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Monday, March 03, 2008

Interview with Anita Higman!

Today we’re chatting with Anita Higman whose cozy mystery Another Stab at Life releases through Heartsong Presents Mysteries. If you'd like to be entered in the drawing to win Another Stab at Life, please post a comment below with your contact information.

Award-winning author Anita Higman has twenty books published for adults and children, and she has five more coming out. She's contributed to nine nonfiction compilations and was selected as a Barnes & Noble "Author of the Month" for Houston.

Ms. Higman has also written for radio, television, newspaper, ezine, advertising, and animation. She enjoys giving speeches and presentations at conferences, meetings, and schools.

She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in speech communication, art, and psychology. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Christian Humor Writers' Group.

Anita was born and raised on a farm in Western Oklahoma but has lived in Texas for the past twenty-three years. Besides writing, her other interests include reading, going to the movies, and cooking brunch for her friends. She lives with her family near Houston, Texas.

Now, here’s Q&A with Anita:

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Ever since I was a kid I’ve wanted to be a writer. But there was one big obstacle to that goal—I lacked the confidence. Then when I was thirty years old I decided I’d finally give it a try. I had no idea at the time how really hard writing would turn out to be. In fact, I might have taken another serious pause. But in the end after twenty-one books and about that same number of years in the writing business, I’m glad I took that first step. Now you might ask, “Well, did you ever get your confidence?” I would reply, “There are still days I question my abilities to write. I think I always will always doubt myself from time to time. But it never paralyzes me enough to think I can’t do it. I dig in and get the job done no matter what. Because that’s what writers do.

Tell us about your book series.

Another Stab at Life is the first installment in The Volstead Manor Series. This is a series of three cozy mysteries with a fun gothic, chick-lit feel. So, if you’re looking for something different this might interest you. Oh, and two more aspects of the novels I forgot to mention is that they’re about Prohibition, and they’re all contemporary. I hope these details have caused your curiosity meter to rise.

How did you get to know your hero and heroine?

I’m sure this sounds like a rather boring process, but I fill out character bio sheets on my main characters. These sheets go beyond eye and hair color, etc. and included questions like, “What is your greatest fear?” or “What embarrasses you?” or “Who is your best friend?” In addition to the bio sheets I interview my characters. This sounds kind of strange, but somehow it works.

What process do you use to write your novel? Are you a strict plotter, or do you allow for some surprises?

I start with a synopsis, which is usually several pages long, and then I let myself go off on tangents if I think it will help the story. I don’t think I’ve ever stayed with a synopsis totally. There are just too many fun and clever things that can happen along the way if you’re open to them and not tied too tightly to an outline.

What book are you reading now?

I just finished reading Steve Martin’s autobiography entitled, Born Standing Up. It was funny and honest and moving, particularly the part where Mr. Martin writes about the healing process with his father.

Who is your favorite author and what really strikes you about their work?

Jane Austen’s work is absolutely delicious. Once when I was reading Pride and Prejudice I had to get back out of bed and read some more because I was so swept up in the novel. And this was after I’d seen the movie many times! Her work is full of humor, beautiful language, and well-developed and relatable characters.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

I’m certain you’ve read this advice before, but here are a few basics. This business takes tremendous patience. When it comes to the long waits, one way to control your frustration is to think of the writer’s life as a long journey. If you’re seeking fame and fortune and a way to impress your in-laws you might want to rethink this profession. You need to have a passion for writing no matter the weather. No matter the piles of rejections. Practice is another key to success in this business. Write every day if you can, even if it’s only for an hour. Also reading all kinds of books can be a great help, even if it’s not in the genre you’re writing in. These tips sound simple—lots of reading and writing and patience—but I think they’re still important elements in a writer’s life.

By the way, I just hired a production company to create a book trailer for Another Stab at Life. I hope you’ll drop by and check it out at www.anitahigman.com. Another Stab at Life will be released to the Heartsong Presents Mysteries book club members in March, and then it will go to the bookstores in September. But if you’re really anxious to buy a copy right now, please call Barbour Publishing at 800-852-8010.

Thanks, Anita! Readers, if you get a chance, hop over to Anita’s web site and see her book trailer.

If you'd like to be entered in the drawing to win a copy of Another Stab at Life, please post a comment.


Blogger windycindy said...

What a fascinating interview! I love getting to know something about the author's who are behind the books. I really enjoy reading mysteries. Pleas enter me in your drawing. I appreciate it.....Thanks,Cindi

11:47 PM  
Blogger Hannah said...

great interview! i'd love to win a copy of this book! hsmuda[at]gmail[dot]com thanks!

8:17 AM  
Anonymous Ruth Dell said...

Well my curiosity meter rose right to the top as soon as I read that Anita's book had a fun gothic, chick-lit feel. I'd love to read 'Another Stab at Life , please enter me in the drawing. thank you.

Ruth Dell

9:54 AM  
Blogger Ty said...

Great interview! I would love to read the book as well.
Ty - cookieaisle [at] yahoo.com

12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your book sounds interesting. I'd love to read it!

2:34 PM  
Blogger tetewa said...

I'd like to be included, sounds good! tWarner419@aol.com

3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please enter me.

6:25 PM  
Blogger Abnormal-Haze said...

I read a few interviews on the blog, and I noticed something. You ask such normal questions for an author. And I know some people say it's impolite, but why not ask them how much tings cost? The price of the cover, paper, ink, editors, publishing company, ect? It's one of the few thigns that still interest me in life, and haunts me in the day hours. For the sake of my sanity, can ANYBODY help me with this question? Please?

Hoping to become sucessful author one day-

2:25 AM  

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