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.