Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Chatting with Kristan Higgins

Happy Book Birthday Kristan!

Anything for You comes out today. I was lucky enough to get an early look at the book and as much as I hate for this series to be over, it's everything I could have wanted and more!
*review to follow later this week.

I'm lucky to be chatting with the fantastic author herself!
Take a look and don't forget to snag yourself a copy of her book. 

     What was the hardest part about writing a series?
It’s staying true to the characters and facts I introduced way before I knew what I’d be writing about. I had to reread the earlier books and sometimes would smack my head and say, “Dang it! Painted myself into a corner, didn’t I?” In the case of ANYTHING FOR YOU, I had never mentioned Jessica’s little brother. BUT…neither had I said she was an only child, so I figured I could make her a big sister.

     Did you use any of your stories as a waitress for inspiration for Jessica?
Oh, sure. Being a good waitress is hard. I was a not-bad waitress, I think. There’s a scene where Jess gets a big tip from a table of old fraternity brothers…that happened to me my very first night. (Thanks, guys!)

           If you were to own a restaurant, what type of food would you serve?
Probably Connor’s type of food: the basics done perfectly. I love to eat out, but when food gets too fussy and fancy, it kind of loses me. You know… that one scallop that’s been soaked in an herb-infused brine and wrapped lovingly with organic prosciutto made by nuns in a convent off the coast of Italy and topped with an eyedropper full of yogurt-based b├ęchamel sauce…nah! Give me a good burger any day.

Me too! Burgers and pizza all the way!

      Many of your titles seem to have the bigger picture view - how do you come up with them?
Titles are tough for me. Ideally, a phrase jumps out from the book, and I say “Ah HA! Gotcha!” More often, though, I have to rack my brain and email my editor and we go back and forth and back and forth. This time, though, it was my first choice.

How do you create a character like Jessica - with a hard past and tough on the outside seem so likeable once you get to know her?
A lot of my characters have had tough pasts—they might not come from a good home, were unloved as kids, struggled to find their way. We all have that secret heartbreak. But yes, Jessica was that and then some. I hadn’t planned on writing her as a heroine, but as the Blue Heron series went on, I liked her more and more. In Book #2, The Perfect Match, she starts working for Honor Holland at the vineyard, and I saw how much she wanted to do her job well, and how much Honor liked her.

Knowing a character’s secret fears and past is the key to making them likable, I think. We don’t have to have the same background to understand a character. For example, I went on my first date at the age of 19, so I wasn’t exactly the high school tramp. But when you learn why Jessica did that, well…it tugs the heart, I hope.

Jessica is an amazing person - this was on Kristan's facebook page earlier in the month and it's one of my favorite quotes from the book and I think it shows off Jessica's personality. 

Would you ever consider writing a YA book?
I haven’t ruled it out! I really love writing teenage characters (I really love teenagers, in fact). But for now, I seem to have found my niche.

I hope this happens one day!!!

What are you working on next?
Right now, I’m finishing up a book called ON SECOND THOUGHT, in which two sisters find their relationships abruptly ended and have to move in together. They’ve never been really close, but their circumstances require a little enforced togetherness while they figure out their new lives.

Sounds great - I can't wait to read it!

Check out Kristan on social media (for lots of great pictures and laughs)

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