We’ve asked a few Romance Writers of America RITA winners and nominees to discuss their favorite winners from past RITA awards. Please welcome Kristan Higgins, who is a double RITA winner in years 2008 and 2010.
Here’s the backstory:
In 2008, we met Sookie Stackhouse and her coterie of vampire admirers as True Blood debuted on HBO. Katy Perry had just “Kissed A Girl,” while we were in the midst of deciding who would be President. Brett Favre left the Green Bay Packers, Heath Ledger wowed us as the Joker in The Dark Knight, and we were all about “recession dining.”
I love writers who break the rules, and Deanna Raybourn is one of the best. First person historical? I don’t think so. No sex? Please. Excuse me? She doesn’t even show them kiss? This book will never work.
Except it does. From the opening line till the very last, I read Silent in the Grave with a current of electrical anticipation running through me. Deanna Raybourn’s voice, the twisting, fast-paced plot, the intelligent, restless heroine, . . . and let us not forget Nicholas Brisbane, the dark, brooding hero! Meow!
Ms. Raybourn weaves a plot so unusual, exciting and just plain good, it had me guessing till the end. All those elements combine to make a dark, haunting and dead-sexy read.
When Deanna won the RITA (beating out Nora Roberts, gang, much to Nora’s delight), no one was more surprised than Ms. Raybourn. Just goes to show that readers don’t care about the rules, save one—write a great book. Don’t model your work on the work of others. Dare to be different while still understanding what a reader needs to stay at the edge of her seat for every page of the novel.
Kudos, Ms. Raybourn. Love your stuff.
Kristan Higgins divides her time between home in Connecticut and summers on Cape Cod. She is the mother of two lovely kids, the wife of a brave firefighter, and a devoted Ben & Jerry’s fan. Previously a copywriter, Kristan began writing fiction when her children graced her life with simultaneous naps...so much more satisfying than folding laundry. She holds a BA in English, which enables her to identify dangling participles and quote many great novels. She loves to connect with readers on her website www.kristanhiggins.com and her Facebook page www.facebook.com/KristanHigginsBooks