Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Special Guest - Anita Higman

Today's special guest is Anita Higman and her book, Love Finds You in Humble, TX.
Award-winning author, Anita Higman, has twenty-four books published (several coauthored) for adults and children, and she has been honored as a Barnes & Noble “Author of the Month” for Houston. Anita has a B.A. degree, combining speech communication, psychology, and art. Some of her favorite things are exotic teas, going to the movies, and all things Jane Austen. She’d love for you to visit her website at
Here's an interview with Anita about her most recent novel, Love Finds You in Humble, TX.
Tell us about your most recent novel. I hired the amazing Circle of Seven Productions to do a book trailer for me, so I’ll let the narrator tell you a bit about the book. Click here:

Do you have a favorite character in Love Finds You in Humble Texas? Actually, I was very interested in one of the smaller characters. I love Wiley Flat. He was such a surprise the way he showed up and revealed himself to me. Almost as if he really did exist. There are so many times I’ve thought it would be fun to attend a party and have all my characters show up. I could watch them interact with each other, and see what happens. Reminds me of the movie Stranger Than Fiction.

How did you come up with the idea for this novel? I started with a simple concept—two sisters who were very different. One would be an image coach and the other would be in desperate need of an image coach. Then I thought, “What if both sisters fall in love with the same man?” Now that seemed like an interesting concept since it would have a lot of natural built-in conflict, especially if the sisters were close. I wrote an opening scene, and then my fingers began to fly. Even though I generally know where the novel is going, many times the story reveals itself as I go along.

Are you anything like the heroine of your novel? I’m like Trudie Abernathy in certain ways. She has the heart of an artist, and she is introspective and has a passion for life. I am those things too. But Trudie is a compilation of many personality traits beyond me. Some pieces are from acquaintances, friends, family members, and from just watching people and taking mental notes. Then in the process of writing, the imagination takes over to add its own magic to the mix.
What do you hope readers will feel when they finish your book? Here is a tiny excerpt. “Life can be a collage of pretty pictures as well as a thousand shattered moments, but God can bring marvel to it all as He takes those broken pieces and, with the light of His grace shining through them, makes something beautiful, something treasured.” I hope readers feel that kind of encouragement when they close the book.

When did you realize that you were going to be a writer? At a young age I tried writing a novel. It was truly terrible, but I know those were the first little signs of what I would someday be. I should have taken the signs more seriously. But I didn’t. I walked away from my desires and dreams for a very long time. I had an appalling lack of confidence. And so when I was about thirty, I was reading a novel, and I thought, “Okay, I can do this.” I think it was God gently nudging me again. This time I listened. And I kept going, and have been writing ever since. I wish I could tell you the name of the novel I was reading when I had that epiphany, but the name of the book is lost from my memory. But I will never forget the way I felt when I made that decision to write—to finally allow myself to follow my dream.

What does an average workday look like for you? I get up around 5:30, eat oatmeal and grapefruit, and then take a mug of coffee upstairs to my office. I catch up on my email, and then I start writing. I break for an early lunch, and then I either run a few errands, or I go back to my writing. After dinner, I’m usually back in my office working again or I’ll spend the evening reading a good book. I don’t watch TV, but on the weekends I do love to rent new movies. Watching someone else’s story unfold is my treat after working hard all week, trying to tell my own story.

Where do you get the ideas for your novels? Everywhere I go, ideas come to me—whether it’s a book concept or a new character or a twist in the plot or a unique phrase. Sometimes I’ll be grocery shopping or picking up the dry-cleaning, and I’ll think of something to add to my work. That happens so often that I’ve come to accept errands as a blessing in disguise.
What are some of your favorite books? I enjoy reading the classics. I loved Oliver Twist, To Kill a Mockingbird, Romance of the Forest, Pride and Prejudice, and The Woman in White.

Do you have any tips for writers?
1. Read. I have discovered that the more I read the better I write.
2. Follow all leads from networking opportunities, writer's conferences, and tips from writer friends.
3. Look for "holes" in the marketplace. One way of finding holes is to talk to booksellers and librarians. You might discover that there is a real need for a certain kind of book. Perhaps a number of patrons have asked repeatedly for a particular subject and there are few or no books written on it.
4. Try brainstorming when you are out of ideas. Then when the ideas do flow, start a file for later use. For example, you could have a file with character profiles, bits of dialogue, fresh book titles, or other elements that you could eventually use in a new piece of writing.
5. Read all your work out loud. It sounds a bit simplistic, but it’s a valuable tool.
6. Titles are important. Make sure that your title is the very best it can be for your work. If you don't like it, brainstorm until you find a new one, or use a dazzling phrase from your manuscript.
7. If you feel a burnout approaching, and you're actually thinking about throwing in the towel, put your work aside, read a book for fun, start a journal, go on a writer's retreat, or take a break by writing something outside your genre.
8. Try making a habit of writing, even when you don't think you're in an inspired mood.
9. Pray that God will guide you and help you be the best writer you can be.
10 Many popular authors have known rejection, so you’re not alone if you have a drawer full of rejection slips. (Years ago I collected enough to paper a small room!) The bottom line is—if you feel called to write, don't give up.)

Great advice! Where can readers find you online? I’d love for you to drop by my web site. I’m at
Thanks for inviting me to your blog!
Thank You, Anita for blogging with us today!


Anonymous said...

Greetings out there!

I'm here if anyone has a question or comment.

Happy day!

Anita Higman

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Anita and welcome! You have a positive and inspiring message to share with writers and a ton of sound advice. I agree about reading. Not only is it one of my favorite hobbies, but it helps me write better. Your new book sounds quite intriguing and I look forward to learning how it will affect the lives of the sisters! Thanks for joining the white roses today.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sharon!

Thanks for the welcome and the kind words about the interview.
I'm so glad you're a reader. Such fun!
Best wishes with all your writing endeavors.
Anita Higman

Annette M. Irby said...

Hi Anita. So glad to see you here! I loved your book. Thanks for sharing about your typical writing week and those tips for writers. Very helpful! I liked the advice to follow through on every lead. I think self-doubt keeps writers from doing that at every opportunity. Your encouragement will help. And the room you papered with rejections...I've read that before. Still wows me. And look where you are now.

:) Annette

JoAnn said...

Thanks for sharing with us, Anita. I enjoyed your tips. #9 was my favorite. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Annette!

Good to hear from you again. Glad you stopped by.

I'm pleased you were helped by the tips and generally encouraged. Best wishes with your writing!

Anita Higman

Anonymous said...

Hi JoAnn!

I'm glad you dropped in. Yes, tip number 9 is the most important. Praying is vital:)

Blessings to you!
Anita Higman

Kara Lynn Russell said...

Thanks for the writing advice. I bought the first Love Finds You book for the library where I work, partly because I wanted to read it myself. But it hasn't been on the shelf long enough for me to have a turn with it! I will definitely be buying more Love Finds You books, perhaps starting with yours. I like your premise and am wondering which sister needs to learn about being humble.

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Thanks for stopping by Anita!

I must confess, Friends, I have read this book and enjoyed it immensely!

Check out my review @ amazon &


Anonymous said...

Hi Kara!
That is exciting news about the library. I'm very pleased that patrons are already enjoying the Love Finds You line.
I'm so glad you like the premise of my novel, and if you buy it, I hope you enjoy the story. I certainly had fun writing it!
Blessings to you,
Anita Higman

Anonymous said...

Hi there, Pamela!

Thank you again for your vote of support and your review! You are deeply appreciated!

Have a great rest of the week!
Anita Higman

Cindy K. Green said...

Anita, I just wanted to pop over here and say hi. I had the privileged to review this book. It's one of the best Inspys I've read in quite some time and I finished it in record time. Best wishes.