Today we sit down for a chat with author Jeffrey James Higgins who writes in multiple mystery genres, including thriller, action-adventure, suspense, medical, and military. Learn more about him and his books at his website.
When did you realize you wanted to write novels?
I wrote stories when I was six years old—silly stories about taking animals on adventures—and I drew my cover art with crayons. I would sneak out of bed at night and write stories in a notebook. I have always identified as an author, and I can’t remember a time when I didn’t plan to write books.
How long did it take you to realize your dream of publication?
I retired as a supervisory special agent in 2017 and started writing full time. Since then, I’ve written one nonfiction manuscript and six novels. Black Rose Writing will launch my debut on May 20 and my second novel on August 26. The other five manuscripts are in the editing or submission process. I have also published six creative nonfiction pieces, two short stories, fourteen essays, and one poem. It has taken me just over four years for my debut to hit the market, but my dream has been fifty years in the making.
Are you traditionally published, indie published, or a hybrid author?
I’m traditionally published, but I recently self-published a short story, The Interrogation, on Kindle Direct Publishing, and I plan to be a hybrid author. Traditional publishing offers many advantages, but self-publishing gives me more control.
Where do you write?
I have an elegant home office. My wife, Cynthia Farahat Higgins, is also a writer, and she allows me to use our office while she toils away in the dining room. We work within a few feet of each other, separated by French doors. She may enjoy keeping an eye on me.
Is silence golden, or do you need music to write by? What kind?
I write with the window open so I can hear city sounds and with classical music playing on my computer. I can’t listen to songs with lyrics. My favorite writing music is Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons”. It puts me in the zone.
How much of your plots and characters are drawn from real life? From your life in particular?
My wife is the strongest person I know. She formed an opposition political party in Egypt, and she has fought radical Islam around the world. Dagny Steele, my protagonist in Furious, was inspired by my wife’s courage.
What’s your quirkiest quirk?
I’m a little OCD. My wife often calls me Mr. Monk.
If you could have written any book (one that someone else has already written,) which one would it be? Why?
It’s hard to argue with the success of the Harry Potter series or Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch character, but I get the most satisfaction from telling my own stories.
City girl/guy or country girl/guy?
I’m a city guy. I grew up in a small New England town with more apple trees than people. We were only thirty miles west of Boston, but it was an effort to get there, especially as a child. I completed my undergrad at Boston University and have lived in cities ever since. The people and constant activity inspire me, and the convenience of walking to restaurants and bars is hard to give up.
What’s on the horizon for you?
Furious: Sailing into Terror launches on May 20, and Unseen: Evil Lurks Among Us, comes out on August 26. I’m marketing those and editing my next novel. There’s always a new book on the horizon!
Furious: Sailing into Terror
Trapped on a storm-damaged yacht, a grieving woman must conquer her worst fears and fight for her life, in a story described as The Shining on a yacht. Dr. Dagny Steele is on the verge of fulfilling her lifelong calling to become a pediatric surgeon when the sudden death of her daughter sends her into a crushing depression. Grief stricken and desperate to heal, she takes a leave of absence and sails across the Indian Ocean with her husband. Dagny begins to recover from her tragic loss when her voyage turns into a nightmare. Isolated and hunted at sea—can she survive a deadly crucible?
That was a fun interview. Thanks!
Happy to have you join us, Jeffrey.
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