Today, I have the privilege of introducing a fellow Heartsong Presents author who is new to the adult fiction scene after a string of successes in published books for other genres. Enjoy!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Award-winning author, Anita Higman, has twenty books published for adults and children, and has five novels coming out. She has been honored in the past as a Barnes & Noble "Author of the Month" for Houston. Anita has a B.A. degree from SNU combining speech communication, psychology, and art. She lives with her family near Houston, Texas.Some of Anita’s favorite things are reading, going to the movies, public speaking, and cooking brunch for her friends. She’d love for you to visit her website at http://www.anitahigman.com/.
THE LOVE SONG
by Anita Higman & Janice A. Thompson
Published by Heartsong Presents / Barbour Publishing
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ABOUT THE BOOK
Clumsy. Invisible. Ugly. This is how Clair O'Neal would describe herself on a good day. Coming from an abusive childhood, she is painfully shy and sees herself as a misfit. So when she promises her boss she'll represent her company at a high-society event, she finds herself completely out of her element. Image coach Glenn Yves urges Clair to join the party, seeing something in her she cannot see herself. Musician Hudson Mandel rescues her from a moment of likely humiliation. Both men find themselves drawn to Clair's unassuming presence, her inner beauty, and maybe even her vulnerability. Can Clair trust their interest and their motives? After so many years without love, would God really bring two men into her life and maker her choose between them?
1. This is the second novel that you've cowritten with Janice. The first helped you earn the award of favorite new author with Heartsong Presents. What gave you the inspiration for this story?
In The Love Song, the heroine, Clair O'Neal feels ugly, clumsy, and invisible. Haven't we all felt that way from time to time? I know I have, which is probably how the character started to form in my head. For instance, those times when I wake up in the morning and wonder how in the world I'm supposed to make myself look presentable. Yet again. And those times when I've tripped in front of someone I was trying to impress, or worst of all, when I've been in a crowd and felt totally ignored. Totally Invisible. So when you put those passionate life-experiences together, you have one scared female. Perhaps a character like Clair O'Neal. I hope the readers enjoy her, laugh with her, and I hope they'll be inspired as she matures as a Christian.
2. How much of your own experiences influenced the characters of Clair and Hudson? What aspects became traits that were theirs and theirs alone?
The two main characters, Clair and Hudson, both have self-esteem issues. And since I've had my own similar struggles, it was easy to create these types of personalities. The traits that are theirs alone are their musical talents. Hudson plays the guitar and sings, and Clair has an amazing voice. I tried learning to play the guitar once and failed at it. Miserably. And I'm not a trained singer. So, when it comes to those particular qualities of my characters, I'm merely a Clair and Hudson wannabe.
3. What themes exist in The Love Song that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the story progressed?
The main theme is that God is watching over us, and He cares for us deeply. That even when we feel worthless and unworthy, He has a great plan for us. To help us and not to harm us. Even if a little of that theme trickles down to the reader then I’ll feel satisfied as a writer. A more subtle theme may have come about when the eclectic character, Mrs. Plow, suddenly showed up in my imagination. She encourages Clair on her journey. That seems to be the way God works in real life—He sends people across our paths when we need them—to encourage us and challenge us and love us.
4. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?
I enjoyed writing the scenes every time Glenn Yves showed up. They weren't easy scenes to work out, but they were fun. Probably because Glenn became so real to me. Writers really can get attached to their characters. We take them seriously enough that sometimes we wish we could call them up and have them come over for dinner. But since that's impossible, the next best thing is to relish in their lives on the page—in their dialogue and action and internal thoughts. Unfortunately I never wrote from Glenn's point of view, but I did feel like I knew what was going on inside his head.
The most difficult parts to write are the scenes when the hero and heroine express their affections for one another with a kiss. I'd hate for the reader to skip those parts because they thought they were too flowery or hackneyed. My goal is to keep those scenes astonishing and affecting. And amusing too, if the scene calls for it.
5. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?
The last Heartsong in the Arkansas series (also coauthored with the wonderful Janice A. Thompson) will be Castles in the Air, which will come out sometime this year. This novel isn't as dramatic as The Love Song, but it does deal with the heavy issues of divorce and obsessive compulsive disorder. However, Castles does have quite a few comedic moments, which I'm hoping will keep the reader turning the pages.
Castles in the Air is a story about a woman who has spent her life dreaming of the perfect wedding—hers. There's one problem. There's no groom, and she's not even dating anyone. The man next door, a geek, adores her, but the last thing on earth she wants to do is spend her life watching Star Trek Marathons and eating prunes alamode. Bottom line—could Nori actually fall in love with a nerd?
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Thanks, Anita, for being in the spotlight with us.
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This week, the contest is open to anyone worldwide.
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