The winner from last week’s Author Spotlight with Elizabeth is Nat Holmgren! Please email my assistant Christen with your mailing address. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This week Anita Higman is in the spotlight! To win a copy of her A Merry Little Christmas, leave a comment on this post!
Share a little bit about yourself. Married with kids? Empty nester? Do you work full-time and write when you can squeeze it in?
I’m an empty-nester now, so I write full-time. My husband and I travel some too. In fact, we just got back from cruising through the fjords of Alaska and spending time canoeing, zip-lining, atv-ing, and alpine-hiking in Whistler, Canada. It was a most amazing journey!
And share something about your writing. What’s your genre(s), your areas of interest…
I write mostly contemporary romance with a bit of humor, and I love to write with a slight fairytale feel. I’m hoping readers will be able to drift away from the stress of work and the daily grind to find a cozy place where they can be entertained and inspired.
How did you get started writing? Did you have a dream of being a published author?
I wanted to be a writer from a young age. I had a little manual typewriter, and so I tried pecking and hammering out a story. It was truly terrible. Those were the first stirrings of interest in writing, but unfortunately, I walked away from my dream for a long time. I had an appalling lack of confidence growing up. When I was thirty, though, I got my courage back. I was reading along on a novel and thought, “I can do this.” I think it was God gently nudging me again. This time I listened and kept going, and I have been writing ever since. I have forgotten the name of the novel I was reading when I had that epiphany, but I will never forget that decision to write—to finally allow myself to follow my dream.
After you started writing seriously–how long was it before you were published?
I don’t remember how many years, but it felt like forever.
Aside from a cup of good, strong coffee, what helps you get all of your “brain cylinders” firing so you can write well? Do you have any favorite places and routines when you write? How many hours a day do you spend writing?
I get up at five-thirty every weekday morning, and I write for as many hours as it takes to get my word count done. My writing time varies from day to day. It can be anywhere from five to ten hours. I used to go to a café to write a couple of times a week, but I found I could get more work done at home in my office. In the afternoon, sometimes I work a power nap into my schedule.
What has been the biggest help to you in the journey to publication? Writers’ conferences? Writing groups? Your mom as your first draft reader?
Writers’ conferences—such as the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) conference—have been a big help in my career!
Is the “writer’s life” what you thought it would be? (Explain your answer)
There’s a lot more tedious work than I imagined, going over and over the manuscript until it’s just right. All of those polishing passes as I call them take loads of time.
What are your biggest distractions?
By far, email and social networking. I have to limit both or I simply won’t get my work done.
What do you least like about being a writer? Most like?
The many hours of editing can get tiresome, but it’s worth it. My favorite part is seeing the novel on the shelves in the bookstore. I never get tired of that moment.
What advice would you give to new writers?
For new writers, my advice would be, “Don’t rush the process. Take your time. Read and learn about the craft, network, and attend conferences. Start a blog, and find your own unique voice. Be faithful to your stories and write every day. If you really have a passion for writing, you won’t find my suggestions to be a punishment—but a pleasure.”
Pretend I’m a customer at a bookstore looking for a good book. Give me a one or two sentence promo to convince me to buy your book.
In A Merry Little Christmas, I enjoyed putting characters together who came from very different backgrounds. Add to the mix, a farm setting during the holidays, bits of humor, and the turbulent 60s, and I’m hoping readers will have a fun and interesting ride.
What’s on the book horizon for you?
A novel entitled, No Place Like Middlebury, which will be a story about the drama, comedy, and romance of small town life in Texas.
Last question, how can readers find you and your books?
A Merry Little Christmas will be in most bookstores as well as on Amazon. Here is my website as well as my reader page on Facebook, where I would love to connect with you.
Thank you for sharing your writing life with my bleaders! (blog + readers = bleaders)
Thanks for having me here. It was a pleasure.