Thanks for sharing with us, Anita!
Here's the rest of the interview:
When did you realize that you were going to be a writer?
At a young age I tried writing a novel. It was truly terrible, but I know those were the first little signs of what I would someday be. I should have taken the signs more seriously. But I didn’t. I walked away from my desires and dreams for a very long time. I had an appalling lack of confidence. And so when I was about thirty, I was reading a novel, and I thought, “Okay, I can do this.” I think it was God gently nudging me again. This time I listened. And I kept going, and have been writing ever since. I wish I could tell you the name of the novel I was reading when I had that epiphany, but the name of the book is lost from my memory. But I will never forget the way I felt when I made that decision to write—to finally allow myself to follow my dream.
What does an average workday look like for you?
I get up around 5:30, eat oatmeal and grapefruit, and then take a mug of coffee upstairs to my office. I catch up on my email, and then I start writing. I break for an early lunch, and then I either run a few errands, or I go back to my writing. After dinner, I’m usually back in my office working again or I’ll spend the evening reading a good book. I don’t watch TV, but on the weekends I do love to rent new movies. Watching someone else’s story unfold is my treat after working hard all week, trying to tell my own story.
Where do you get the ideas for your novels?
Everywhere I go, ideas come to me—whether it’s a book concept or a new character or a twist in the plot or a unique phrase. Sometimes I’ll be grocery shopping or picking up the dry-cleaning, and I’ll think of something to add to my work. That happens so often that I’ve come to accept errands as a blessing in disguise.
What are some of your favorite books?
I enjoy reading the classics. I loved Oliver Twist, To Kill a Mockingbird, Romance of the Forest, Pride and Prejudice, and The Woman in White.
Do you have any tips for writers?
1. Read. I have discovered that the more I read the better I write.
2. Follow all leads from networking opportunities, writer's conferences, and tips from writer friends.
3. Look for "holes" in the marketplace. One way of finding holes is to talk to booksellers and librarians. You might discover that there is a real need for a certain kind of book. Perhaps a number of patrons have asked repeatedly for a particular subject and there are few or no books written on it.
4. Try brainstorming when you are out of ideas. Then when the ideas do flow, start a file for later use. For example, you could have a file with character profiles, bits of dialogue, fresh book titles, or other elements that you could eventually use in a new piece of writing.
5. Read all your work out loud. It sounds a bit simplistic, but it’s a valuable tool.
6. Titles are important. Make sure that your title is the very best it can be for your work. If you don't like it, brainstorm until you find a new one, or use a dazzling phrase from your manuscript.
7. If you feel a burnout approaching, and you're actually thinking about throwing in the towel, put your work aside, read a book for fun, start a journal, go on a writer's retreat, or take a break by writing something outside your genre.
8. Try making a habit of writing, even when you don't think you're in an inspired mood.
9. Pray that God will guide you and help you be the best writer you can be.
10 Many popular authors have known rejection, so you’re not alone if you have a drawer full of rejection slips. (Years ago I collected enough to paper a small room!) The bottom line is—if you feel called to write, don't give up.)
Where can readers find you online?
I’d love for you to drop by my web site. I’m at www.anitahigman.com.
Thanks for inviting me, Julie!