Friday, 23 November 2012


Best-selling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has over thirty books published (several coauthored) for adults and children and has seven more books to be released. She’s been a Barnes & Noble “Author of the Month” for Houston and has a BA degree, combining speech communication, psychology, and art. Anita loves good movies, exotic teas, and brunch with her friends.

With the release of her non-fiction devotional Where God Finds You in September, Anita has been on a spree of releasing new books. In October, she followed up with the historical romance A Merry Little Christmas, and in November the inspirational romance 4-in-1 novella collection Texas Wildflowers. For fans of Anita, it is raining good reads just in time for this festive season. Visit here website here

Q. How did you get your first writing break?
A. One of my first breaks came when a publisher decided to release a book of my one-act plays for church dinner theatre. I really enjoyed that unique writing journey for the stage, and the discipline and experience helped me to write snappier dialogue for my novels. But I’m glad I didn’t stay in that genre for too many years, since I really was meant to write novels.

Q. What inspires you to write?
A. Seeing injustice in the world and wanting to fix it is one of the big motivators. Also, I hope to glorify God with my work.

Q. What is something your readers might be surprised to learn about you?
A. A long time ago I rappelled off a cliff alongside the man I was dating. We kissed in mid-air while dangling off that cliff. I ended up marrying that man, and we've celebrated our 32nd wedding anniversary!

Q. When you’re not writing what do you like to do?
A. Decorate the house, read good books, good to the movies, and create big family dinners.

Q: How long have you been writing and what other careers or jobs have you had?
A. I’ve been writing since about 1984, but before I started this career I was a waitress, a copy writer, a wheat-tarp roller (don’t ask), a clerk in a gift shop, a nurse’s aide, an assistant administrator at a nursing home, a bookkeeper, a librarian, a receptionist, a computer operator, a desk clerk at a hotel, a cosmetic salesperson, a maid, a babysitter, a model, and a disc jockey. I’d love to tell you that I became accomplished at every job, but the truth is, I was mostly bored. When I tried the very thing I’d been running from for years I felt I’d finally come home.

Q: How does your faith play into your writing?
A. I try never to preach, but I do write from a Christian world view. I am a Christian, so I can’t write any other way.

Q: How do you choose your settings for your books?
A. I like to set most of my novels in Texas, because people love to read about this state, and it’s where I live. I know Texas!

Q: Do you base your characters on people you know or are they totally made up?
A: My characters are a combination of both, and I think it works. At least I hope it does.

Q: If money were no object what vacation would you like to take and why?
A. New Zealand, because it’s gorgeous and it’s the movie home of The Lord of the Rings.

Q. What is one of the quirkiest things you’ve ever done?
A. I do so many oddball things that narrowing it down to one is difficult. But my husband seemed to think my Tibetan Monk story might be a good one to share. Many years ago I was taking my kids along with another mom and her kids to visit a local museum for the day. In the midst of our milling around the exhibits, we ran across a cluster of Tibetan Monks with their long robes, sandals, and shaved heads. I thought, “They look kind of lonely. What if a conservative Christian mom with her kids left her comfort zone and went over to say hello?” Well, that turned out to be a good idea, since they were very friendly and seemed to be just waiting for someone to reach out with a smile. We all, including the monks, ended up taking turns standing with each other and snapping photos. It was an amazing few minutes I will never forget—two very different cultures colliding in joy. In fact, somewhere in our family albums I still have those pictures from that day at the museum of their happy faces mingled with ours.

Q. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
A. When I was a girl I tried writing a story about a man from Mars who came to earth to live an ordinary life in New York. Well, the idea was okay, but I didn’t get too far, since I had no idea what I was doing! But I wish someone would have said, “Hey, Anita, of course this stinks. It’s your first effort. Keep writing, and you’ll eventually get better.” But no one said that, so I gave up writing from many years. I was about thirty before I took up the dream with some serious effort.

Q. Who are some of your favorite authors? 
A. I’ve enjoyed Tolkien and Dickens as well as Jane Austen, Wilkie Collins, and Ann Radcliffe. As far as contemporary authors, I like BJ Hoff, Lynn Austin, and Jenny B. Jones.

Q. What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
A. Raising my kids and watching them become fine Christian folks.

Q. What is your favorite food?
A. Dark chocolate truffles!

Q. What advice would you give to a writer just starting out?
A. This business can be very discouraging at times. So, it helps to go into the writing profession knowing it is a journey. If you jump in with the motivations of quick fame or money you’ll just set yourself up for aggravation and disappointment. Think of writing as a long-term, passionate endeavor—the love of a lifetime—and you’ll be much happier in this business.

Q: Anything else you’d like to share?
A. I think writing is incredibly hard. When I start a new book, it seems impossible. It is impossible! But somehow word by word it gets gone. Just like when kids are born, each completed book seems like a miracle.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012


Excerpts of the book A Life Interrupted by Kristi Loucks

Twenty-four months. It had been exactly two years since Shay had last seen Jared BelaForte, the man that she loved. Some days, it felt like an eternity. And in others, she would wake up and smell his scent surrounding her like he had been at her side moments before. The only thing she could count on from day to day was that she missed him.

There had been so many things she had wanted to tell him. Things she no longer believed she would ever get to say. He wasn’t coming back.

She had spent the last twenty-four months reassuring herself that there was hope. But, today she woke up with the sinking notion that he would never again look at her with his cerulean eyes. She would never hear him laugh or admire his beautiful smile and he would never get to meet his daughter, Sera.

When she woke up this morning, she cried. She cried the tears she had been keeping to herself for the last two years. She cried tears for all the things he had already missed. And she cried tears for all the things she knew her daughter would never have.
She would never know her daddy. His half brother, Dylan had stepped into the role of Daddy to Sera. Though he adored her as if she had been his own, they both knew that her little girls’ daddy could not be replaced.

In spite of the hardship, Dylans’ little girl Ellie had become like a big sister. She spent afternoons on the beach with Sera, Shay and Dylan as they splashed in the surf and Sera loved watching Ellie bury her daddy in the sand. Her little girl was the glue that held her mom together. She was the only reason Shay had not crumbled and they all knew it.

Shay felt his presence everywhere she went. Some days, she even thought she saw him on a busy street corner, down the beach or even outside her window when she looked down at his truck that she drove to work.

Her heart ached every time she felt it idle, but at the same time she found it impossible to let go of any of the possessions that she knew he loved, especially his truck. Even if he wasn’t coming back.

Excerpt 2

Two Years Ago...

Jared walked into his house on cloud nine. He and Shay were finally going to tell everyone that we had been seeing each other and that she was going to move in with him.

It was a house that had felt so empty since Jared had returned four years ago to bury his dad, but it was finally going to feel like a home because of Shay. He walked into the bathroom and started the shower. He would be late for work, and for sure that would get everyone talking. But, their news would surely make everyone forget.

As soon as Jared stood up straight, he felt it. The back of his head exploded with pain and he felt a cool sensation on his neck. He reached back and felt blood as it ran from the wound at the base of his skull. Quickly, Jared turned towards the doorway and spotted his assailant.

The big man held a bat in one hand and a taser in the other. Before Jared could react, the taser connected with his neck sending him to the ground. His whole world went black and all he could think was ‘did I tell her that I loved her?’

Jared started to come around as he felt the truck bounce down a dirt road. There was no way of knowing where they were or how long he had been out. It could have been hours, minutes. He tried to put his hand on the wound at the back of his head, but it was no surprise that Jared’s hands were bound together behind his back. His eyes watered as the pain seeped in to cloud his thoughts once again.

The next time Jared came around, he was in front of a two-way mirror, bound to a chair. He tried to take in the surroundings, but every time he turned his head pain sliced through his body and he’d lose the battle to stay awake and aware. He needed to stay alert.

After what seemed like hours, a stocky man walked into the room and flicked on the fluorescent light overhead. Jared’s eyes burned as they worked to adapt to the change.

“So, Lieutenant Commander BelaForte it seems my boss is quite enamored with the idea of torturing you. In fact, he is right behind that mirror watching as we speak. So what do you say we give him a show?” The man asked.

“S.... you.”

“If you say so.” Said the lackey as he landed a hard hit to Jared’s left kidney sending the chair side ways and rattling his already scrambled brain.

He quickly lifted the chair and Jared’s dead weight and delivered another blow to the chin bracing the chair with his foot so Jared would stay upright this time.

“Now, we can continue this little game until you lose consciousness or we can talk about why we brought you here. I think he’s hoping you’ll play hard to get.” The man said as he pointed towards the mirror again.
“Why don’t you tell him to come out here?” Jared asked. “Ah, ah, ah. He doesn’t get his hands dirty for just anyone.”

“Then, the hard way it is.” Jared said as he grit his teeth and waited for the next blow to land.


Friday, 16 November 2012



As I set about the task of setting up this blog designed exclusively for books and authors, a thought flash in my mind. I was thinking, may be, I need to have a set of questions for author interview. I know it's basic but questions like "Why do you write?" started to float around in my mind.

What I hitherto thought as a simple task turned out to be a difficult one, even at the stage of preparing the questionnaire. However, I knew it was a task that must be accomplished, and here I have a whole lot of questions that I would like to ask.

But where would I begin and what should I ask first? Probably this would be my first question: Where do your ideas for the book come from?

If the author is a fiction writer, I would most likely ask next: Do you base your characters on real people you know? And my next question most likely would be: Do you have a complete story when you begin to write, or do you make it up as you go along?

Then some very basic questions can be asked: Do you like using paper and pen, or a computer? How do you like to work? Do you work steadily or in bursts? Do you find writing easy?

Other questions would naturally follow: What is your latest news? When and why did you begin writing? Do you consider yourself a writer of specific genre? What inspired you to write your first book? Do you have a specific writing style? Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

And I think it would be a great idea to know three things about the book: First, how the author came up with the title: How did you come up with the title? Secondly, if there is a message behind the book: Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp? Thirdly, if the book has its share of real-life incidents: How much of the book is realistic?

Some books and authors have made a lasting impression on me. Naturally, I would like to know if a particular writer has an impact on his or her life. So, the next question would be: What books have most influenced your life most?

To better understand an author, may be, these would do: Do you ever experience writer's block? Do you write an outline before every book you write? Have you ever hated something you wrote?

I know I have a whole lot of questions that I would want to ask: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? Do you have any advice for other writers? What was the hardest part of writing a book?

One important question that I would ask all authors is this: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book? Which among your characters do you relate most to and why?

And it would be good to know: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

And then: What do you do when you are not writing? Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published? If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?

May be, I would like to ask: Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published? Can you tell us about your upcoming book? Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?

And perhaps, it would be a good idea to end with: What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment? Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers? Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?

But then I forgot this - the interlinking of the author's faith with his/her books: In what ways does your faith impact how you approach your writing? How much of your faith is in the book? Do you see writing as means of expressing your faith?

If you are an author dropping by, can I sign you up for my first interview? Drop me a line at nadine (dot) thangluai (at) gmail (dot) com