Great stories.

Brenda said...[Reply]

I loved the story about how she met her husband. I met my husband on Match.com! LOL 12 years later I am still very much happily married.

cheryl c said...[Reply]

I am a big fan of Kristan's books, so I enjoyed hearing about what is coming next!
castings at mindspring dot com

Taffy said...[Reply]

I love reading interviews of authors I haven't "met" yet! Thanks for the giveaway too!


taffy(dot)lovell@gmail.com

Stella (Ex Libris) said...[Reply]

Please don't enter me as I live outside the US, but I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your interview and learning more about Kristan and her normal, daily life :-)

Loved My One and Only (though all I Ever Wanted remains my favourite until I get around and read all of Kristan's backlist), and Kristan: I wanted to tell you that I LOVED all the details you put into describing Callie's job: her advertising campaigns,. creative process, catchy slogans, it was a part I really enjoyed in the novel! :-))

Thank you and can't wait for Untile There Was You!! :-)

~Enamored Soul~ said...[Reply]

I loved the author's answer to your question, when you asked her which one of her characters is her favorite. Because when I was editing my manuscript, and someone asked me, if you had to cut ONE character, which would you cut, I'd always say..."Ummm, that's like asking which of my children I'd wanna give away!" (I don't have any, btw, LOL).

What an insightful and awesome interview! Thank you Tasha, and thank you author Higgins! :)

~Hira~
Email: Enamoredsoul(at)gmail(dot)com
Twitter: @inluvwithbookz

Tore said...[Reply]

I loved her interview. I loved how she met her irish husband and I can't wait to read this book. It sounds very good. Tore923@aol.com

Esme said...[Reply]

I enjoyed the questions that you asked-they are not the ordinary questions asked of authors.

Anonymous said...[Reply]

I love the fact that there may be a series in the future from Kristan! Plus that she loved Callahan; I LOVED him too!!

brooke_lyn4[at]hotmail[dot]com

Maureen said...[Reply]

I enjoyed the interview, especially the part where Kristan described her inspiration and writing process.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

Ellie said...[Reply]

I enjoyed learning that her husband is a firefighter, it's such a selfless profession. Plus, he cooks when he's home. Most firefighters are amazing cooks!!

ellie.bfaos(@)gmail(.)com

NoraBell said...[Reply]

It's cool to learn that the company makes the covers! I never knew where they came from, but they're awesome!!

Nora, The Bookery
nyelekli [at[ yahoo [dot] com

mbreakfield said...[Reply]

I enjoyed reading about her writing process.

mbreakfield said...[Reply]

Forgot e-mail.
marlenebreakfield(at)yahoo(dot)com

Pam S (pams00) said...[Reply]

I enjoyed the interview ty so much for sharing! One of my fav things was how she met her husband - so romantic that they were engaged after only 6 weeks and still living the HEA. I have adored all of the books by Kristan that I've gotten to read so far. Her new WIP sounds great too - can't wait to read Liam's story.

pams00 @ aol.com

Vivien said...[Reply]

I love her story about meeting her husband. My story is similar. We met, got together ( right after one my of break ups ) got married under a year later. It's been great ever since!

Danah said...[Reply]

I pretty much enjoyed the whole interview, but what i love the most is the part where you asked her what's coming up next from her! I'm looking forward to her next book! I also love the part about her and her husband got engaged only after 6 weeks and decided to get married in less than a year. Wow! Everything happened so fast, but Kristan and her husband must have been very much in love with each other that time and of course until now. Look, they have two kids now.

icrave13@hotmail.com

Sakira said...[Reply]

I'm so glad to hear about Until There Was You. I enjoy hearing about new books coming out all the time. It gives me something to look forward to. I agree that bad boys are a classic in literature, and that's because we love them so much.

Thanks for sharing!!

Kris
elfdrop At gmail DOT com

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