Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Blog Q&A with Kristan Higgins

Here are a few questions I had for Kristan Higgins author of My One and Only:

1. Is it just a coincidence that two of your characters (Harper and Willa) are named after famous authors? Are Harper Lee and Willa Cather some of your favorite authors?

Nope, no coincidence, and yes, they are. Once an English major, forever cursed to drop in literary references whenever possible. In MY ONE AND ONLY, Harper assumes she’s named after the author of To Kill a Mockingbird. Willa’s name is actually Willard, and Harper, taking pity on her stepsister, gives her a more graceful version of the name. She uses the fact that they both have literary names to bond with the little girl. It’s one of my favorite scenes, actually.

2. You're a Yankees fan, why put a Red Sox fan with a Yankees fan in your book? Even this Mets fan wonders how that can work?
Yes, I’m a Yankees fan, but most of my books are set in New England, also known as Red Sox Nation (the Sox rarely win in a Higgins novel, you’ll note). So Harper, a Martha’s Vineyard native, is basically required by Massachusetts state law to be a Sox fan, but Nick’s a New Yorker (and not a masochist, so he clearly doesn’t back the Mets…oh, the humanity!). I liked the exchanges they had on the Yankees/ Red Sox…gave them yet another thing about which they could disagree. These are two people who love to argue, after all.

3. With so many romance novels out there, how do you keep your stories fresh?
I think it’s the dogs. Actually, I’m not sure I have a conscious method of keeping things fresh, though I do appreciate the compliment! Maybe it’s the humor that runs through the books, or the fact that I try never to let my characters take the easy way out of anything…they really need to earn their happily ever afters.

4. In three words, how would you describe your book?
Oh, what a brutal question! Three words? For a writer? What am I, Hemingway? (See? There I go with the literary references again…) But, since you force me, how’s this? Intelligent romantic comedy. At least, I hope so.

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