Gail's Book Nook

Monday, December 17, 2012

Looking Out the Window: Question and Answer Session with Bestselling, Award Winning Author Anita Higman. She'll Give Away a Copy of Her Christmas Book

To enter to win a copy of Anita's book leave a comment and email address. 

A Merry Little Christmas is a sweet tale that teems with heart and characters you won't want to leave. Anita Higman will have you turning the pages of this lyrical story of healing and love.
Jenny B. Jones, award-winning author of Save the Date and There You'll Find Me.

Fall in love with this cozy story about two people from different worlds. 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. Will the holidays bring their most impossible dreams within reach?

Welcome, Anita. How neat to have a Christmas story. Tell us a little more about your book.
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 clich√©, A Merry Little Christmas truly was the book of my heart.

The farm scenes seem pretty realistic. Did you grow up in the country?
I did. While the small towns in the book are totally fictitious I did grow up on a wheat, cattle, pig, and chicken farm in Western Oklahoma, and it was pretty much identical to the one in the novel. If the farm scenes seem realistic it’s because I got to know farm life quite well before I moved off to college at eighteen.
Franny and Charlie come from very different backgrounds, but are both looking for something very different from the way they've grown up. Do you think as humans, we all just have a "grass is always greener on the other side" mentality?
Yes, that is a human frailty that is easy to succumb to, and I’ve been guilty of it as well. But God is good about reminding me that he’s placed me on my own unique life-road, and it may have little to do with anyone else’s journey. Besides, in many cases when we get a closer look at someone else’s “lush green grass” it usually turns out to be turf.

Do you think that sometimes we don't pray for what we want because we are afraid of getting what we pray for?
Perhaps that’s true, which would explain why Franny is equally nervous and excited about the sudden answer to her prayers.

Was there a reason you added the themes of Christmas and music to the story?
My editor asked me to add those elements, and it was a blessing, since Christmas is my favorite time of year, and I love music. Also, female readers in general love novels that are set during the holidays, and I’m hoping the music adds a cozy feel to the overall Christmas theme.

What is your favorite Christmas song?
“The Holly and the Ivy.” The song has a melancholy feel to it, but it’s also beautifully sweet. I love the “Currier and Ives” style pictures my imagination conjures up when I’m listening to it.

What is your favorite Christmas tradition?
I love to have my gal friends over for brunch around Christmastime. I have been collecting tea dishes for many years, and so when I do a brunch, I go all out. Women are usually in a service mode most of their lives so when they come to my house I want them to feel wonderfully pampered. And by the time they leave, I hope their hearts are a little merrier and they feel we’ve celebrated Christmas well!

Is Franny's character based on any "real life" person?
Franny is like me in some ways, but she has a lot more courage than I have and more laughter in her heart. So, really, I want to be Franny when I grow up.

Does the song "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" have a special significance to you?
The song makes me swoon it’s so romantic and lovely. It makes me think of being snowed-in with the man I love. Of course, that scene also needs a mountain cabin with a crackling fire and two mugs of wassail.

You have written everything from romance to suspense/thrillers to nonfiction. What is your favorite genre to write?
I love inspirational romance. There’s just nothing else like it for writing and reading. It naturally makes you want to curl up on an overstuffed couch and read the day away.

Bestselling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has thirty-two books published (several coauthored) for adults and children. 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. Please visit her online at


Wyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wyn said...

Great interview. Can I come for your Christmas season brunch, I miss all the wonderful tea service settings of my youth.

Jo said...

Thanks for the good interview! Would love to read this book.


Gail said...

Thanks for the interview and background of the story. Sound's great! Very timely with the popularity of Mad Men and I'm sure will have a different take on that time period.

bookwurm70 at gmail dot com

June Foster said...

Oh, how I'd love to come to the tea party at your house. What a lovely idea. A Merry Little Christmas sounds like a wonderful book. Congratulations on its publication.

Finbar said...

Truly another unique idea, this blog attracts so many successful book themes and settings that have never been done before as they are presented to us here. Keep up the good work, your readers will enjoy it.

Larry Hammersley said...

My Indiana Jones hat is off to you again, Gail for such an interesting author and interview. Anita, you have accomplished so much in your writing.

Anonymous said...

The Holly and The Ivy... hmmm... I'm looking up that song today. I know I know it, but just can't recall the melody. I would love to win the book! kimberlya(dot)vogel(at)gmail(dot)com

Linda Weaver Clarke said...

Inspirational Christmas Romance sounds wonderful. I'd love to be entered in this contest. Good luck in promoting your book, Anita.

Gina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gina said...

What a delightful interview! Anita, it's great to meet you and I simply cannot wait to read your book. What would you like me to bring to your Christmas girl's brunch? lol Only kidding. I hope it's wonderful :-) Merry Christmas and best wishes with your writing.

Gail, your blog continues to be so much fun and so very interesting. Thank you for sharing with us all. Hugs!

Blessings, Regina

PS - sorry for the delete, I forgot to preview and there were typos

Cindy A Christiansen said...

Loved this interview. The book sounds like the kind of books I love to read. I'm a farm girl too and enjoy the setting.
Have a wonderful holiday season.