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Talking with Kristan Higgins at #RWA16

IMG_1570-001The best part of RWA for me is talking with authors.

This year, I was able to chat with quite a few of them and I’ll be sharing those interviews over the next few weeks. (I asked them all the same set of questions–I thought it would be fun to compare the answers!)

First up: The gracious Kristan Higgins.

Kristan’s book If You Only Knew is one of my favorite reads of last year and I’ve read and enjoyed her Blue Heron series. Her books make me happy–in each of them, her characters remind me to love and to laugh.

We met in a nook in one of the Marriott Marquis vast lobbies and talked for an hour (and took a selfie!). Kristan smiles readily and talks with ease about her life and her writing. She shared stories of her fireman husband, her childhood, and what interests her now. We laughed a lot.

We also, somewhat startlingly, talked about death. Kristan’s books are often informed by tragedy which she writes about adroitly and with grace. Whether it’s a car crash taking the life of a too young mom (the Blue Heron series), the struggle with fetal alcohol syndrome (Anything for You), or a devastating childhood accident (Somebody to Love), Kristan often tells stories of loss and does so with verisimilitude.

This is in part due, perhaps, to her personal history. Her father was killed by a drunk driver when he was 47 and Kristan was 23. Her mother never remarried and the theme of losing a great love and being afraid to risk such heartbreak again permeates many of Kristan’s books.

Kristan’s next book On Second Thought, out in early 2017,  is, like If You Only Knew, about a pair of sisters one of whom is suddenly widowed. It will, I’m sure, break my heart even as it makes me smile.

How old were you when you wrote your first romance? Plot?
I was 36. But I spent most of my adolescence rewriting endings.
Tell me two truths and a lie.
I’m extremely insecure about everything I write.
I worked as a waitress.
Three of my four boyfriends proposed to me.
If you could make up the perfect name for a fictional President, what would it be?
Elizabeth Calm.
What’s the last TV show you binge watched?
Which do you prefer: Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre?
Unfair question! Jane Eyre is obviously a sweeter, more satisfying story, but Wuthering Heights is the one that haunts me.
If they made a movie of your life, who would play you?
Robert Downey Jr. Because then I could meet him.
What’s the last book you read and loved?
Oddly enough, it was a nonfiction book called Being Mortal. I rarely read nonfiction, but this one was just beautiful.
What’s next from you?
Same as usual…writing, family, some traveling, watching movies with my kids, sitting on the porch, playing with the dogs. : )

Kristan’s next book is On Second Thought. Here’s the blurb:

Following in the footsteps of her critically acclaimed novel If You Only Knew , multi-bestselling author Kristan Higgins returns with a pitch-perfect look at the affection—and the acrimony—that binds sisters together 

Ainsley O’Leary is so ready to get married—she’s even found the engagement ring her boyfriend has stashed away. What she doesn’t anticipate is for Eric to blindside her with a tactless breakup he chronicles in a blog…which (of course) goes viral. Devastated and humiliated, Ainsley turns to her half sister, Kate, who’s already struggling after the sudden loss of her new husband.

Kate has always been so poised, so self-assured, but Nathan’s death shatters everything she thought she knew—including her husband—and sometimes the people who step up aren’t the ones you expect. With seven years and a murky blended-family dynamic between them, Ainsley and Kate have never been overly close, but their shared sorrow dovetails their faltering worlds into one.

Despite the lifetime of history between them, the sisters must learn to put their differences aside and open their hearts to the inevitable imperfection of family—and the possibility of one day finding love again.


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Lorelei LL
Lorelei LL
07/23/2016 9:11 pm

Excellent interview and questions! I love everything Kristan Higgins writes. She’s a gifted writer, truly. Each one of her books has made me laugh, cry, swoon/sigh and have a happily ever after! All the right elements for a perfect read. I recommend her to just about anyone who enjoys reading contemporary romance.

mel burns
mel burns
07/21/2016 3:50 pm

If You Only Knew is Kristan Higgins best book. IMHO. Everything about the structure and content was well done, it’s one of the books I always recommend to newbie romance readers.

I’ve not enjoyed The Blue Heron series and I have been very critical of it, but the last book and some of her earlier books are just suburb. Catch of the Day, All I Ever Wanted and Somebody to Love are my favorites.

07/21/2016 12:51 pm

I love Kristan Higgins books. I’ve read every one so far. I can’t wait till 2017 too get the next one. They make you laugh and cry at the same time.

07/21/2016 11:03 am

I enjoy her writing, especially the series. Books that you can read at work.

07/21/2016 9:50 am

I find Ms. Higgins’ books to be comfort reads though I do laugh a lot too.