Day #3 of dog-sitting Artie. We have discovered he’s a con artist. He casually strolls into the room shaking his cute little butt, playing with his toys, flashing his million-dollar smile, getting up on his hind legs and spinning, looking as cute as can be. This is all a total set-up. Next thing you know we’re giving him treats. Lots of treats. Treats all day long. I think he’s doubled in size since yesterday. 🙂
Do you hear that? That’s the sound of me giggling and rubbing my hands together. I get to interview one of my favorite authors!
Her smile is contagious. Her laughter is contagious. Her stories are contagious. She’s Kristan Higgins! Yay! Time to cue the band to play something special in her honor like a Norwegian folk song or an Irish polka. Wait—I don’t have a band. Maybe I need to get a band. Let’s move on for now…
For my birthday in 2013, my hot Spanish wife (Silvi Martin) gave me a paperback copy of Kristan’s book, My One and Only. Silvi wrote inside the book, “Not too long from now, you’ll have a book like this in your hands but it will be from author Rich Amooi.” Isn’t my wife the best? In fact, I need to run and kiss her right now! One moment, please…
Okay, I’m back! That was a fantastic kiss. Anyway, I quickly found out that Kristan was a brilliant romantic comedy writer. The best. I read My One and Only in a day and wanted more. I immediately went to Amazon and ordered six other books from her, all in paperback. I ended up reading those books in a few weeks and then went through withdrawals since she didn’t have anything else available at that time for me to read. Poor me. Insert a boo-boo face and sad song here. Maybe that Celine Dion song from Titanic. Anyway, reading Kristan’s books not only entertained me but also inspired me. I had always been a fan of romantic comedy movies and had no idea people wrote romantic comedy novels! I wanted to do that! So I did. It was just after that when I started working on my debut romantic comedy novel, Five Minutes Late.
Before I get to the interview, here’s Kristan’s official Bio from Amazon:
Kristan Higgins is the New York Times, Publishers Weekly,USA TODAY and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of more than a dozen novels and a two-time winner of the Romance Writers of America RITA Award.Her books have been translated into more than twenty languages and received numerous starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Library Journal, Kirkus and Romantic Times. She is a five-time nominee for The Kirkus Prize for best work of fiction.
Rich: Okay…on with the interview! Welcome, Kristan!
Kristan: Hi, Rich! Thanks so much for having me!
Rich: It’s a pleasure to have you here. I’ve been wanting to interview you for a while, so this is a special treat for me. 🙂 Let’s first talk about the characters in your books. You like to write about real people, people who are not perfect. Was this a decision from the beginning when you were writing your first manuscript?
Kristan: Yes, I absolutely wanted to write about regular people. While I totally understand the appeal of billionaires and bodyguards, I wanted to write a story that could actually happen. Sometimes, it can be a little discouraging to read about someone who seems perfect and has it all—the beauty, the career, the brains, the elegance, these perfectly perfect characters. I wanted to write books about the rest of us.
Rich: I like that and think it’s one of the things that attracted me to your books. I also love how much you love doggies! Which of the dogs in your books is your favorite character?
Kristan: Well, that’s a tough one, since several are based on my own dogs. Digger from Fools Rush In was my own Digger; Colonel from Catch of the Day was based on our wonderful Brendan; and Beauty from Somebody to Love is our Willow. Aside from that innate favoritism, I think I’d have to go with Blue, Faith’s Golden retriever from The Best Man.
Rich: Great choice. Have you ever fallen in love with any of your characters and wished they were your friends in real life?
Kristan: You know, I do! I fall in love with every one of the heroes. It feels like a requirement of the job for me. I had the worst time getting over Leo in If You Only Knew. But I kind of fall for the heroines, too, and wish we could get together for coffee or a glass of wine.
Rich: I have no doubts they’d love to get together with you too. 🙂 I know you watch a lot of movies. Do you picture your stories as movies as you’re writing them?
Kristan: I love storytelling in all forms, so yes, I do see a lot of movies. I write visually— scenes where the characters are sitting around drinking tea usually get the axe. I want my reader to be able to imagine everything clearly, and I think scenes where there’s stuff going on are just more fun to read.
Rich: Absolutely. Speaking of stuff… What are five things you can’t live without?
Kristan: My family, coffee (note that the family got top billing, but only just), dogs, springtime and books.
Rich: We love coffee too and also agree that family and friends are number one. What’s the most valuable piece of advice you received at the beginning of your writing career?
Kristan: Oh, great question! I got fantastic advice from Cindy Gerard, who shares my agent and is a fantastic writer of romantic suspense. She said, “Keep your head down, stay off the loops and do your thing.” I think of that advice at least once a week. It’s not that writing communities (which is what she meant by loops at the time) are a bad thing; it’s that for a new writer, there’s so much conflicting advice and opinions, you might get a little dizzy trying to follow it all.
Rich: Great advice and this one hits close to home since I’m a member of a couple of writing communities. I’ve learned a lot and have met some amazing writers, but sometimes the best thing I can do is just turn off the Internet and write. Okay, let’s move on to your love life. What is the most romantic moment you’ve had with your husband, McIrish?
Kristan: I’m happy to say we’ve had a lot. The moment that leaps to mind is a simple one, and one that we live out quite often—sitting on the porch after dinner, listening to the birdies sing, having a glass of wine and knowing just how lucky we are.
Rich: That sounds wonderful and gratitude is so important. Speaking of which—I’m so grateful you took time out of your busy life to chat with me. Thank you for the honor and pleasure, Kristan. 🙂
Kristan: Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Rich! Hope to see you soon.
If you’ve never read one of Kristan’s books, you’re missing out! Her latest romantic comedy in the Blue Heron series is Anything For You. Here’s the book description:
Before you get down on bended knee…
…you should be pretty darn sure the answer will be yes. For ten years, Connor O’Rourke has been waiting for Jessica Dunn to take their on-again, off-again relationship public, and he thinks the time has come. His restaurant is thriving, she’s got her dream job at Blue Heron Vineyard—it’s the perfect time to get married.
When he pops the question, however, her answer is a fond but firm no. If it ain’t broke, why fix it? Jess has her hands full with her younger brother, who’s now living with her full-time, and a great career after years of waitressing. What she and Connor have is perfect: friends with an excellent benefits package. Besides, with her difficult past (and reputation), she’s positive married life isn’t for her.
But this time, Connor says it’s all or nothing. If she doesn’t want to marry him, he’ll find someone who does. Easier said than done, given that he’s never loved anyone but her. And maybe Jessica isn’t quite as sure as she thinks…
I had some fun and left a free paperback copy of my romantic comedy, An Eclair To Remember, inside a little library in my neighborhood. Watch the video to see what I stuck inside the book for one lucky person. Fun!
What an honor it was to be featured in USA TODAY with Joyce Lamb from Happy Ever After. In the interview I talk about where I get my ideas from, what I’m most grateful for, and my love of books from Kristan Higgins. You’ll even see a picture of me with eighties hair. 🙂 Check it out here: HEA Interview