I started writing romance novels when my kids were little. I’d always been a writer of some type—public relations, advertising, research—but wanted to stay home with the bunnies. I’d been reading romance novels ever since I swiped Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss from my grandmother’s night table. “Higgins,” I said to myself, “I bet you could write one of these.” And so I sat down every afternoon when the kids were napping, took my lifelong love of romance novels and tried to make a career out of it. We’ve been living happily ever after since.
I live in my hometown, a small, pretty place in Connecticut where there’s a beautiful library and a wicked good ice cream stand. I’m the mom of two lovely children, the wife of a very brave firefighter (who is also a fantastic cook), and the willing slave of a naughty mutt.
I love to write books about relationships, since the search for love and security is one of the driving forces of life. My characters are regular people, folks like us, and I hope to give them a big, memorable love story rich with family, pets, food and laughter. When I’m not writing, I like to be with my kids, goof around with my husband, read, watch baseball, ride my bike and bake. I suffer from chronic bedhead and an unhealthy (and completely understandable) obsession with Derek Jeter, shortstop for the New York Yankees. We spend as much time as possible at our family home on Cape Cod, swimming in the Atlantic, shivering on the beach, swatting horseflies and watching fish evade my lure at Higgins Pond. It’s as close to heaven as it gets.
Posey Osterhagen can't complain. She owns a successful architectural salvaging company, she's surrounded by her loveable, if off-center, family and she has a boyfriend—sort of. Still, something's missing. Something tall, brooding and criminally good-looking...something like Liam Murphy.
When Posey was sixteen, the bad boy of Bellsford, New Hampshire, broke her heart. But now he's back, sending Posey's traitorous schoolgirl heart into overdrive once again. She should be giving him a wide berth, but it seems fate has other ideas...
Kristin, welcome to Romance Author Buzz. Who is Kristan Higgins ? What should we know about the Mom, the wife, the friend and the author?
I’m a very happy person. I met my husband while standing in line; we were engaged 6 weeks later, so I definitely believe in love at first sight! My kids are smart, funny and are gifted at making strange noises, usually when I’m working. I put a lot of value on friendship and am still close with my best friends from kindergarten, high school and college. As for the author…I work harder at writing books than I’ve worked outside of labor and delivery, and I absolutely love my job.
What inspired you to be an author, ? Is it something you always wanted to do?
I think part of me always wanted to be a writer (though I also wanted to be a pediatrician and a horse trainer). There was never a time that I wasn’t imagining a story in my head. But I didn’t start writing fiction until I was 36 years old.
Was it difficult to get published?
It wasn’t terribly difficult for me, but I had a huge advantage over most fiction writers—I’d been a professional writer for years. Advertising, PR, research…that meant I already knew what it was like to write every day, meet deadlines, all that good stuff.
What was the inspiration for UNTIL THERE WAS YOU ?
Well, I love the idea of a bad boy (don’t we all?), but I also felt that in a lot of books and movies, the bad boy doesn’t really have to face up to his past. He’s just magically tamed by the mystical appeal of the heroine. I wanted Liam, my personal bad boy, to have to deal with the way he acted as a youth, to return to the scene of the crime, as it were. And I was really interested in the idea of belonging. Posey, the heroine is something of a misfit, but she’s also very happy with herself, very confident and successful. But back in the day, Liam did some real damage in regard to Posey, and it was really fun to have them face off once again.
Describe a day in the life of Kristan Higgins.
I wake up at an ungodly hour and slave over a hot stove to make my kids breakfast and see them off to school. My doggy and I get into my office as early as possible; I work, she sleeps and chews on things. I have lunch with my sainted husband if he’s not at the firehouse, work some more, then get the kids and turn into a chauffeur, like just about every mom I know.
Which story to date has been the biggest challenge?
TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE was the hardest book yet. For whatever reason, I struggled mightily with it and viewed it as my career-ending book. Ironically, it got incredible reviews, was my first bestseller and also won the 2010 RITA Award for Best Single Title Romance from Romance Writers of America. Go figure.
Do you ever have any moments of insecurity when writing? If so, how do you overcome those moments?
Oh, my gosh, yes! Every day! I don’t try to overcome those moments, though…they tell me where my story needs work and keep me honest. Insecurity isn’t necessarily a flaw if it makes me try to write a better book. Or so I tell myself.
What have you found to be the best thing about writing? The worst thing?
The best thing is hearing from readers, by far. It’s indescribable to hear that you’ve made someone laugh or given them a character they can’t stop thinking about. Recently, I got a letter from reconstructive plastic surgeon who works for Doctors Without Borders, and she told me my books helped her get through some tough cases. I should probably retire after getting that one. It doesn’t get better than that.
The worst thing?
Honestly, I couldn’t say. I love what I do. Even on the days when I’m wrestling with a plot or feel under the gun on a deadline, I can’t complain.
What are you reading now? Do you have any favorite authors?
Right now, I’m reading Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean, and I love it. Such a warm and lovely voice! I have many favorite authors—Eloisa James, Robyn Carr, Susan Andersen, the great Jill Shalvis, Susan Mallery, Sherry Thomas, Stephen King, Jonathan Tropper…the list goes on!
Do you find it difficult to balance home/family with your writing?
Sometimes! I travel more these days, but my family comes first. If you asked my kids, I think they’d say I’m in their business all the time. McIrish and I still have date night a few times a month, and I think we’re an extraordinarily close family.
If you were to describe yourself in 3 words, what would they be?
Happy, funny, hungry. I am almost always hungry.
What are you presently working on?
I just finished the first draft of a manuscript and am starting to outline my very first attempt at a series.
Is there anything else you would like to add Kristan, which we haven’t discussed?
(Nah. You asked great questions!)
Thanks so much for stopping by Romance Author Buzz.
Where can readers contact you?
Kristan is offering one lucky US Resident a signed copy of UNTIL THERE WAS YOU. Follow Kristan on Facebook, tell her here and on Facebook what you thought of her interview and please leave your email address. Winner will be announced November 15th.