The best part of RWA for me is talking with authors.
This year, I was able to chat with quite a few of them and I’ll be sharing those interviews over the next few weeks. (I asked them all the same set of questions–I thought it would be fun to compare the answers!)
First up: The gracious Kristan Higgins.
Kristan’s book If You Only Knew is one of my favorite reads of last year and I’ve read and enjoyed her Blue Heron series. Her books make me happy–in each of them, her characters remind me to love and to laugh.
We met in a nook in one of the Marriott Marquis vast lobbies and talked for an hour (and took a selfie!). Kristan smiles readily and talks with ease about her life and her writing. She shared stories of her fireman husband, her childhood, and what interests her now. We laughed a lot.
We also, somewhat startlingly, talked about death. Kristan’s books are often informed by tragedy which she writes about adroitly and with grace. Whether it’s a car crash taking the life of a too young mom (the Blue Heron series), the struggle with fetal alcohol syndrome (Anything for You), or a devastating childhood accident (Somebody to Love), Kristan often tells stories of loss and does so with verisimilitude.
This is in part due, perhaps, to her personal history. Her father was killed by a drunk driver when he was 47 and Kristan was 23. Her mother never remarried and the theme of losing a great love and being afraid to risk such heartbreak again permeates many of Kristan’s books.
Kristan’s next book On Second Thought, out in early 2017, is, like If You Only Knew, about a pair of sisters one of whom is suddenly widowed. It will, I’m sure, break my heart even as it makes me smile.
I was 36. But I spent most of my adolescence rewriting endings.
I’m extremely insecure about everything I write.I worked as a waitress.Three of my four boyfriends proposed to me.
Unfair question! Jane Eyre is obviously a sweeter, more satisfying story, but Wuthering Heights is the one that haunts me.
Robert Downey Jr. Because then I could meet him.
Oddly enough, it was a nonfiction book called Being Mortal. I rarely read nonfiction, but this one was just beautiful.
Same as usual…writing, family, some traveling, watching movies with my kids, sitting on the porch, playing with the dogs. : )
Kristan’s next book is On Second Thought. Here’s the blurb:
Following in the footsteps of her critically acclaimed novel If You Only Knew , multi-bestselling author Kristan Higgins returns with a pitch-perfect look at the affection—and the acrimony—that binds sisters together
Ainsley O’Leary is so ready to get married—she’s even found the engagement ring her boyfriend has stashed away. What she doesn’t anticipate is for Eric to blindside her with a tactless breakup he chronicles in a blog…which (of course) goes viral. Devastated and humiliated, Ainsley turns to her half sister, Kate, who’s already struggling after the sudden loss of her new husband.
Kate has always been so poised, so self-assured, but Nathan’s death shatters everything she thought she knew—including her husband—and sometimes the people who step up aren’t the ones you expect. With seven years and a murky blended-family dynamic between them, Ainsley and Kate have never been overly close, but their shared sorrow dovetails their faltering worlds into one.
Despite the lifetime of history between them, the sisters must learn to put their differences aside and open their hearts to the inevitable imperfection of family—and the possibility of one day finding love again.