Friday, July 6, 2012

Every Other Friday - Kristan Higgins interview

Today, How to Write Fast begins a series of interviews with productive writers – and we are starting with a bang:

Kristan Higgins is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author and two-time winner of the Romance Writers of America RITA Award. Her books have been praised for their "genius level EQ, whippet-fast, funny dialogue and sweet plots with a deliciously tart edge" (USA TODAY). She lives in Connecticut with her heroic firefighter husband and two extremely advanced children, one shy little mutt and an occasionally affectionate cat.

Tell me about SOMEBODY TO LOVE
SOMEBODY TO LOVE is my ninth romance and tells the riches-to-rags story of Parker Welles, a single mom, as well as a children’s author with a hefty trust fund. When her father loses all her money in an insider-trading deal, Parker has the summer to flip the one asset she has left: a decrepit house in the coast of Maine. Coming to help her is the last person she wants around—her father’s attorney, James Cahill. But her back’s against the wall, and she can’t turn away his help, so there they are, stuck in a 900-square-foot house, her son off with his father for three weeks… I defy them not to hook up.

What drove you to write SOMEBODY TO LOVE? 
I’d been thinking about Parker for a while; she first shows up as the best friend in THE NEXT BEST THING, in which she gives sage advice and seems quite content as a singleton. I wondered what she’d be like if I took away that trust fund and mansion, as well as her book series, with which she has a love/hate relationship.

What were your biggest obstacles? 
Blending the casts from the two previous books was a challenge, as well as making sure that a new reader wouldn’t feel left out if she hadn’t read those two previous books. The other obstacle was staying true to the things I’d set up in the previous book; I had this great idea for Parker’s relationship with the father of her son; then I reread THE NEXT BEST THING and thought, “Nope. Can’t do it. It’s just not true.”

What are your productivity tips? 
Turn off your wifi. We teach ourselves to have ADD with wifi, I think. I also keep a weekly page goal and almost never miss it. Daily can be tough; if you commit to 15 pages a day but then have a sick child or need to get other things done, it’s easy to feel discouraged. Weekly allows me to have a life outside of writing while still keeping my eye on the prize, as it were.


  1. Peter and Kristan,

    Thanks for sharing your tips and knowledge. I like the idea of a weekly goal versus a daily writing goal. There are just some days, when everything else is done, that my brain is fried and needs a night off.

  2. A) Turn off wifi, B)Set weekly page count
    I know these things, but do I do them? Nope...will start immediately. Thanks, Kristan. BTW, I'm loving Parker and James' story. Blessings on you for another lovely heartwarming romance.

  3. Kristan: Thanks so much for sharing. I always love reading your work. I would love to be as productive as you!

  4. Great tips, Kristin!
    WiFi is a crazy time waster for me but I'm like an addict and I get the shakes just thinking about shutting it off!
    I have an erratic schedule/life outside of writing so the weekly page goals make a lot of sense to me--along with a commitment to write SOMETHING every day. If I don't, I lose the story to easily.

    Back to writing now...
    Stephanie Queen

  5. Oh jumpin' jiminey, my Internet stuff has gone out of control. I get on to check for email and/or blog emergencies (yes, they happen), but then I have family who only contact me through Facebook and by the time I've put out fires/returned mail, my keyboard time is sucked up. I should take a cue from you, Kristan. Turn the danged thing off. Stop the Madness. Tomorrow, right?

  6. Ah yes, Parker and James. Kristan, you kept the story "Somebody to Love" hot and moving forward every page, every sentence. We read aloud to each other. Tom reading to me, then me reading to Tom was so exciting. You cannot miss anything with that method. It got to the point where reading on our car trips was not enough. We read at home too, instead of TV. Imagine, and we are avid TV watchers. Peter, thanks for having Kristan visit.

  7. Thanks, gang! A pleasure to be here today, and thank you, Peter, for having me.

  8. Thank you, Kristan. And a big thank you to all those who stopped by to read and comment!

  9. Very nice interview Peter, thank Susan for telling me to stop by. Lots of nice tips.

    Diana Belchase