Sunday, March 15, 2009

Author Anita Higman - ANOTHER HOUR TO KILL - Free Book

I loved your first Barbour mystery, and I can hardly wait to read this one. Welcome back, Anita. Why do you write the kind of books you do?

Interesting question. I have an unusual answer. I’d written a gothic chick-lit novel, but it didn’t sell, so when I heard that Barbour Publishing was starting a line of mysteries, I took the little bit of mystery in my novel and expanded it. After a couple more rewrites my gothic chick-lit became a gothic mystery. Then I took that original concept and made it into three books. I wish I had a more glamorous story concerning my entrance into the mystery genre. Like maybe I was a relative of Agatha Christie, and it was in my blood, or my life was so full of mysteries that it naturally flowed into my writing. Truth is, I had to work hard to take a chick-lit and remake it into a trilogy of mysteries. I’m worn-out just thinking about it. But I’m hoping readers enjoy Another Hour to Kill. It’s the second book in the series, but I tried to write them so people could read them out of order or buy only one and still be fully satisfied. Of course, that was my goal. I’ll let the readers decide if that’s true.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day of your life?
Oh, holding my babies for the first time. Of course, I’d had C-sections and I was in a morphine haze, but I still remember those moments perfectly…playing with those velvety toes, and smelling that baby powdery hair, and kissing those darling little cheeks. Does life get any better?
How has being published changed your life?

Well, I have less time on my hands. There’s all that coming up with new ideas and characters. And well, writing and editing takes up a huge amount of time. And then there’s all that promotion too. Whew! I wish I could buy rolls and rolls of time at Target like I buy toilet paper.

Interesting thought. What are you reading right now?

Well, the book I was reading was so offensive, I gave it a new dwelling place—my trash bin. As readers we really do have the right to do that. I think it’s easy to get this idea from the secular world that once an author’s words are printed onto paper they become like sacred texts. Baloney. Sometimes books are profane and sleazy and not fit for human consumption. Sometimes novels can make me feel more assaulted than entertained or enlightened or inspired. This is America. We can disagree over a book, write essays about a book, or toss a book into the dumpster if we choose to. Maybe I should have just given a simpler answer. :-) Here’s a more cheerful response. Not too long ago I finished all of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. It was an amazing masterpiece, and his work humbles me as a writer.

What is your current work in progress?

For the moment, I’m in between projects. So, I’m spending some time telling people about the books that I already have out in the marketplace. But I will be back writing in a couple of weeks.

What would be your dream vacation?

Ahhh, now that’s a lovely question. I would go to Aspen and stay at the St. Regis Hotel. I would hike the Maroon Bells and then go back into town to eat something nice and fattening. I did that vacation, and I highly recommend it!

How do you choose your settings for each book?

I like to keep the settings close to home if at all possible. Since I live in Texas I know the plant life, the people and their ways, the weather, etc., so I feel very comfortable having the setting here.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?

Josh Groban. I am a HUGE FAN. Anybody else out there a Grobanite? I listen to his music all the time. I never get tired of it. If you have never heard him sing, you are missing out on an awesome treat.

The man does have an fantastic voice. What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?

I love decorating my house. I know that sounds awfully girly, but it’s exciting to see the right drapes and the right colors and flooring and accessories all come together to make a pleasant room—a place where you want to spend time and a place you want to share with your family and friends.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?

I’ve always had the annoying problem of not being able to come up with enough plot and conflict, so in my latest novel, Love Finds You in Humble, Texas, I decided to give it some built-in trouble. In the Humble, Texas, book I have two sisters fall in love with the same man. I can assure you there is enough natural conflict there to create a tome!

What advice would you give to a beginning author?
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 as a punishment—but a pleasure.

Tell us about the featured book.

The novel today is Another Hour to Kill, which is the second book in the Volstead Manor series. All three novels in the series are cozy mysteries with a gothic tone. By the way, the name of my fictional mansion comes from Prohibition—The Volstead Act of 1919—and even though this series is contemporary, the dark history of the house is connected to that era. I suppose I’ve always been intrigued with that period of time in American history, but more than that, I’ve always been fascinated with really old houses and their secrets.

While writing Another Hour to Kill my favorite part was coming up with the character, Vlad, who was one of the suspects. Vlad has an interesting delusion that he lives with, and that internal mirage was fascinating and bizarre enough to keep me interested in the character all the way through. I hope readers are intrigued too. His full name is Vlad Tepes. Maybe that will give you a hint as to his delusion.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Here’s my new web site, Please stop by and sign my guest book.
Lena, thanks so much for having me back. It’s been fun. You are a great hostess!
Thank you, Anita, for joining us. I love having you.
Readers, here's a link where you can order the book:


Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy. Don't forget to check back in two weeks on Saturday to see if you wond the book.


Unknown said...

Hi, appreciate the interview... this sounds like a wonderful book.... really enjoyed Anita's Humble, Texas book and appreciate the opportunity to be in the drawing for this one.... the best to everyone...


Merry said...

I loved getting to know Anita, great interview. Oooh, Vlad must be something, I can't wait to read Another Hour To Kill. Please include me in the drawing.


Nicole O'Dell said...

Very interesting! I have been asking myself the question of whether or not to write what I feel like writing or to write according to what publishers are publishing. I think Anita shows that there can be a happy medium.

Thanks for the interview.

I'd love to be in the drawing. nicoleodell6(at)gmail

Anonymous said...

Hi Cleda!

Thanks for stopping by. So very glad you enjoyed Love Finds You in Humble Texas. If you have the time I would love for you to put a few of those kind words on Amazon in the review section:)
Have a pleasant Sunday!
Anita Higman

Anonymous said...

Hellooo, Mez!

I worked very hard on the creation of Vlad. I hope Another Hour to Kill is a fun ride for you.

Glad you enjoyed the interview.

Anita Higman

windycindy said...

I really enjoyed reading her responses to your questions! An interesting lady and author.
I like how she turned one original book into a three book story line.
Please enter me in your mystery book drawing. Love the cover. Many thanks, Cindi

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad that you love Josh Groban's voice. He is an amazing artist. I really wish he was a born-again Christian, there is a prayer thread on FoJG (Friends of Josh Groban) fansite which I post on regularly (well almost everyday). I've had the pleasure of meeting Josh several times and also seeing him perform live 9 times. I've also had a lovely hug from him and his mum Lindy. Josh is such a humble person, the only negative I can say about him is that he curses and I don't like that, I've never actually heard him do it live but I've seen it on a video clip. What a wonderful ambassador he would be for Jesus if he knew him as his personal Saviour.
God has certainly blessed this young man with a great voice, it would be even better if he used that gift to Glorify God.

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Another great interview Lena!

I just finished Anita's book, Love Finds You in Humble, Texas and loved it! The conflict between the sisters...mmmmm, good. And the romance made me sigh. ;)

Renee (BlacknGoldGirlsBookSpot) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Renee (BlacknGoldGirlsBookSpot) said...

This book looks teriffic! Yay... someone else has heard of Josh Groban and seems to love him as much as I do!! Can't wait to read the book of a fellow "Grobanite"! Please enter me to win! :-)

Holly Magnuson said...

This sounds like an exciting book! I look forward to reading (whether I win her or not!!) but PLEASE include me. Blessings,
Hollymag at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Hi Nicole,
You are so right. It is hard to find that balance between what the marketplace is hungry for and what we feel called to write. I hope I've found my way, but I think that aspect of the business will always add a tug-of-war kind of feeling to the mix.
Thanks for your comment.
Anita Higman

Anonymous said...

Hi Cindi!
Glad you liked the interview. I had a lot of fun writing Another Hour to Kill, but it really was rather complicated and time-consuming to turn that first manuscript into a three-book mystery series! I get worn out just thinking about it:)
Thanks for stopping by.
Anita Higman

Anonymous said...

To the anonymous Grobanite!

Yes, Josh Groban has quite a voice. So pleased you've had a chance to meet him. I keep waiting for him to return to Houston to do another concert. I think I have all his CDs, and even though I don't know if he is a Christian, I do love the way he sings about the Lord. He seems to sing those songs with great heart. You're right, God has blessed him with a wonderful voice.
Thanks for stopping by!
Anita Higman

hippmom said...

I agree with Anita that there are some books that simply should be thrown in the trash. Thanks for the reminder. Please include me in this drawing.

Edna said...

I would love to be entered into your contest.
The blog that you wrote is very interesting. May God bless you

Sheila Deeth said...

Great interview. I love that you took something you'd written and changed it. And Vlad sounds fascinating.

apple blossom said...

Oh, I love Heart Song mysteries. This one looks good too. I'd love to win this book. Thanks

ABreadig4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

squiresj said...

Enjoyed the interview. I love the Love Inspired Mystery books and have been sharing them with others so they can enjoy and get to know them. My Arthritis Specialist even asked me if I could give her another one after I gave her one for Christmas. I review for Dana Mentink and others in that series. May God open new opportunities for you and bless you fully.
Enter me to win.

kalea_kane said...

Thanks for the wonderful interview. :) I think it is wonderful to get author's advice on the writing process. This book sounds awesome. Just the name Vlad, of course directs me to only one possible conclusion! Sounds definitely gothic! I would love to have a chance to win this book, and in the meantime, I am off to find book one in this series!


Kelly :)

Anonymous said...

Greetings Sherrinda!
So glad you enjoyed my love story, Love Finds You in Humble Texas. Your endorsement is so glowing it would mean a lot to me to have you post those loverly words over on Amazon's book reviews:) If you don't have the time, I understand. Thanks for sharing such good news.
Anita Higman

Anonymous said...

Hellooo Renee!

Yes, I am a Grobanite! Josh has a beautiful voice, doesn't he?

Thanks for stopping by to enter the contest!

Have a great rest of the week!
Anita Higman

Anonymous said...

Hellooo Renee!

Yes, I am a Grobanite! Josh has a beautiful voice, doesn't he?

Thanks for stopping by to enter the contest!

Have a great rest of the week!
Anita Higman

Anonymous said...

Hi Holly!
I'm glad you think Another Hour to Kill sounds exciting. I did everything I could to make readers want to keep flipping those pages. But you ladies get the last say on whether or not I accomplished that:)
Anita Higman

Anonymous said...

Hi HippMom!

So glad you stopped by for the drawing.

I wish everyone could win!

Anita Higman

Stormi said...

Would really love to win this book.


Simply Stacie said...

I'd love to be entered too.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Edna!

So happy you enjoyed the interview.

God bless you too!!
Anita Higman

BurtonBookReview said...

Thank you for the interview, and the giveaway.
Please enter me.
I have also blogged it at

Anonymous said...

Hi Sheila!

I feel writing is a team effort along with the editor.

Yes, Vlad was a fun character to write into the story.

Thanks for your comment!

Anonymous said...

Hi Abi!

So glad you like Heartsong mysteries. Thanks for entering the drawing!


Anonymous said...

Greetings Squires!

Glad you enjoy reading mysteries. Thanks for stopping by to enter the contest.

God bless you too!


Anonymous said...

Hi Kelly!

Yes, these books are gothic and a whole lot of fun to write:) You can find the first mystery, Another Stab at Life on Amazon.
Hope you enjoy the story!


Anonymous said...

To Stormi, Stacie, and Marie!

Thank you three for dropping by to enter the contest. I really do wish everyone could win:)

Have a great rest of the week!


Marla said...

This really sounds like a good book. Would love to win. Thanks for the entry.

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a great book.

Please enter me in the contest.

Thank you,

Becky C.


Becca said...

This sounds great. I love a good mystery and I think it would be very interesting to read one that started out as something else. Thanks for the chance to win this one.

Debs Desk said...

Please include me in your giveaway.

Carole said...

I love this cozy mystery line and would love to read Anita's book. Thank you for the interview and giveaway.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net