Fans invited to meet romance writers at Boonsboro bookstore

April 27, 2011|By MARIE GILBERT |
  • Romance author Kristan Higgins got her start as a story writer by telling stories to her children during car trips.
Submitted photo

BOONSBORO — Fabio, you’re no longer needed.

At least, not in books written by Kristan Higgins.

Instead of a guy on a white stallion, her characters tend to be a bit more entertaining — flawed heroes, a trailer park Barbie and a schizophrenic dog.

It’s comedy mixed with romance and the combination has made Higgins a best-selling novelist.

Tickling your funny bone seems to come easily to the Connecticut author, who has been penning romance books for about nine years.

Speaking before a book club recently, she described herself as an ex-con who lived in a castle in Bavaria and was half-sister to George Clooney.

In reality, she loves to read, is a New York Yankees fan and enjoys riding her bike “but only on flat surfaces.”

She also tells a pretty good story. Several of her books have made it to the New York Times and USA Today best-selling lists and she is a two-time RITA Award winner.

Despite her accomplishments, Higgins said it still feels like a dream.

“There’s definitely a sense of the surreal,” she said. “But, most of the time, it’s just plain old me and our mutt in my little office, writing while the kids are at school and wondering if I remembered to buy eggs when I was at the grocery store.”

Fans will have an opportunity to meet Higgins when she appears Friday at a Washington Romance Writers mega book signing event at Turn the Page Bookstore Cafe in Boonsboro.

Higgins will be one of about 12 authors in attendance.

While writing fiction seems to come naturally to Higgins, it wasn’t a career she planned to pursue. She wanted to be a horse trainer until she was 10, she said. Then she wanted to be a pediatrician.

“Alas, when I got to college and faced all those math classes as a premed major, I panicked and switched to English literature. I’m sure there are hundreds of parents out there who are grateful for that decision,” she joked.

After college, Higgins worked in public relations and advertising until she had children. Then she became a stay-at-home mom. Telling stories to her children on car trips soon led to telling stories on the pages of a book.

Higgins’ first novel, “Fools Rush In,” was published in 2006. Her latest  book, “My One and Only,” was released this past March. And “Until There Was You” comes out in November.

But becoming a successful author didn’t happen overnight.

“I had plenty of rejections,” she said. “I still have the list, in fact. Once I mastered the art of the query letter, though, things went pretty well. It didn’t feel fast to me, but as I learned more about the writing community, I realized that, yep, I got the call pretty quickly. I do feel the need to point out that I was a copywriter for 12 years before I tried my hand at fiction.  So my writing muscles were pretty well developed. A definite advantage.”

Higgins decided to write romance novels, she said, because “they’re fun and they make the reader feel great — and the writer, too, I think.”

“The quest to find ‘The One’ — that person who loves you through and through,” she said, “is one of the strongest forces in life, and, I believe that we have to earn love that will last a lifetime.”

In a great romance book, Higgins said, there are two factors at play, “both of which are fun to write about. The hero is both the worst person and the best person for the heroine and vice versa. Cutting through those worst reasons and finding out that the other is, in fact, perfect — what’s more satisfying than that?”

Since becoming a published author, traveling and meeting her readers has become a part of the job — and one she enjoys.

“I love hearing from and meeting readers,” she said. “That’s just indescribable, having someone tell you how much they liked what you did.  They tell me what scenes or characters they like the most and I feel like a kid on Christmas morning, just so thrilled and grateful. The first time someone asked if they could take a picture of me, I said, ‘Are you kidding?  I was just about to ask you the same thing.’”

Higgins said she’s looking forward to the book signing event at Turn the Page.

“I haven’t met Nora Roberts and I’m so excited,” she said. “Do I kneel? Curtsy? Kiss her ring? I heard her speak last year and there’s no writer I admire more in terms of honesty, humor and work ethic, so I’m counting the hours.”

If you go:
WHAT: Washington Romance Writers mega-book signing event
WHEN: 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, April 29
WHERE: Turn the Page Bookstore, 18 N. Main St., Boonsboro
COST: Free tickets will be given out at the bookstore Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
CONTACT: Call 301-432-4588, email or go to
MORE: Features authors Nora Roberts (aka J.D. Robb), Kristan Higgins, Lori Wilde, Roxanne Rustand, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Kieran Kramer, Hope Ramsey, Michelle Willingham, Alix Rickloff, Christine Trent, Anita Clenny, Mindy Klasky, Sally MacKenzie and Sophia Nash.

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