Contemporary Romance and Romantic Comedy are my two favorite subgenres. So when I was presented with the opportunity to interview Kristan Higgins I did a little fan-girl happy-dance, because you can’t be a fan of Romantic Comedy and Chick-Lit without knowing who she is.
I’m happy to share with you this short Q&A session so you can all get to know a little bit more about this wonderful author.
Q. Hello Kristan, and welcome to Romance Around the Corner. As longtime fans of your work we couldn’t be more excited to have you here with us today.
Kristan Higgins: Thank you! It’s an honor!
Q. One of the reasons I love your work is that your heroines are strong and successful women who aren’t afraid to admit that they need love in their lives. And the feminist in me really appreciates that, because I truly believe that you can have a successful career and a family without having to sacrifice one in order to have the other. Is it hard for you to find that balance in your characters’ lives and where do you get your inspiration to create your heroines?
Kristan Higgins: Thank you! I think finding balance is a huge challenge for most people. My characters usually seem to be people who are pretty successful on the career front and are ready to put the icing on the cake of life, as it were. As for the inspiration for my heroines, I think that comes from the everyday person. We all have a great love story somewhere (in the past, present or future), so I’d say it comes from real life. Not just mine, but little bits of people I’ve met along the way.
Q. As an animal lover I always have a blast reading about the different pets in your books. Where do you get your ideas for the dogs in your stories?
Kristan Higgins: The pets in my books always reflect something important about that character. In ALL I EVER WANTED, for example, Ian’s dog was perfectly behaved and very calm, which is what you’d expect Ian to have…he’s a man who loves order. But later in the book, you find that Angie was a rescue, so that says something about him, too. For Posey’s pets, well, I had to have a few cats this time. Her house cried out for cats, and I liked that they came with her place and she didn’t have the heart to displace them. Her dog, like Posey herself, has size issues and is often misjudged based on appearance. And he’s wicked cute, too.
Note form Brie: OH! You’re absolutely right! Why didn’t I notice that about the dogs before? I can see how they reflect the hero/heroine’s personalities. Now I need to re-read the books with this in mind!
Q. Your new book, Until There Was You, is a bit different from your previous work. The most obvious difference is that this time we also get the hero’s point of view, but I also found the story to be more focused on the romance than usual. What else can you tell us about the book and why did you decide to add this new twist?
Kristan Higgins: A lot of how the book comes out is organic; I don’t really make the decision to focus the book one way or another, women’s lit or romance. But yes, I did write from the hero’s point of view this time, and I just loved it. Liam had a lot going on, and I wanted so much to explore the bad-boy mythology: what makes him that way, why he does what he does, how he views himself. It was really gratifying!
I think this book (now that it’s finished and I can speak intelligently about it) is all about second chances. I wasn’t consciously making that choice while I wrote it, but when I read my copy, I found that everyone in the entire story gets a second chance, either at love, at redemption, at family roles.
Q. Your work is often labeled as chick-lit but it’s also romantic enough to be considered contemporary romance. Do you see yourself as a writer in any of those categories? And could you tell us if you think there’s really a difference between those genres, because I often have a hard time finding differences between them.
Kristan Higgins: I’m with you…I never really understood the difference between chick lit and contemporary romance. When I think of chick-lit, I think of Sex in the City…a lot of focus on dating many men, drinking cosmos and wearing really cool shoes. I know a lot of chick-lit is written in first person, and most of my books have been, too. But I don’t care what people call my genre. I personally think of it as romantic comedy.
Q. I can’t miss the opportunity to talk about families. I used to think that having a dysfunctional family was a bad thing until I read your books and realized that sometimes dysfunctional means being loved for who you are (and let’s face it, it also means being surrounded by crazy people). Why are families such an important part of your stories and where do you get your ideas for all the craziness?
Kristan Higgins: Hm. Can I answer this honestly? I have a crazy family. We all do, don’t we? And I don’t know if there’s anything that defines us more than our families, whether they were wonderful and warm or abusive and undermining. I guess because my own family is such an important part of my own life, I want to include that aspect in my books. Same with pets.
Q. Finally, I can’t let you go without asking what’s your favorite romance novel?
Kristan Higgins: That’s such a hard question, and I really hate to answer it, because honestly, the answer changes monthly. But the book I’ve reread the most is Gone With the Wind. Scarlett is—eventually, painfully—transformed for the better because of the love she’s given, and for me, that’s the essence of a romance novel.
Thank you so much for being here today!
Kristan Higgins: Thank YOU, Brie! It was an absolute pleasure.
To find out more about Kristan's books visit her website.
To find out more about Kristan's books visit her website.
Thanks to Kristan and her publicist Katie, we have one copy of Until There Was You, up for grabs. The hero of the book is a former bad boy, to enter the giveaway leave a comment telling us why bad boys are so appealing (my answer would be the leather jackets, there’s something about bad boys and leather jackets that make the irresistible!) or if you’re not that much into bad boys then tell us what’s your favorite Romantic Comedy (it can be either book or movie). Please leave an email address so I can contact the winner.
- You need to be at least 13 years old to participate.
- Winner gets one copy of Until There Was You by Kristan Higgins.
- Contest open to US residents only.
- Contest ends on Friday, November 18th 2011, at 5pm EST.
- Winner will be chosen using random.org and announced here and through email and will have 72 hours to respond.
- We are not responsible for items lost during shipping.
Posey Osterhagen can't complain. She owns a successful architectural salvaging company, she's surrounded by her lovable, 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….
HQN Books. October 25, 2011.