Friday, April 6, 2012

Fast Writers Blog Series: Marie Higgins

It's Friday and that means it's time to interview another fast writer!

Today we have Marie Higgins. One of my dear friends and CPs. She writes Historical Romance and I tell you, this lady writes pretty fast. The amazing thing is that she has a full-time job and only writes part-time!!! :)

Hi, Marie,

Thank you very much to agreeing to be interviewed for my Fast Writers blog series. 

·         First, I’d love to hear about your writing day in a quick snapshot. Do you have a special time to write? Or do you grab moments whenever you can? I guess I’d like to know how structured you are.

I’ve never been a structured writer. When I first started writing, I worked part time and my girls were in school, which gave me time to write and be with them when needed. Then I started working full time to help pay the bills. I didn’t think I would ever find time to write after that. So my days consisted of me going to work, coming home, and while I made dinner, I helped my daughters with their homework. I drove them to school functions when needed before I went into my office, closed the door and wrote like mad.

Now my daughters are grown up and I still work full time. So when I come home from work, I make dinner, visit with hubby before and during the meal. Clean up afterwards, then go to my office and shut the door to write. Sometimes I’m too exhausted from work, so I don’t write, but normally, this is how my days are outlined. And weekends…write like mad on Saturdays (and try to fit cleaning the house in there somewhere). Sunday after church, I’m back on the computer writing.

·         What sort of writer are you? Planner or pantser?

Definitely panster! Out of all the stories I’ve written (approx 30), I can only name two stories that I actually had to plot. I enjoy not knowing the ending until I get there.  

·         Can you tell us a bit about the technique you use to help you to write quickly, and how you developed it?

For several years I would write a chapter then go back over it several times to edit before moving to the next chapter – and repeating the process. About four years ago, I discovered a different way to do it. I’d heard other authors say that they just wrote what was on their mind without stopping to edit until they finished the story. I decided to give it a try. It was hard with the first book, but every one after that became easier. I realized my thoughts were clearer, and didn’t second-guess myself as much. Now I can write a story all the way through without going back to do edits…and then I only go through the story two more times before I’m ready to let my critique group at it. 

·         How many words do you write per hr/writing session?

Depends on what day of the week it is. If I write after work, I can usually write between 1-2,000 words a night. If I write on the weekends, I can write about 6,000 words a day.

·         How many hours per day do you write? And how many days per week?

I try to write something every day, but at least every other day. If I’m going strong on a story, I’ll write from about 6:00-9:30 on week nights. On the weekends I’ll write all day – that I can stand, anyway. 

·         How quickly can/do you finish a book?

Usually about six weeks for a book that's 80,000 words. And that includes reading through it for edits.

·         Do you know what you're going to write each day before you start your writing sessions? For instance, do you draft the scenes/chapters you’re about to write just before you write them, or do you thoroughly outline before you even start the book (if you’re a planner, that is J)?

I don’t draft a scene, but I know what I want to happen. Sometimes I write what I’d been thinking about, and sometimes my characters want the scene to go their way, so then I’ll write what they want instead.

·         How do you prevent your internal editor/critic from interrupting?

It takes practice. As I’d mentioned before, I wrote with my internal editor for many, many years. It’s only been about four years ago when I started writing straight through without stopping.

·         Do you have any more tips you’d like to share?

Don’t give up. Find a method that works for you, especially if you have to write around a regular job – or write around raising a family. If you love to write, you’ll find time!!! 

Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy day to spend  with us here today. We’d love to hear about your new book, would you tell us a bit about it?

My newest release is actually book 2 in my Regency Romance series. The series is about three brothers and their lives / trials.  The first book is “The Sweetest Kiss”. Book two is “The Sweetest Touch”. (Available on Kindle & Nook April 1st)

Orphaned since age six, Louisa Hamilton lives as a low-life miscreant, not knowing when she’ll be able to break free of her guardian’s steel hold. When she sees the cousin she had been told died in a house fire all those years ago, she follows him only to discover her family is alive. In her haste to escape the past, she leaves the loving scene only to be hit by a passing buggy.  Louisa awakes in the home of a duke, horrified to discover she has lost her memory.
Trevor Worthington, Duke of Kenbridge, can’t trust women. Yet after nearly killing the poor straggly woman, his heart softens and he feels he must help her. He sets her up in his household as a servant. Surprised to learn Louisa speaks French, is extremely well educated, and interacts so tenderly with his children, he wonders about this woman’s past. Following his instincts, he gives her the position of the children’s nursemaid. When he starts having feelings for Louisa, he’s hesitant to enter another nightmare like the one he had in his first marriage.
As the heartbreaking truth of Louisa's past comes out and decade old questions come to light, will Trevor be able to give love another chance?
About the author –

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 –

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  1. Thanks so much for the interview. If anyone has more questions - lay them on me! :)


  2. Me too. I can't plot and enjoy writing the story. I need surprises to keep me coming back to the keyboard.

  3. Loved reading about your writing process, Marie. Your cover is beautiful and your story sounds intriguing. :) Now to follow in your footsteps and increase my writing speed...You are an inspiration!

  4. Wow, Marie. Six weeks for 80k book? You are my hero. Thanks for sharing your process.

  5. Thanks, Ladies!! I'm happy that impressed you. It's nice to know I impressed someone. :)

  6. Hi Marie! I have a question for you. Since I am a plotter, I often wonder--does pantsing save time when it comes to writing? In other words, are you more inclined to get started than if you sit down and plot?

  7. Hi Monique and Marie! First off, I am so impressed with your diligence toward writing. I write the way you used to write - one chapter at a time, clean and polish, then move on. I consider myself a slow writer, and I believe your form of "full draft" writing is something I should try. Then I'll be able to go back and color in the story - but get it down first. Great tip!
    thanks, and best wishes with your books.

  8. Hi, Lynne. I had written this way for many years, and it's hard to turn off your internal editor - but once you can do it, I'm sure you'll like this way better. Best of luck!

  9. Great post! Marie, you are truly an inspiration. I wish I could write that fast. Dr. Wicked can kick me in the butt and I can write about 2000 words an hour with him, but I really need to know where I'm going. I used to be a panster and now I'm more half and half with the plotting, since my agent wants to know where the heck I'm going with it, but I still allow that editor to sit on my shoulder more than I'd like. This next story, I plan to write it straight through and give your writing style a try. Thanks for all the tips!

  10. Tiff I would not be able to tell an agent (or editor) where I was going with my story, either. Yeah, just write straight through. :)

  11. Marie, I'm like you I write until I'm finished and then I rewrite and polish. But I have no idea how people can submit an idea before it's written. My finished products usually do not sound anything like the blurb I started with.

    However, I take about ten times longer than you to write a story, if I were being very honest, even longer than that.

    What Stanalei said, you're my hero!

  12. Hey, just popping in before we leave to have dinner with our eldest.

    Lynne, I write just as you do! And it's so very painstakingly slow!!! But I suspect you don't get many revisions from your editors, am I right?

    When I finish an MS it's pretty decent and need hardly any edits. So perhaps there is something in the edit-as-you-go method. I wish to believe so, anyway, it keeps me sane...I think :)

    I used to be a pantser but gravitated to plotting in order to send out partials. But I have to say, knowing where the story is going isn't as exciting.

    I'm now off to have a delicious dinner. :D

    Hugs x

  13. Great interview, Marie. You and I share similar writing habits, the difference is that I was much more organized and productive when I worked. Now that I'm retired, I find although I have more "free" time, I'm not as regimented as I used to be. My characters still talk to me, but I'm usually engrossed in something on TV or in the middle of a chore and don't bother to listen until I choose to. I miss my routine. I got so much more done.

  14. Ginger, I don't watch tv. I don't have time. lol I decided many years ago that I'd rather write (and make money some day) than watch fun shows on tv. So now I rarely watch tv. Once in a while I'll watch a movie with grandkids or my hubby...but that's it. :)

    I knew we were a lot alike!

  15. As a new writer, I'm a combination plotter/pantster. Some days I can sit and the chapter will come to me and I type like crazy. Right now I'm stuck plotting the next chapter. Not sure where to go. Helping raise my daughters families slows things down a bit. As well as some personal illnesses. But I'm a firm believer in plugging right along. I have 2 mentors and am very thankful to them. Thanks for the interview. You truly amaze me Marie.

  16. Mary M - we are a lot a like! No wonder I like you. As for being your hero...I don't think so. lol

    Mary W - I hate it when life's issues get in the way of my writing time, mainly because I do feel so limited. But - like you - I keep plugging along. :)

  17. Marie, you alway WOW me with all that you manage to and write. I'm not sure I could ever write as fast as you, but I'll keep trying.

  18. Hi Marie,
    Wow, how do you do you write such fabulous stories so quickly?. I am in awe of you. organized. The Sweetest Touch, sounds like another winner.



  19. I love Marie Higgins' stories! Thank you for this interview. So interesting and wonderful.

  20. Thanks Margaret and Granny! I'm glad you stopped by and commented! :)

  21. Hi, Marie. I too am a panster. Even if I try to plot, it doesn't work. I really need to hide myself into a room and write. Thanks for sharing your method with us.

  22. Thank you so much for inspiring us all, Marie!

    Love & hugs x

  23. I agree with writing and then going back to review. I've gotten caught up in rewriting/revising before finishing a book...and the constant rewrites drive me crazy.

  24. Marianne - that's how I was for several years. I like my new method the best. :), what a day I had. Right? :) Thanks for inviting me to be your guest blogger.

  25. Anna Kathryn - thanks so much for coming!

  26. Sorry, I'm so late to the party. Marie, congratulations on your release, it's a great story. I usually finish my first draft of a 95,00 - 100,00 word book in four weeks. My second draft a week or so later, then I have to rely on my CPs.

  27. Hi, Ella! I can't wait to start reading your story...and critiquing it.


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment. I greatly appreciate it! :) :)