Award-winning author, Anita Higman, has twenty-six books published (several coauthored) for adults and children, and she has been honored as a Barnes & Noble Author of the Month for Houston. Anita has a BA degree, combining communication, psychology, and art. Her favorite things include exotic teas, movies, and all things Jane Austen. Please visit her site at www.anitahigman.com.
When did you decide to be a writer?
Even when I was a kid I wanted to be a writer, but I was pretty insecure. I didn’t receive much encouragement growing up, so I put that dream on hold for a long time. But finally later when that dream surfaced again, I said, “Yes.”
At what point did you stop juggling suggestions and critiques and trust yourself (as a writer)?
I’ve been writing for 26 years, and so I trust myself more now than I used to. However, I still make mistakes. I still have to do lots of polishing on my manuscripts.
Are you a disciplined writer or do you just write when you feel like it?
I’m pretty disciplined when it comes to writing and promoting.
What kind of activities to you like to do that help you relax and step away from your deadlines for a bit?
Movies and books! I love to plunge into someone else’s story and get lost for a little while. I find it wonderfully relaxing.
What is your favorite novel and what made it special?
Love Finds You in Humble Texas is one of my favorites. It’s the story of two sisters who fall in love with the same man. I felt the love-triangle would be fascinating to explore, and it was. I hope readers think so too.
How do you think reading the work of others helps you as a writer?
I think we are always growing as writers—you know, fine-tuning our voices. And reading a lot of different kinds of books can be a part of that growth.
Tell us a little about your latest release:
My latest release is a 2-in-1 novella collection entitled, Love Finds You Under the Mistletoe, and I’m happy to say that this book was coauthored with Irene Brand. Irene’s story is historical and dramatic, and mine is contemporary with some comedy, but both stories are tied together. My novella is entitled Once Upon a Christmas Eve.
Here’s a short blub about Once Upon a Christmas Eve:
Holly Goodnight's store has just been voted best Christmas shop in America. All the new publicity draws flamboyant novelist Van Keaton to the cozy town of Noel, Missouri, demanding to write Holly story - a dramatic tale of misfortune and triumph. She is swept up in his world of beautiful words and fanciful interludes. . .until Owen Quigly, her lifelong best friend, launches a plan to win her back.
Where did you get your inspiration for your novella, Once Upon a Christmas Eve?
The idea for Once Upon a Christmas Eve may have started with my interest in the fairy archetype. I loved the movies Cold Comfort Farm and Chocolat for that very reason. There was something enchanting about those two heroines as they whirled around, fixing people’s lives. I gave my main character, Holly Goodnight, some similar fanciful qualities.
Which character is most like you?
Van Keaton has some unique eccentricities, and unfortunately, some of them came from my personality.
Who is your favorite character and why?
I love my heroine, Holly Goodnight, and I want to be her when I grow up.
Did you know how Once Upon a Christmas Eve would turn out? Were you surprised by any of the plot twists or characters?
I knew the novella would have a happy ending, and I knew some of the basics of the storyline, but many of the little twists and turns were surprises to me. I start out with a synopsis, but when I’m writing I let the characters lead me instead of the other way around.
What is the main thing you hope readers remember from this story?
I hope they are always reminded that there is no human dilemma too messy for God to untangle.
What kinds of things have you done to market this book? Have you found anything that works particularly well?
Irene and I are doing a lot of promotion for Love Finds You Under the Mistletoe, and one of the publicity ideas we worked on was new to both of us. Since e-books have become popular I thought maybe giving away a free Christmas e-book would be a unique way to promote our novella collection. So, Irene and I wrote a gift book, and we’re giving it away for free. The e-book is entitled, Christmas—All Things Bright and Beautiful, and it’s full of family traditions, memories, recipes, and cozy Christmas thoughts. The gift book is on our websites and is free to view, download, print, or email to a friend. There has been a lot of interest in the e-book. We hope people enjoy it. By the way, my website is www.anitahigman.com, and Irene’s site is www.irenebrand.com.
Tell us what new projects you’re working on.
Well, I’m always working on a new proposal. Right now, there are two that I’m getting excited about. But they’re in the “thinking stage.”
Do you have any parting words of advice?
If you have read any of my books I thank you with all my heart. And Merry Christmas…a bit early!
Want to know more about this author? Stop by The Borrowed Book on Thursday for an excerpt from one of Anita's books, Love Finds You in Humble, Texas!