The best-selling and award-winning author of more than thirty books, Anita Higman has also written for radio, ezines, and advertising. She currently cohosts a monthly blog talk radio show at InFaithNetwork.com, which is part of Reader’s Entertainment Radio and reaches an audience of 80,000. Her book, Love Finds You Under the Mistletoe, made the Nielsen’s bestseller list for five weeks and was number six on the CBA bestseller list for fiction in January of last year.
Anita holds a BA degree combining speech communication, psychology, and art from Southern Nazarene University.
Please tell us about a “divine detour” in your life that turned out to be positive.
When my kids were growing I had book projects to work on, but I wasn’t writing full time. I think God was trying to encourage me to keep my priorities straight. And even though at times I was frustrated with my slow progress in the publishing world, I always had time for my kids. Now, I have empty nest and the Lord has opened the floodgates with book contracts. I am so grateful for that alternative career route. It gave me precious time with my family—time I would never get back once it was gone. So, I’ve learned that divine detours are good even when I can’t see what’s around the bend.
Let’s talk about A Merry Little Christmas, your new book from Summerside Press (October 2012). Please tell us about it.
Franny Martin is an Oklahoma farm girl who’s preparing to spend the holidays alone . . . again. Then Charlie Landau shows up one day, all wealth and polish, and offers to buy Franny’s farm. Franny has no money to speak of, but she is clever and spirited, and she’s more than happy to sell the farm and move to the city.
As Sinatra croons from the radio and Christmas descends upon her charming farm, Franny teaches Charlie the curious and sometimes comical ways of country life. In the process, they unearth some discoveries of the heart—that sometimes love comes when you’re least ready for it.
I understand this story holds a special place in your heart. Can you explain why?
Even though A Merry Little Christmas is really a love story, I felt it needed some additional conflict, and some of the racial struggles of the 60s seemed to be the right choice for this particular plot. I grew up in the 60s, and I was always interested in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. In some ways I feel I’ve waited my whole life to write this book. It came easily to me in that it’s been percolating in my imagination for a long time, but it was also hard to write because I had to consider more deeply the injustices of that era. Even though it sounds like a cliché, A Merry Little Christmas truly was the book of my heart.
A few fun questions…
When the words aren’t flowing—or when you want to celebrate if they are—what is your favorite comfort food and why?
My favorite comfort food is chicken and dumplings, because it is soooo satisfying. It makes me think of homey, cozy, pleasant things. But I don’t use that dish to celebrate or to inspire me creatively. I just eat them when I’m in the mood for dumplings. All of this thinking about chicken and dumplings, though, is making me hungry for a pot of them!
This website features musicians as well as writers. Do you have musical, as well as literary, talent?
As one of Jane Austen’s characters would say, “I play the piano a little, but very poorly. Very poorly indeed!”
If you were a song, what kind of song would you be?
Probably some melancholy Irish tune sung by the Celtic Women. I love their sound!
In the story that is your life, are you the strong, female lead; the girl next door; the mysterious woman behind dark glasses; the super heroine; or the little girl trying to walk in high heels?
I’d like to think that I’m a little of each of these women, but I admit I have an extra dose of the last one.
Please tell us about your pets, if any, or your favorite pet as a child.
I don’t have any pets now, but I had lots of them when I was growing up on a farm in Oklahoma. This may sound odd, but one of my fondest memories was raising tadpoles. I watched them morph and change and grow legs, and then one by one, make happy leaps out of the pan.
Thanks, Anita! It’s nice to have you as a guest at DivineDetour!
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For more information about Anita, visit her website at www.anitahigman.com.
To purchase A Merry Little Christmas log on to: