Q&A With Kristan Higgins

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Q&A With Kristan Higgins 

Today I have the opportunity to do a Q&A with author Kristan Higgins. Kristan Higgins is the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly & Wallstreet Journal Bestselling author of numerous romance novels. Some of her many novels are Pack Up The Moon, The Best Man, & Too Good To Be True. 


Q: So Kristan, what fascinates you about writing romance?

The desire to find a lifelong companion/friend/love is something almost every human wants. I’ve always loved hearing people’s stories about how they met their person, or how their person turned out not to be their person after all, or how they still might be looking for their person. 

In writing romance, what fascinates me the most is making it hard enough for the heroine and hero to overcome their issues and fears. Otherwise, you’d just have two nice people connecting, and that’s…well, that’s boring. Lovely in real life, but really dull to read.


Q: What is your advice to those wanting to write excellent romantic fiction? How do you deal with writer’s block if you deal with it, and what advice would you give to aspiring authors who deal with it?

Excellent romantic fiction has true emotional honesty in it. There have to be challenges and obstacles, and they have to be big. There’s a rhythm to a good romance, and there are expectations, but the reader should really wonder if this couple can make it. Then, when they do, it’s so much more satisfying. There’s a reason our hero and heroine don’t have the exact life they want, and they need to figure that out on their own. They have to suffer, and then they have to triumph, because it’s not just about getting together. It’s about being a person who deserves that kind of lasting love and respect, and finding that person who deserves you. Sometimes that takes a lot of work. Don’t shy away from it.

I don’t have writers’ block as much as writer’s procrastination. I can work all day without writing a single word of fiction. My best advice is to keep the document open so you can peek at it. At least that way, the story is in your head.

Q: If you had to choose a favorite novel that you’ve written, which one would it be and why?

It’s always the last book I wrote, so in this case, it’s OUT OF THE CLEAR BLUE SKY. I love the humor, the situation, the family and the location (Cape Cod, in the coolest house in Wellfleet). 


Q: What’s your advice to anyone on how to deal with negative critiques whether it’s from reviews, online trolls, and family and friends who aren’t supportive of their writing goals or perhaps don’t understand it?


Well, I don’t read my reviews unless my publicity team sends them to me, and they only send the good ones. I might glance at Goodreads or Amazon, see the average number of stars, smile, then flee. You can’t let critical voices get in your head. You have your thing, and you’re doing it to at least some degree of success. Keep doing you, as the kids say.

If criticism bothers you, you shouldn’t be a writer (or actor, singer, athlete, politician, doctor, etc.) But if a friend isn’t supportive of your goals…well, is that person really a friend? Can you talk to her about it? Ask why it bothers her? 

As for family, yeah, I’ve had that. Surprise that I “made” it, confusion that people like what I write, jealousy… What can you do? Smile, say “thanks for weighing in. Good to know where you stand” and go get some ice cream.


Q: Does Hollywood have any interest or the rights to any of your novels? I honestly hope they do because Hollywood is long overdue for originality in entertainment. 

Hollywood does have interest! More to come on that front.


Q: Is it fair to say that the characters and places you created in your romance novels are based on any people you may know or places you’ve been? I love it when an author can create places and people based on reality. 

Oh, sure. All of my books are set in real places, or lightly fictionalized places…towns that I rename so I can have a pond or road in a critical place, for example, or a business that the real town might not have.

The characters are a different story. My characters might have something in common with a friend or acquaintance, but that’s it. Maybe, like a friend, their spouse had an affair. Or maybe they’re a widow, like someone I know. But the characters take on their own life as I write them, so I can’t say that I’ve ever put a real person in a book with one exception. Anyone named Carol in my books is a saucy older woman who loves to chat, gossip, ask inappropriate questions and appreciate handsome men. That Carol exists in real life, and thank God she does, because I adore her.


Q: If you were to write in a genre that isn’t romance, which genre would it be and why?

I’d love to write a twisty domestic noir, something like Liane Moriarity’s The Husband’s Secret or Darby Kane’s Good Little Wife. I devour those books, and I admire the kind of intellect it takes to write that kind of story. Alas, I don’t think I have what it takes. I’d love to try someday, though!