Kristan Higgins Interview and Road Trip Prize

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HQN author Kristan Higgins is back this year with a brand new release, My One and Only, which has already earned her a Perfect 10 review from Romance Reviews Today. The reviews from book bloggers are coming in as well, and the overall majority are quite positive. Everybody Needs a Little Romance said My One and Only “made me want to return to page one and read it all over again.” Over at the Maldivian Book Reviewer’s Realm of Romance (phew! Say that one three times fast…) we heard this: “I loved this story right from its beautiful glossy cover to each and every emotion that it pulled out of me as I read along.”

Shucks, we like Kristan a lot too. To celebrate her release, we asked this contemporary romance novelist to answer some questions. And as a cherry on top, we’ve also put together a road trip-ready kit to giveaway on the blog today. Read the interview after the jump! Your opportunity to win the Harper James’s Essentials for a Road Trip with Your Ex pirze pack follow.

You’re a contemporary romance novel writer, but have you ever wanted to write in any other genre? What genres do you wish you could write in?

I would love to write a historical…I intended to write historicals, actually, but I just don’t have the voice for it. Ideas, sure, but not the voice (or patience to do all the research!). I also have an idea for a murder mystery, but honestly, I can’t see myself going there…too dark! I haven’t been writing fiction all that long, so contemporary still feels fresh and fun, and I’m really happy doing it, so I’ll stick with that for now.

What’s the hardest part about writing a romantic comedy? Do you ever get stuck on jokes?

I think the hardest part is keeping things funny without making them too absurd. Humor for the sake of humor isn’t enough for me…there has to be a reason behind it, which can be hard. I had a scene in JUST ONE OF THE GUYS that I ended up cutting, because while it really was hilarious, it didn’t serve a purpose beyond that. When it works though…that’s the best. There’s a certain scene in TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, for example, that I think is one of my funniest (the parents getting it on while Grace hides in the closet). But it had to have a deeper meaning than just the horror of hearing your parents’ amour…so I used it to show that Grace’s parents, though they fought constantly, did have a happy marriage in their own slightly disturbing way. J

I’ve written entire novels based around a funny scene that sort of pops into my head and won’t let go. For example, the whole idea for MY ONE AND ONLY came from a scene I just had to write: two people bickering as they stood on the altar as best man and maid of honor. I built the book around that image, because it just wouldn’t leave me alone.

What’s it like to be a romance novelist? Do you have any favourite fan moments? Any not-so-great moments?

Being a romance novelist is the greatest job! I’m never alone, I fall in love about twice a year (and my husband doesn’t even mind), and I live vicariously through my characters, who do and say things I never could. It can be hard when a book isn’t cooperating, but even the toughest days are gifts.

I have a zillion favorite fan moments, I really do…I was chased down a hallway at a conference once…by a librarian. One woman drove five hours to come to a book signing. Some readers send me gifties, which is so sweet and thoughtful and lovely, I just can’t tell you. A lot of readers stay in touch regularly—they’re true friends now—and that’s a perk I never imagined.

As for not-so-great moments, not really! I’ve had some mail from people who don’t love what I’ve done in a particular book, but those are few and far between, I’m happy to say. You can’t please everyone. The strangest letter I got was from a woman who said she couldn’t finish ALL I EVER WANTED because Callie drove a Prius…this person drove a Buick and found the Prius offensive. That one had me scratching my head.

Your new novel MY ONE AND ONLY is about a road trip—what’s the best road trip you’ve ever been on? Or most unusual?

My hubby, kids and I drove across country a few years ago, and it was spectacular! We saw so many beautiful places, from national parks to tiny little towns to the prairie, some big glorious cities scattered in there, too. This summer, we’re doing it again—Seattle to Montana, with a week in Glacier National Park, where part of MY ONE AND ONLY is set.

My most unusual road trip? Well, my parents drove us to Florida (from Connecticut) when I was about 10. I was very prone to motion sickness. My brother and sister can tell you more about what we did and saw…I was too busy yacking out the window. It was memorable, especially for the cars behind ours, because there was no way my dad was going to pull over…he was a man with a schedule!

You’ve said in the past that you choose pets very carefully for each novel. Can you give us a sneak peek into what your heroine’s pet says about her?
This is Sidney, from Flickr. I just couldn't resist the opportunity to post a picture of a cute doggy. ~ Olga :)
Harper has a Jack Russell-Chihuahua mix named Coco. I love this dog! She’s extremely smart, knows how to get what she wants, rarely has to take no for an answer…just like Harper. The dog alternates between being shy, sweet and vulnerable (her Chihuahua side) and bold, bossy and fun (the Jack Russell side). Harper doesn’t know it, but she’s a lot like her pet…thinks she’s pretty tough, but has a softer side, too. And Harper has commitment issues—but she adores that dog. Coco is a hint that Harper might not be as irredeemable as she thinks.

* * *

Thanks for answering our questions, Kristan! Now, as promised, we’re going to give away ONE road trip prize pack, especially created for the release of My One and Only.

Harper James, the main character in My One and Only, wasn’t planning on taking a road trip with her ex-husband, Nick. In fact, she wasn’t planning to ever see him again, period. But when Harper and Nick end up at a mutual friend’s destination wedding, fate has other plans for them. They end up on a cross-country drive and there’s romance at every turn. If only Harper had been able to pack for this unexpected adventure…

Harper James’s Essentials for a Road Trip with Your Ex includes a copy of My One and Only, perfect reading material when you’re not behind the wheel. Plus, you’ll get the T-Lu Lunch Tote by Vonny, Sun Glow Powder Bronzer by Sally Hansen Natural Beauty Inspired by Carmindy (the fabulous make up artist from TLC’s What Not to Wear), Forever stay Moisture Gloss by Sally Hansen Natural Inspired by Carmindy, Lift & Define Mascara by Sally Hansen Natural Beauty Inspired by Carmindy, a Fashion Forward dog collar and…a pack of gum (because fresh breath is essential, and you never know who you’ll want to get a little closer to!)

To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment here with your own road trip story. What’s the wackiest, weirdest, silliest or just plain best road trip you’ve ever taken? Leave a comment by 11:59pm EST Sunday, March 27th. We’ll pick a winner at random on Monday and send you the prize pack. Sorry international readers, but this contest is available to residents of the U.S. and Canada only. For full contest details, visit our contest rules page.

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85 Responses to Kristan Higgins Interview and Road Trip Prize

  1. Bernadette

    I really love Kristan’s stories! They always give me some good laughs!

    I grew up taking road trips with my parents as we traveled to our grandparent’s homes at least twice a year to visit. Now, my husband, four children, and I have also taken many road trips and have albums full of photos for the memories.

    There was the two week trip (round-trip)from Houston to Niagra Falls. The kids were much younger and my daughter would get nose bleeds while we were traveling and that would then mean a special trip to the laundromat to wash all the soiled laundry. There was also the time that we were able to coast off the highway into the parking lot when the alternator died on our minivan. Or the time we were returning from a trip to Arizona and the engine overheated on I-10, miles from any town. We were so blessed that strangers helped us each of those times and that we had a safe trip. Those were the days!

  2. Tiffany Krepps

    The best road trip I ever had, I don’t think most people would ever consider a bad road trip, but I have some really good memories from it.

    I’m only 20 so I haven’t had much in the way of road trips but when I was 18 my friends and I just decided to get in the car and drive, because we were bored and it was summer.

    We ended up getting lost on back roads, and my friends husband was using GPS to try and get us on a main road. It didn’t work we ended up more lost. No one agreed we were lost until we ended passing a sign that said “Welcome to New York” and we were supposed to be in Ohio LOL.

    That’s not even the worst part of it. On one of the back roads we got lost on me and my friend ended up having to go to the bathroom, and we were so scared to get out because we were lost for one and didn’t know if someone would come and pass us.

    Even though we got lost it was one of the best times ever because we laughed through the whole thing.

  3. Tiffany Krepps

    So sorry for the double post, I re-read my post like 3 times before I sent it and I didn’t see it.

    “The best road trip I ever had, I don’t think most people would ever consider a bad road trip, but I have some really good memories from it.”

    That is supposed to say The best road trip I ever had, I think most people would consider it a bad road trip, but I have some really good memories from it.

  4. I love road trips and have taken many of them. I really can’t think of a best one. I can tell you of a funny incident while on a road trip along the Snake River in Idaho. It was so hot and we were drinking tons of iced tea and lemonade which we dug out of a cooler in the back seat of the car. We would give them a small shake and then open them. I grabbed a can gave it a small shake and opened it and the pop inside just exploded all over the place. We decided to head for Yellowstone park at that point to get out of the heat. So we weren’t really prepared to camp in the cooler climate and shivered through one night in our tent. The next night we slept in our car just south of Jackson Hole. Station wagons were great for sleeping in.

  5. Jolene Allcock

    @Kristen Higgins, my husband and I had the same experience on our last trip to San Fran. The one and only time we took a cab, I’d never been so happy to fly out that door and hit the ground with my feet. It was a scary ride!!! We decided to to walk everywhere else after that experience

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