Kristan Higgins

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Kristan Higgins is a New York Times bestselling author and two-time winner of the Romance Writers of America RITA Award. Her books have been called "perfect entertainment for a girl's night in" (Booklist), "hilarious and heartfelt" (Romance Junkies) and "the best I've ever read" (Kristan's husband).

Kristan is the mother of two lovely children, the wife of a firefighter and the owner of a very naughty dog. She loves to eat out, watch movies and of course, read.

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UnknownWhen I start writing a new book, I do it in pieces. This is because writing a book is (to me) terrifying. I can’t sit down and say, “Okay, Higgins, get to work! Only 450 pages to go!” or I would end up looking at remote Montana cabins on Pinterest, trying to figure out how quickly I can pack a bag and run away.

So I break the process into chunks and try not to look at the whole thing. Those authors who start with a burst of inspiration and type, “Chapter One” and just get going…I am not one of them. So I start by outlining and jotting notes about the characters, and assembling what is essentially a hot mess of ideas. I’d guess I spend about a month and a half doing this before I write the dreaded words: Chapter One.

Recently, I’ve broken down my books into a series of documents, each one a separate chapter. That too keeps me focused on what I have to do this day. When I’m happy with the chapter, I cut and paste into the main document, and see the book grow by ten or sixteen pages at a time.

When I have about 300 pages, I realize that I am, in fact, writing a book, and it’s got some legs. The fear subsides a bit. I start to see what’s wrong and which parts need work, and I keep another document, cheerfully entitled “What Sucks.” It lets me acknowledge that the book needs a lot of work without throwing up my hands and applying for bartending jobs.

Unknown-1The same is true for my upcoming trip to Europe. I’ve never been to Italy, Germany or France. I speak rudimentary French, but when a native French-speaker talks to me, I catch about every tenth word. I can ask where the Eiffel Tower is, but when I get an answer, I’ll be like, “So okay, you said something about a street…?”

I’ll be alone in Venice, I have already imagined falling into a canal and drowning, getting irretrievably lost, being pick-pocketed and rebreaking my ankle. In Milan, I’m giving a presentation (with a translator). I’ll be giving a reading at a baking school in Hamburg, because they’re publishing The Next Best Thing, which features Bunny’s Bakery. In Paris and Lyon, I have meetings and signings, and these wonderful lunches and teas and dinners.

Italy-Venice-Canals-5I’m a little nervous. Utterly, completely thrilled, but nervous, too. I can’t really think about being away from home for two solid weeks, getting on the right flights, waking up at the right times, being charming, not getting lost. So I’m just thinking about what I have to do next. This week, work on my book. Pack on Thursday. Fly to Maryland on Friday for a signing with La Nora on Saturday (more info at Turn the Page Bookstore). Get back. Write more. Go out to dinner with friends. Pack. Print out documents. Practice deep breathing.

This is where list-making saves my sanity.

I’ll be posting lots and lots of pictures of my travels, gang. Check out my Facebook page and make sure you hit “follow” in addition to “like” and you’ll see my little travelogue.

Are you a list-maker, like me? Got any travel tips for me?

Kristan Higgins

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Kristan Higgins is a New York Times bestselling author and two-time winner of the Romance Writers of America RITA Award. Her books have been called "perfect entertainment for a girl's night in" (Booklist), "hilarious and heartfelt" (Romance Junkies) and "the best I've ever read" (Kristan's husband).

Kristan is the mother of two lovely children, the wife of a firefighter and the owner of a very naughty dog. She loves to eat out, watch movies and of course, read.

Kristan's Website


Social Media


Latest Books

Mary Ruth Baloy, congratulations! Contact Sugar at www.sugarjamison.com to collect your e-book!

Kristan Higgins

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Kristan Higgins is a New York Times bestselling author and two-time winner of the Romance Writers of America RITA Award. Her books have been called "perfect entertainment for a girl's night in" (Booklist), "hilarious and heartfelt" (Romance Junkies) and "the best I've ever read" (Kristan's husband).

Kristan is the mother of two lovely children, the wife of a firefighter and the owner of a very naughty dog. She loves to eat out, watch movies and of course, read.

Kristan's Website


Social Media


Latest Books

1779843_636213913082349_1956624047_n[1]Please welcome my friend Sugar Jamison (who also writes as Ginger Jamison) to the Jaunty Quills! I’ve been so tickled and thrilled and completely unsurprised with her success, and have the privilege of belonging to the same writers group as Sugar (in fact, I kind of insisted she join). Leave a comment, and you could win a digital copy of her great anthology.

 

Children really like me. Sometimes I don’t know why. It could have something to do with my cuddly, teddy bear-like figure. But I don’t think so. I’m a little snarky. Sarcastic even. I really like high heeled shoes and hate things that are sticky. I don’t give off a Mary-Poppins-children-come-love-me vibe. And yet when I’m out in public, I have to avoid eye contact with them because I easily get sucked in to their cute little vortexes. Especially children in shopping carts at the checkout counter. Because if I don’t avoid eye contact, I’ll end up having an in depth conversation with them. I once fell in love with a cherubic-like little boy who kept trying to feed me his drool covered Goldfish crackers. I took every one the mushy crackers he offered me and placed them in my pocket.

Because he was sharing. And sharing is caring. And who could resist that?

I like to watch children too. Not in the creepy hide-your-kids-from-her way, but I like to watch kids interact. See how they talk to each other, how they figure things out. Kids are super interesting. And that’s why I like writing about them. In my latest release GENTLEMEN PREFER CURVES, I tell the story of a kindergartner named Ruby and her father, Carter. Ruby is insightful, bright and says some things that might make you wonder if you’re speaking to a five-year-old little girl or a forty-year-old divorcee. Some critics might (did) say that I wrote an unrealistic, too mature sounding kid. But that’s where I disagree.

I taught elementary school for seven years. Most of those seven years I spent in the primary grades. There were countless hours of lunch and bus duties. Countless hours of me freezing my butt off in the dead of winter watching kids play recess outside. I’ve taught kids how to count money and tie shoes. I’ve listened to them while they’ve had some really amazing discussions about books. I may not know a lot about anything else, but I do know children. And I know that they have changed a lot since I was a kid.

While still innocent, they are a lot savvier about the world than I was. They seem… more adult.

 Which brings me back to Ruby. She’s based on a girl I once knew. Let’s call her Veronica. Anyone who met Veronica would swear she was a middle aged woman parading around in a kindergartner’s body. She wore double breasted trench coats and hound’s-tooth fedora. She hated pants, and only wore skirts with brightly colored tights and ballet flats that matched her outfit. She had personality. She was the most fabulous little girl.

Once she overheard another teacher and I talking about going to Hartford to see a play.

She said, “There’s going to be traffic. They’re having a rally this weekend.”

When asked how she knew, she simply said, “Dad has the news on in the car. I listen.”

“You do?” I asked, thinking no child ever listened based on the amount of times I had to remind them to stay quiet in line.

“Yeah. I know what’s going on.” She was five then and knew more about local traffic and politics than two adults did.

There was another time I complimented one of my second graders on her designer Michael Kors boots. (My shoes had come from Payless.)

When I had asked her where one might find designer shoes for children she said, “You’ve got to go to TJ Maxx or Marshalls. That’s where all the sales are.” A seven year old schooling me on where to shop. She was totally right too. I got a really great handbag on sale.

Then there is my own niece. Who is not even two yet, but I forget that sometimes because I seriously think she’s smarter than my brother. We were in the store one day when she had to go to the bathroom. She happened to be eating an apple and my brother tried to take it away from her before she went into the yucky public restroom. She refused. My brother, the softy, conceded that battle to her.

When we walked away from him she said, “Daddy no take my apple. Why daddy want take my apple?”

“Because bathrooms are dirty,” I said. “People go pee pee in there.”

“Oh,” she said looking thoughtful. She then handed the apple to me.

My niece the genius! Not only is she smart enough to talk about her father behind his back, but she listened to reason.

Of course I know that not all children are like the ones I mentioned above.  But kids are not as simple as some people think they are. They are smart and savvy and can smell BS from a mile away. Don’t ever underestimate a kid, because they’ll end up surprising you every time.

 If you don’t believe me, check out these two kids who are way before their time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TP8RB7UZHKI

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cn3BUCyOsFA

10380546_10100378556591579_2622812904473929486_oAnd if you have any funny stories about the things the kids in your life say, I would love to hear them. I’ll give away a digital copy of ON THE NAUGHTY LIST featuring Lori Foster, Carly Phillips, Beth Ciotta and myself to my favorite tale.

Thanks for having me!!!

Leave a comment and you could win a copy of ON THE NAUGHTY LIST. Winner will be announced Sunday.

Kristan Higgins

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Kristan Higgins is a New York Times bestselling author and two-time winner of the Romance Writers of America RITA Award. Her books have been called "perfect entertainment for a girl's night in" (Booklist), "hilarious and heartfelt" (Romance Junkies) and "the best I've ever read" (Kristan's husband).

Kristan is the mother of two lovely children, the wife of a firefighter and the owner of a very naughty dog. She loves to eat out, watch movies and of course, read.

Kristan's Website


Social Media


Latest Books

elmerRemember that Bugs Bunny cartoon in which Elmer Fudd is ordered to go out to the country for “west and wewaxation”? I kind of wish someone would order me to do that, too. I’m a workaholic, and true relaxation is hard for me. I’m a busy-bee type. I like to be doing things, and then when I do get the chance to utterly relax, I think, “Why don’t I do this more?” That thought is inevitably followed by “I think it’s time to clean out the linen closet.”

Still, like everyone, I have to unwind. I read, of course—that’s the best way to relax. But here are a few other things I do for a little W&W.

Vacuum. Oh, come on, now! Making those lovely little V-patterns in the carpet is FUN! A freshly vacuumed room looks bigger, don’t you think?

amntBinge watch terrible TV shows. America’s Next Top Model, for example. That show brings me such joy! Are any of those girls really going to be famous models? Nah. True fashion models are recruited around the age of 12, I’m afraid. But it’s fun to watch them doing those idiotic challenges. Extra relaxation comes if one is eating Wheat Thins dipped in Nutella, FYI.

Listen to Bob Marley. I still don’t know all the words to No Woman, No Cry, but does that stop me from singing? No, it does not.

Car dance. Oh, the kids just love this one, let me assure you. Recently, when we were at the Princess’s college, we all car-danced as a family. You could feel the love, even as Princess was crouched in terror that we’d be next to a classmate’s vehicle, and Dearest was glaring as he begrudgingly head-bopped along to the Black-Eyed Peas.

bruceDo an impression of Bruce Springsteen. Someday, friends, I shall demonstrate just how much I can sound like the Boss. I’m especially proud of my cover of Thunder Road. “Screen door slams, Mary’s dress waves…”

Get in my pajamas before dinner. It feels like playing hooky or something. Like you’ve cheated Death. Maybe that’s a tiny exaggeration, but you know what I mean.

 

 

with my littlest nephew!

Hold a sleeping baby. You’re trapped, because you’re frozen with adoration and protectiveness, and clearly, this baby’s nap is the most important thing happening on earth right now. Truly. You are the protector of sleep. Breathe deeply of the perfect baby-head smell. Repeat. Press a gentle kiss on baby’s head. Heaven.

 Got any slightly unusual methods for relaxing? I’d love to hear about them!

Kristan Higgins

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Kristan Higgins is a New York Times bestselling author and two-time winner of the Romance Writers of America RITA Award. Her books have been called "perfect entertainment for a girl's night in" (Booklist), "hilarious and heartfelt" (Romance Junkies) and "the best I've ever read" (Kristan's husband).

Kristan is the mother of two lovely children, the wife of a firefighter and the owner of a very naughty dog. She loves to eat out, watch movies and of course, read.

Kristan's Website


Social Media


Latest Books

Kristan will be signing with Nora Roberts at Turn the Page Bookstore, Boonsboro, MD, on 11/1, starting at 12 p.m.

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