A Visit with Marie Higgins

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00070]How did you get started writing?

When I was in junior high, I wrote my first story for an English assignment. It was entered in a contest and I won second place. When I was in high school, I wrote skits for my community, and I had so much fun doing that, I continued even after I was married. These skits were performed and judged, and I won awards like Funniest and Best Written. It wasn’t until after reading my very first romance novel, A Rose in Winter, by Kathleen E Woodiwiss, when I fell in love with romance novels. For the next few years, I devoured them—mainly historical. It wasn’t until I had watched a romance movie that didn’t have a happy ending, when I decided to try to write my own happily-ever-after. Although the first book sucked, at least it had awakened my muse…and my muse hasn’t stopped talking to me, yet—even after 37 published stories.

What genre(s) do you write in and why?

I love to write historicals, but…I write whatever my muse tells me to write. I’ve written Colonial, Regency, Victorian, American Western, Titanic era (1912), Roaring Twenties (1920), romantic comedy, mystery/suspense, time-travel, paranormal, and last but certainly not least – fairy tales/fantasy! All of my stories have a little suspense or mystery to them, and all of them have a touch of humor, most of them have twists and turns, and of course, they are all romances with happy endings. The reason I write a lot of genres is because I strive to make all readers happy.

Tell us about your current series.

I’ll be working on two different series in 2016. I started out with my fairy tale series, “Where Dreams Come True”, and a month or so ago, I decided to take a break from that and add a few more books to my Regency series, “Sons of Worthington”. But the first part of June, I was slapped with another story idea—a murder mystery with a touch of humor, and a bunch of romance. That will also be in a series titled, “Your Every Day Heroes”.

The series I’m going to talk about today is my fairy tale series. Although we have read several fairy tale versions over the years, I’ve always wondered what if. (Must be the writer in me…) When I started book one of this series, I imagined what it would be like to be literally sucked into a book. Well, that’s exactly what my young adult characters experienced in “The Witch Hunt”. Book two, “Champion”, is about Robin Hood who is whisked from history to our time because a woman made a wish for a fairy tale hero. Book three, “Her Own Fairy Godmother” is a modern-day Cinderella story / romantic comedy. My heroine tries to follow an internet article’s steps on how to catch a man…and she ultimately fails. Or does she? Book four, “Keep on Believing” is my historical Cinderella story. What if Cinderella didn’t stick around to allow her stepmother to turn her into a slave, and she decided to take control of her own life? This story still has her hero, and somewhat of a fairy godmother…  Book five, “Once Enchanted” is about Rapunzel, but instead of being thrown into a tower, she is placed under a spell, and she throws the hero in the tower. Can true love’s kiss break the spell?

So far, these are the only fairy tale stories that have been published, but many more are waiting their turn this year!

The Witch Hunt – https://amzn.com/B01B13G9XQ

Champion – https://amzn.com/B01BKSC6BQ

Her Own Fairy Godmother – https://amzn.com/B00TVF12NE

Keep on Believing – https://amzn.com/B01D96YWGE

Once Enchanted – https://amzn.com/B01ES21P4A

What inspired your latest fairy tale book?

By the time I started writing “Once Enchanted”, I knew I wanted a different twist for my story. I knew these things: 1) There needed to be a tower. 2) The heroine must have long hair. 3) There needed to be some kind of curse. 4) The Rapunzel flower was important to the story. Then I started thinking of different twists in the story. One idea led to another, which led to another, which started me on the road to writing, “Once Enchanted”.

What is your next project and when will it be released?

Because I had been so busy with my fairy tale series, and adding a few more books to my Regency series, I was surprised when I was hit with a new story idea. I was watching a crime show on tv, and one of the characters said, “Prince Charming is a Liar.” Of course, I laughed, and within seconds, the story idea popped into my head. A few hours later, my characters forced me up out of the La-Z-Boy recliner, and into the computer room. I haven’t stopped typing since. This book will be finished and released by the end of June! AND…a second book will come from this story, as well. It’ll be titled “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Altar”. I love it when story ideas push me to get them written.

What is your favorite part of writing?

I love writing twists and turns. I love it when my characters flow the way I imagined they would, but then all of a sudden, they take me in a different direction and surprise me.

How has your experience with self-publishing been?

Self-publishing has given me the freedom I haven’t received with the other publishers I’ve been with over the years. I get to keep my own story lines. I get to choose my own book covers. I get to pick my own release date, plus I get to choose my own book price. What could be better than that?

Where do you get the ideas for your stories?

Most of my story ideas have come from my dreams. When I dream, it’s like I’m watching a movie. There is always a heroine, a hero, and sometimes a bad guy. Thankfully, I remember my dreams when I’m awake. I don’t dream the whole story, only a scene, but from that one scene, I can write the story anyway I want…usually. My characters like to guide me a lot.

What advice do you have for other authors wanting to self-publish?

If you’re a brand new author, please study the genre of books that you write to see how the authors have written their books.  A lot of times you think your story will be a romance, but it might fit better with the Young Adult genre. Self-publishing isn’t easy, and as every author knows, we have to promote a lot. If you don’t have time for promoting, your story won’t get seen by others. But don’t give up. If writing is what you love, then DO IT!

Excerpt for “Once Enchanted”:

One of the girls in the children’s hospital ward giggled. “They named the girl after the flower?”

Clarissa shook her head. “No, but this was what the witch called her, because the little girl reminded the witch of the lovely Rapunzel flower.”

The children nodded and the little boy asked, “Then what happened?”

“Just as the little girl lowered the rope out the window for the witch to climb,” Clarissa continued, “the man jumped out from his hiding spot and knocked the witch unconscious. He then climbed the rope and rescued his daughter.”

The children clapped and cheered, but Clarissa motioned her hand to calm them. “The story isn’t over yet.”

“It’s not?” one asked.

“No. You see, just as the man had left the tower with his daughter, the witch became alert and attacked the man. She hit him with a large stick. Thankfully, the king was strong, so he fought her, and of course, he eventually killed the witch.”

The children stood and cheered. Clarissa laughed. She loved their reaction. They always responded this way with her stories. Perhaps that was why she loved coming to the children’s ward so much. Their infectious laugh was the best kind of medicine.

“Princess?” one of the children asked. “What was the witch’s name?”

Clarissa shook her head. “I’ll have to save that question for another time. Perhaps we can make a game of it.”

Once again, the children shouted with excitement. Clarissa looked at Ryder. His smile stretched from ear to ear as he applauded. Her heart warmed to see the enjoyment etched in his expression. Just as she remembered, his eyes gleamed with happiness. She realized how hard it was to look at anything else when he was in the room. He was such a handsome man—one she would love to get to know a little better now that they were grown.

As many times as she’d told that story over the years, she thought her memories would bring back the fear she once had of strangers. But the fear was no longer with her. Perhaps she hadn’t recalled how it had really happened word for word, but she’d only been six years old when the witch had kidnapped her, so she didn’t remember a lot. Had these reoccurring dreams opened up her memory in some way?

Her father hated this story, and scolded her for telling it to the children. But she was happy to know he loved her enough to rescue her and destroy the witch, which of course was the moral of the story, anyway.

Of course, she couldn’t help but sigh knowing her father loved her mother so much that he risked his life by climbing the rock wall to get her the Rapunzel flower.

She leaned back in her chair. Perhaps that was the very reason she hadn’t found a man she’d consider marrying. She wanted a love like her parents had. She wanted a man who would risk his life to prove his love.


MarieSince Marie Higgins was a little girl playing Barbies with her sister, Stacey, she has loved the adventure of making up romantic stories. Marie was only eighteen years old when she wrote her first skit, which won an award for Funniest. A little later in life, after she’d married and had children, Marie wrote Church roadshows that were judged as Funniest and Best Written. From there, she branched out to write full-length novels based on her dreams. (Yes, she says, her dreams really are that silly)

Marie has been married for several years to a wonderful man. Together, they have three loving daughters and several beautiful grandchildren. Marie works full time for the state of Utah, and she’s lived in that state her entire life. Marie plans to keep writing, because the characters in her head won’t shut up. But her husband smiles and pretends this is normal.

Marie Higgins is a multi-published author of romance; from refined bad-boy heroes who makes your heart melt to the feisty heroines who somehow manage to love them regardless of their faults. Visit her website / blog to discover more about her – http://mariehiggins84302.blogspot.com

Twitter: @mariehigginsxox

Facebook: https://facebook.com/marie.higgins.7543

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