I’m so happy to be sharing an interview with Wendy Higgins, author of the Sweet series, See Me, and now The Great Hunt. I’ve enjoyed Wendy’s work for many years, and she was kind enough to share her thoughts on writing fantasy and romance, particularly for YA readers. When I asked her about her work, here’s what she had to say …
KC: You’ve written in a number of different genres, and have, for the first time, ventured into high fantasy with The Great Hunt. What’s your favorite genre to write, and why?
WH: I think Urban Fantasy/Paranormal is my favorite. It’s fascinating to imagine things going on right here on Earth that we’re not aware of, things hidden. It’s just thrilling to write about those kinds of fictional possibilities, and for me it’s the ultimate escapism.
KC: What was the most challenging aspect of writing The Great Hunt?
WH: Two things: 3rd person point of view, and high fantasy world building. First person point of view has always been the style that comes naturally to me, so I really had to push myself out of my comfort zone with this one. It taught me a lot, and I feel that I grew as a writer by taking on the challenge. As far as world building, to come up with a completely different world, cultures, languages, magical abilities, etc, was SO HARD for me. Definitely the most challenging thing I’ve ever done, and I’m not nearly as detailed as many high fantasy authors. I find that when I read high fantasy I end up skimming when there’s a lot of description, so I tried to build the world, but leave the minute details to reader imagination, the way I prefer it when I’m reading.
KC: Even though your books are very different, they all include swoon-worthy romances. Are you a closet romantic at heart? And – the real question – how do you keep your characters’ romances interesting, particularly over the course of a multiple book series? How do you keep it fresh and engaging for the characters and the reader?
WH: Oh, I’m out of the closet when it comes to my romantic heart! I’ve always been a romance girl. The thing with writing romance is timing. I personally don’t like instalove stories where the characters are falling in love or hooking up quickly. I love to have the romantic tension drawn out as long as possible (but not so long that it just becomes ridiculous). I have to find realistic reasons for them not to get together, either internal or external. And then once they DO get together, there has to be a danger facing them – an obstacle they need to overcome to stay together and be safe.
KC: Unlike your popular Sweet series, The Great Hunt is told in shifting points of view from the perspectives of multiple characters (and in third person). What are the biggest challenges, and advantages, of writing shifting third person narrative like this?
WH: One big advantage of multiple points of view is that I can show different storylines, so in The Great Hunt and The Great Pursuit there are actually THREE romance threads that we get to see play out. That was super fun! When writing in first person, your hands are tied, as far as what you can show and how you can show it, because the main character has to be seeing it, experiencing it, or hearing about it. Writing in third person definitely opened up a world of possibilities. It was almost overwhelming!
KC: Who are some of your favorite authors? What are you reading now?
KC: When can we expect to see second book in the Eurona duology (The Great Pursuit) on the shelves??
WH: The Great Pursuit will be published March 7, 2017!
Thanks so much for your time, Wendy. Looking forward to The Great Pursuit.