Monday, December 19, 2011

Author Interview: Anita Higman

It's almost Christmas! I have one more holiday treat for today--an interview with author Anita Higman about her two-in-one re-release: Love Finds You Under the Mistletoe. So, let's see, we've had the egg nog and the candy cane. Today, grab a chocolate-covered marshmallow Christmas tree, and enjoy!

Welcome, Anita! Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I grew up on a farm in western Oklahoma. I came to know hard work, the wonderful ebb and flow of planting and harvest, the ever present quiet, and the tangy aroma of pig manure. It really wasn’t an elegant way to grow up, but it was intriguing.

In fact, it was fascinating enough to feed my writer’s appetite. I was about thirty when I decided to take writing seriously. Until that time I had very little confidence to do anything. But eventually the calling to write was stronger than my fear of failure.

What is your favorite Bible verse?

"I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth." Psalms 121: 1-2 (NIV). This was also my mother’s favorite passage.

How did you get started writing Christian fiction?

I love reading and writing fiction, and I’m a Christian, so it was a natural progression that I should want to write Christian fiction. I’ve written in quite a few genres, but inspirational romance is my favorite.

How did you come up with the concept for Love Finds You Under the Mistletoe?

The publisher decided to put two Christmas stories together with two different authors. The first story is historical and ties into my contemporary one, which is entitled, Once Upon a Christmas Eve. Irene Brand and I enjoyed finding ways to connect our two stories.

Is any part of your novella factual?

Once Upon a Christmas Eve is pure fiction, but the town of Noel, Missouri is real! 

How closely is the novella based on your life experiences?

There is a sprinkling of my life within my novella. Even though I was not abandoned or adopted as a child, I have occasionally felt neglected by friends and family. So, I tried to infuse the work with those memory-emotions.

Please share the summary of your novella, Once Upon a Christmas Eve.

Holly Goodnight’s store has just been voted best Christmas shop in America. All the publicity draws flamboyant novelist Van Keaton to the cozy town of Noel, Missouri, demanding to write Holly’s story—a dramatic tale of misfortune and triumph. She is swept up in his world of beautiful words…until Owen Quigly, her lifelong best friend, launches a plan to win her back.

Do you have a favorite character in Once Upon a Christmas Eve? Why?

I like the heroine, Holly Goodnight. She’s the kind of person I aspire to be.

How much research did you do for your novella?

My husband and I drove to Noel, Missouri to research the town. Everyone there was very welcoming and helpful in answering all my questions about the area. In fact, I dedicated my novella to the fine folks of Noel, Missouri.

What are some of the challenges you face as an author?

I have no problem coming up with unusual characters, but strong conflicts in the plot don’t come to me as quickly and easily. Needless to say, my novels are more character driven than plot driven.

What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?

I love that moment when the UPS man hands me my box full of books. I lift the lid and then hold a copy of the long-awaited book in my hands. Ahh. After lots and lots of work it’s a great feeling.

Do your characters begin to take on a life of their own as you write?

Yes, they really do. So much so that sometimes I wish I could invite my heroine and hero over for dinner. You know, to spend more time with them. Too bad they’re just in my head. That whole concept makes me think of the movie, Stranger Than Fiction.

What message would you like your readers to take from your novella in Love Finds You Under the Mistletoe?

I hope readers will come away feeling that God is in the midst of their everyday trials, big and small, and that even though circumstances look impossible, He really will make all things work for good.

What is your greatest achievement?

My children. I love my kids dearly, and I think they turned out well.

What is your goal or mission as a writer?

To entertain readers and inspire them. To hopefully let them rest for a while, away from life’s many struggles.

What do you do to get away from it all?

I love to go to a local spa for a short retreat. It really helps me to let go of the stress, and I can assure you that this business is loaded with stress. Also, now that my husband and I have empty nest we are traveling some. We went to Canada and France last year, and next year we’re hoping to go to Alaska and Ireland.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

A note to readers: If you’ve ever taken the time to read one of my novels I thank you. You are deeply appreciated. In fact, you did such a great job supporting Love Finds You Under the Mistletoe last year that it has been rereleased by the publisher for this new Christmas season. Thank you so much!

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Best-selling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has twenty-eight books published (several coauthored) for adults and children. She’s been a Barnes & Noble “Author of the Month” for Houston and has a BA degree, combining speech communication, psychology, and art. Anita loves good movies, exotic teas, and brunch with her friends. Please visit her website.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for featuring Love Finds You Under the Mistletoe on your blog! I hope you and your readers have a merry merry Christmas!

Anita Higman
www.anitahigman.com

Annette M. Irby said...

Thanks for visiting, Anita! And thanks for writing Christmas fiction. Yum!