Sunday, October 6, 2013

Anita Higman answers questions about Winter in Full Bloom~read to the bottom and find a chance to win a free book

I enjoyed meeting Anita Higman at the ACFW conference in Indiana. She's as beautiful as the stories she tells. Join me in hearing what she has to say about Winter in Full Bloom.

Winter in Full Bloom is set in Texas as well as Australia. What made you want to set the novel in these two places?
Well, I live in Texas, and so I wanted to make use of my home state. After living here for about thirty years I have a soft spot for Texas now. Also, I’d visited Melbourne, Australia for about three weeks and had taken notes, and since it was such an exotic place and I’d had such an amazing time there, I wanted to share some of my experiences with readers.

The cover is beautiful. Did you have any input in this cover?
Yes, actually, I did. The publisher sent me a few samples to look at, and I chose this one. But the cover you see now was tweaked a number of times. One of the changes was the addition of the red tulips all along the snowy path. I’m so glad the publisher was open to changes. I’m very happy with the final cover. It reflects the story even better than before, and I think that bit of unexpected intrigue along the road will be eye-catching to the bookstore browser.

That title is unique. How did you come up with Winter in Full Bloom?
Sometimes I brainstorm titles, and then sometimes I use a phrase I find within the manuscript that works well as a title. Winter in Full Bloom was created during one of my brainstorming sessions. As a side note, there are a couple of meanings to this tile. The heroine’s name is Lily Winter. Also, half of the book takes place in Houston at the advent of winter, but when she flies to Melbourne at the same time of the year, Australians are experiencing the beginning of spring. So, even though Lily has begun getting ready for winter, she suddenly enters into a season of springtime—literally and in her personal life.

Are the characters from your imagination, or do they come from real life?
My characters are a mixture of both. I’ll be watching someone at the airport or the mall or at church, and I’ll think, “Wow, that gesture or laugh or walk is perfect for my character.” Then some of my character’s traits will come straight from my imagination. Usually, it’s a fun brew of all the above.

Do you and your husband travel a lot?
We travel much more now that we have empty nest. Last year we went to Alaska, Hawaii, and Canada. This year we’ve been to Mexico, California, and right now as I type this answer, my husband and I are waiting at the airport to fly to Ireland. Can’t wait. I’m hoping to set one of my future novels in Ireland.

Why do you write?
I have a real need to express myself creatively—guess I was born that way—and writing and I fit well together.

Your heroine, Lily Winter, is experiencing empty nest. Why did you add that element to the story?
I was going through this same rough phase of motherhood, and I thought it would be good to add this to the story. I hope it added an element of authenticity to the tale. And too, forcing myself to write about the pain surely helped me deal with it better.

How long have you been writing?
I’ve been in this profession for about thirty years. It’s been a long, stumbly kind of journey. I’ve had some dark hours—those moments when I really didn’t know what I was doing or why I was doing it. Moments when rejection swept me under like a scary undertow. Moments when getting published seemed pretty much impossible. But I never gave up, and I’m glad I didn’t. I’ve had thirty-four books published in many genres, and even though it’s been a rough ride, it’s also been deeply satisfying.

This story is about twin sisters? Are you a twin and do you have a sister?
I’m afraid I have to say no to both of those questions, but I’ve always wanted to have a sister. And that desire I suppose fueled the dialogue and some of this story.

Winter in Full Bloom is a love story but also a story of family reconciliation. Have you experienced that last part in your own life?
Yes, I have known the miracle of family reconciliation, and it has brought me great joy!

Any final words for your readers?

If you have ever taken the time to read one of my novels, I thank you with all my heart. I sincerely hope that Winter in Full Bloom inspires you and makes you laugh, and when you come to the last page and close the book, I hope your heart and your step feels just a little lighter. 

If you would like to win a copy of Winter in Full Bloom, leave a comment about your favorite season of the year by October 12. I'll choose a winner and let Anita know and she will send you a copy of this delightful story.


  1. Hi Penny, i all ready have a book, but i have a friend at church i would love to give her a copy. My favorite season is winter because i love Christmas, to celebrate Jesus Christ birth even though we don't know the actual date. This book is a book once you started it hard to put it down. Anita Higman has some other really great book. Her description of the character and scene make you feel like you are right there with them. Again amazing book.

  2. Penny and Anita love the review of Winter in full Bloom . It is an awesome book . Anita did a very great job writing it . I would say that I guess summer is my favorite time of the year . I love to be outside . I love seeing all the pretty flowers blooming . Thanks for the review . Would love to win this book I would give it to my daughter .

  3. My favorite season of the year is Fall! I love the different colors and the smells. It is a starting point in me to start baking pumpkin rolls and other things including pumpkin. I love the fresh outdoor smells in the fall. I also love it this is my birth month.

  4. Thanks for all the replies so far. Winter in Full Bloom is a wonderful story. I love the all the different reasons for your favorite season.

  5. Penny, you and Anita had a great interview of "Winter In Full Bloom." I forgot to put my email.

  6. Fall is my favorite season! So lovely. So reflective. Prepares us for the coming holidays.

    Bless you
    Anita Higman

    1. Thank you, Anita. Fall is beautiful. My favorite is winter. I love January and February when the world is quiet and a calm comes over my days.

  7. Thank you for this interview, Penny and Anita. I've read (and enjoyed!) some of Anita's other books, and have been intrigued by this title and cover. Now that I know some of it deals with someone experiencing an empty nest, I definitely plan to read it. (I'm still struggling in that area *sigh*). ~ Even though there's something special about every season, Fall is my very favorite! Here in Georgia, it's wonderful when our days are cooler and the leaves turn beautiful colors---Love it! Blessings, Patti Jo Moore

  8. P.S. Ooops, sorry---I meant to add one more thing! How wonderful Anita is going to Ireland!! I've always said if I could only visit one foreign country, I'd choose Ireland. Have fun, Anita!! ~ Hugs, Patti Jo

  9. I agree, Anita has written several good books. And wouldn't it be wonderful to go to Ireland. I hope she does set one of her novels there.


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