Local author conjures up 'A Merry Little Christmas'
- Written by Trilla Cook
Anita Higman’s newest book, “A Merry Little Christmas,” hit the shelves this fall just in time for the holiday season. Higman was born and raised on a farm in Oklahoma, the perfect setting for this story, which is part of Summerside Press’ “Songs of the Season” series. According to Higman, the farm in this story is 100 percent like the farm she grew up on in Oklahoma. Her last book, "Love Finds You in Humble, Texas," was well-received locally. “While the small towns in the book are totally fictitious, I did grow up on a wheat, cattle, pig and chicken farm in Western Oklahoma, and it was pretty much identical to the one in the novel,” said Higman. “If the farm scenes seem realistic, it’s because I got to know farm life quite well before I moved off to college at eighteen.” A book that instills the Christmas spirit and is perfect for gift giving, “A Merry Little Christmas” is a classic love story blended with loveable, true-to-life characters – a combination that keeps the reader wanting more. This story is touted as “A cozy holiday read about two people from different worlds,” which describes it best. Franny Martin lives alone on a farm in Oklahoma and has had it listed for sale for several years. When Charlie Landau offers to buy her farm on the spot, she sees her dream of moving to the big city coming to life, but does she really want to turn the farm over to a stranger? While Franny teaches Charlie the ins and outs of farming, will love enter the picture when it’s least expected? “Franny is like me in some ways, but she has a lot more courage than I have and more laughter in her heart. So, really, I want to be Franny when I grow up,” Higman said. “A Merry Little Christmas” also touches on the social unrest of the time – the civil rights movement. “The early 1960’s was a time of great transition and turmoil,” Higman said. “I remembered some of the injustices that had stayed with me, and I wanted to write about that, including the Jim Crow laws.” Higman said that, growing up in the 60’s, she had always been interested in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. “In some ways I feel I’ve waited my whole life to write this book. It came easily to me in that it’s been percolating in my imagination for a long time, but it was also hard to write because I had to consider more deeply the injustices of that era. Even though it sounds like a cliché, ‘A Merry Little Christmas’truly was the book of my heart,” she said, adding that she hopes the readers finish the book with a feeling of “hope.” Higman said her editor asked her to add the elements of Christmas and music to the book. “It was a blessing, since Christmas is my favorite time of year, and I love music. Also, female readers in general love novels that are set during the holidays, and I’m hoping the music adds a cozy feel to the overall Christmas theme,” she said.” Higman has lived more than 28 years in the Houston area, and has written everything from romance to suspense/thrillers. Her favorite is romance. “I love inspirational romance. There’s just nothing else like it for writing and reading. It naturally makes you want to curl up on an overstuffed couch and read the day away,” she said. Higman is a member of American Christian fiction Writers and has written more than 30 books during her career – fiction, nonfiction, children’s book and plays. She co-authored the book “Love Finds You Under the Mistletoe,” which made its way to the Neilsen and CBA bestseller lists. Other titles under her belt are “Love Finds You in Humble, Texas” and “Texas Wildflowers.” For more information visit anitahigman.com.