Marie I am glad to have you in my blog this week. When did you first know you wanted to be an author?
Funny storyâ€¦but I hadnâ€™t realized I wanted to be a real, published author until after Iâ€™d been writing stories for about five years. I actually thought it was a fun thing to do in my spare time, and it beat watching TV all day. But one day I let a friend of mine read a story of mine, and she hooked me up with a writer who was my mentor, and wellâ€¦the rest is history.
So fun and exiting…What makes you passionate about writing?
I love writing twists and unexpected turns in my stories. I love making the reader think they know the ending, and then they are happily surprised when itâ€™s totally different. And I especially love the comments I receive from my readers, telling me how much they enjoy reading these romances. Thatâ€™s what makes me passionateâ€”probably because I love to tease the reader. Every new book I write, I challenge myself to figure out a better suspenseful plot.
What was the pathway like for you to get your first book published?
Iâ€™ve been writing for a good 19 years. In 2005 I found an e-publisher and they took the chance on my stories. I went through several e-publishers before realizing I wanted more. I wanted a print publisher who could get my stories in bookstores. This was before Kindle or Nook was even born. I came so close a few times, but in the end, I was passed over. One year turned into two, and soon it was 2010. I finally found my first real print publisher. Yet, not even 18 months after signing with them, I realized how the book business was changing and I wanted to catch a ride on the indie-author wagon. So thatâ€™s what Iâ€™m doing now. I sincerely hope that the business doesnâ€™t turn around and make me have to find another publisher because I really love the freedom indie-authors have.
Were you ever discouraged along the way? If so, how did you deal with it?
Iâ€™ve been discouraged many times, as Iâ€™m sure all authors are. Thankfully, I have author friends who were my support. They carried me through the rocky times and lifted my spirits. Another way I deal with being discouraged is reading my reviews and realizing how many people actually enjoy my style of writing!
What books have most influenced your life?
The very first book I read was a historical romance. â€œA Rose in Winterâ€ by Kathleen E Woodiwiss. From there I searched for all the historical authors I could find. So really, not just one book or one author influenced me (unless it was Woodiwiss), but it was most historical writers.
Please tell us about your Christmas book, â€œDreaming of Youâ€.
I started writing this story before I was even published (a long time ago). At my day job, I worked with this lady who had an incredibly good looking brother. His ex-wife was a real stinker, but he loved his children and would do anything for them. Thatâ€™s when I realized he needed a storyâ€¦a story only I could write. Too bad I didnâ€™t keep in contact with the lady I worked with because she has no idea this story was about her brother.
Tell as more about it. A back cover blurb perhaps?Â
Katelyn Palmer never believed any harm could come from using her college crush as the hero in her first romance novelâ€”the novel that jumpstarted her writing career. Â However, when Shane Hunter storms into town, demanding to meet the writer who used his identity Katelyn is confronted with more than her long, silent emotions. Â If Shane takes her to court for invasion of privacy, her career would be over.
Shane doesnâ€™t know how to act when his ex sister-in-law accuses him of having an affair while he was marriedâ€”and then shows him the romance book as proof.Â Now he wants to know who this author really is and why she used his name, and most of the events in his life for her story.Â Desperate to know the truth Shane befriends Katelyn but he does not expect to be attracted to her, even more unexpected is the joy he finds watching his twins fall in love with the woman who is stealing his heart, too…
Link to Amazon – http://amzn.com/B00A6G5JO0
Do you just sit down and write, waiting to see what happens next? Or do you outline first?
I do a little outlining. I have to know who my characters are (even the villains) and I have to know what their motivations are and what will conflict with their goals. I usually know what the first few chapters will be like, but after that, my characters write the story. They tell me how they want their love story and happy ending to turn out.
Whatâ€™s your secret to making the characterâ€™s in your books come to life?
I need to make my characters real and give them flaws. I need to give them real problems that real people haveâ€¦and real feelings. Once I have figured that part out, I climb into their shoes when Iâ€™m writing their scene, and hopefully that makes them come to life.
How do you come up with your characterâ€™s names?
I have a chart of names that I use a lot (mainly for my historical characters). For my modern-day characters I just look through books or magazines or recall names of customers I have helped in my day job to see which names I like the most.
What is the best complement you could receive from a reader?
There are two words Iâ€™ve been hearing a lot from readers. I love these words! My readers say my books are addictingâ€¦and that my stories are amazing.Â Yep, two of my favorite â€˜Aâ€™ words!
Where can readers go to find your books?
All my books are on Amazon.com. Because I have so many, I donâ€™t dare take up a lot of room by listing the individual links. However, you can check out my stories on my blog/website –http://mariehiggins84302.blogspot.com
Find me on Facebook â€“ facebook.com/marie.higgins.7543
And Twitter – @MarieHigginsXOX
Marie, have an awesome writing future. 🙂