Author Interview: Kristan Higgins, author of Waiting on You

Publisher: Harlequin HQN

Publication Date: March 25, 2014

Book Links:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Synopsis: Does being nobody's fool mean that you're nobody's love?

Colleen O'Rourke is in love with love... just not when it comes to herself. Most nights, she can be found behind the bar at the Manningsport, New York, tavern she owns with her twin brother, doling out romantic advice to the lovelorn, mixing martinis and staying more or less happily single. See, ten years ago, Lucas Campbell, her first love, broke her heart... an experience Colleen doesn't want to have again, thanks. Since then, she's been happy with a fling here and there, some elite-level flirting and playing matchmaker to her friends.

But a family emergency has brought Lucas back to town, handsome as ever and still the only man who's ever been able to crack her defenses. Seems like maybe they've got some unfinished business waiting for them—but to find out, Colleen has to let her guard down, or risk losing a second chance with the only man she's ever loved.

Interview: Q. Colleen O’Rourke plays matchmaker for her friends. Is this something you’ve done for your friends?

Yes! I love fixing people up! But alas, it’s only resulted in one cousin who still glares at me, a befuddled brother-in-law (sorry, pal, I didn’t know she was 15 years older than you!) and a firefighter who no longer takes my calls. Colleen obviously has better luck than I do.

Q. Does the fictional setting of Manningsport, New York spring from an amalgam of real places you’ve lived?

Manningsport is based heavily on Hammondsport, NY, a charming, tiny town on Keuka Lake. I haven’t lived there, but I could see myself there in a heartbeat. There’s even a bar that inspired O’Rourke’s, and their lasagna…to die for!

Q. The idea of second chances plays a big role in your novels. What do you say to those who say they don’t believe in second chances?

I’d say they might want to rethink their philosophy. People can learn from their mistakes, can grow and change for the better. I think everyone deserves a second chance. Third chances, maybe not. But in romance, the reunion story is a much-loved theme, and one of my favorites. First love is so powerful and overwhelming…and yet, in a reunion story, it obviously didn’t work out. It takes a lot of guts to try again with the same person who shattered your heart. I think that’s why we love those stories. It’s not just love, but the courage to risk heartbreak again.

Q. Which of your characters in the Blue Heron series would you want to be and why?

I’m every character in some ways…there are parts of me in everyone I write. But I’d love to be Colleen, because she’s so much fun. She knows everyone, loves everyone, is pretty universally adored and has a twin brother, something I always wanted. She can also eat anything she wants and not gain weight. Clearly, this is fiction.

Q. How did you come up with the title ‘Waiting on You’?

A reader suggested it! I’m pretty terrible at titles…in 12 books, I think I’ve come up with two decent titles, so I throw myself on the mercy of my publisher and readers to help out. For this book, I loved the play on words. Colleen owns a restaurant, and she’s been waiting to find a relationship that measured up to the one she had with Lucas so long ago. So it works beautifully, I think.

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