Beverly and Tamara: Welcome to SSLY. Thanks so much for joining us today. So first why don’t you tell us a little about yourself.
Dennis:Thanks for having me, Beverly and Tamara. My name is Dennis Higgins and I am a native Chicagoan, now living in the old suburban city of Elgin. I love things from the past. I guess that’s why I write time travel books. There were some very romantic eras back then.
Tamara: Oh my God, Bev and I are both from that area. I lived in Streamwood. What do you HAVE to have when you are writing?
Dennis: Coffee! Simple answer: My computer and coffee because I only write in the morning.
Beverly: When did you start to write?
Dennis: I wrote my first paragraph in March of 2004. It is my unfinished manuscript. But writing has been in my bones since I was a child and got As on my book reports.
Tamara: What do you think are the qualities that make up a “hero”?
Dennis: That’s a good question, Tamara. Some people’s view of a hero is a bad-ass, take no crap sort of person. I think a true hero, whether male or female has inner strength and shows kindness and compassion to others.
Beverly: Can you describe your favorite character? And which of your books is he/she in? How do you come up with your characters?
Dennis: My favorite character is Katya from Katya and Cyrus (Time Pilgrims). Katya (pronounced cot ya) is an interesting character. She has temporal amnesia and doesn’t know what year she is from. She’s sort of lost in time and as a result she has remained a twenty year old even though she has been around much longer. Her speech patterns are a mixture of all the different times she has lived in. She is a great contrast to Cyrus who is gorgeous but all business and a ladies man…that is until Katya enters his life. Katya is fun loving and silly yet possesses those inner strength, hero qualities I spoke about.
Tamara: What are the hardest scenes for you to write? Suspense? Sex? Dialogue? And why?
Dennis: It might be action scenes. I am all about romance and dialog but I don’t write torrid sex scenes as such. I allude to them much like old Hollywood did. If Katya and Cyrus were a movie, it would be rated PG-13. Not so much with my first book, Parallel Roads (Lost on Route 66). This book contains a sexually violent scene which was very difficult for me to write since the concept is so foreign to me
Beverly: What writer, if any, influenced how you write?
Dennis: I like this question, Beverly. I have been asked who influenced me but never if they affected how I write. The truth is, I have been influenced by content such as other time travel authors like Richard Matheson and Jack Finney, and even Audrey Neffenegger with her book, The Time Travelers Wife. But not by anyone’s writing style. I try not to let things I read influence my voice. I don’t even read while in the midst of a writing project. I don’t want to lose my own individual style. Does that make sense?
Tamara: Who would you choose as your “book girlfriend”? From what book? Author?
Dennis: It would definitely be Elise Mckenna from Richard Matheson’s Somewhere in Time. In the movie, she was played by Jane Seymour which was perfect for 1980. I understood the sort of desperate passion he felt for her even though all he had was a portrait of her as she was from a different time. She had elegance and poise yet passion.
Beverly: What is the kinkiest thing you’ve ever done? Or would like to? What? We are all about the love!
Dennis: Beverly Beverly…I have to respectfully decline answering this question. But I like the question and would answer it in a private setting anytime, just not here for the world to see.
Tamara: What are your favorite types of heroines? Do you like the damsel in distress who needs saving or the kick-ass variety? Why?
Dennis: Definitely the kick-ass type. I’m a movie guy and loved the Black Widow in the Avengers played by Scarlett Johansson. Okay, I could be kinky with her.
Beverly: What was your worst date ever?
Dennis: I have to go back to my late teen years. I met this girl at a party. She was gorgeous, had beautiful soft lips and wow could she kiss. So that’s what we did all night. I asked her out for the next weekend. She wouldn’t talk. I would ask a question and she would give me a one word answer. She just sat there looking pretty. After the date she called her girlfriend (a mutual friend) and chatted up a storm about all the things I talked about. Never asked her out again.
Tamara: If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want to have with you? (you have food, water, shelter, all the necessities, so nothing mundane)
Dennis: I assume, I can’t say another person like a beautiful woman, so…My Kindle, a solar power charging source and …okay, a beautiful woman.
Beverly: What is your “guilty pleasure”?
Dennis: Pizza and chocolate. You’re still trying to get me to admit my kinky desires, aren’t you, Bev?
Tamara: What dream or goal have you yet to realize?
Dennis: Having my books become household names.
Beverly: What was you most embarrassing moment? It can’t be worse than mine… getting caught in the back of an orange Gremlin by the military police! (I was a wild child!)
Beverly: Thirteen buttons Dennis! I won’t say more than that!
Tamara: If you were a color what would you be and why?
Dennis:Teal! Not quite blue, not quite green. I live my life sort of in the middle. I’m not a Republican, I’m not a
Democrat. I like the Beatles and the stones, Ginger and Marianne, The Simpsons and Family Guy. I’m blue green.
Beverly: Who has influenced how you perceive love? Why?
Dennis: I think you are influencing me right now.
Tamara and Beverly: Okay. We are SSLY so I have to ask. Who loves you?
My lovely wife, my kids and my beasties. So Yeah, I’m smiling.
Now for some quick fun questions:
Boxers or briefs?
These questions are designed for women aren’t they? So I have to answer them about me. Briefs, the ol’ whitie tighties.
Coffee or Tea?
Tall, dark and handsome or Blond and buff?
Hairy chest or smooth?
Back in the day, the chicks loved my hairy chest. I think it’s out of vogue with all the pictures of guys I see lately. But think Sean Connery in James Bond.
Chocolate or Vanilla?
Kinky or Sweet?
A little of both.
Fast or slow?
Like the Foghat song, Slowride.
Public or private?
Private, no surprise here, right.
Top or bottom?
Both, blue green, remember.
Now that was a fun interview! Thank you Dennis for humoring us. I can see we MAY need to modify our questions for the males of the species! So thanks for being such a good sport.
When the Callahans found Katya they soon discovered that she was the most powerful Time Pilgrim they’d ever employed at their time research facility, National. However, they soon discover she’s plagued with a condition known as temporal amnesia. She can’t remember what year she’s from and is trying to locate her roots. Because of Katya’s time displacement, she’s not matured physically beyond the age of twenty, although she’s much older. She becomes a sponge in every time period she visits, soaking up the culture and instantly becoming one with the period.
Katya and Cyrus—the Callahans’ son—develop a love interest along with a powerful time travel partnership. Before Katya came into his life, Cyrus was all business. Katya shows him that time can sometimes be traveled just for the sheer fun of it, while still trying to fight off temporal attacks by Sundial, an adversarial time organization.