Have you had a chance to meet Winnie?
Winnie Griggs is a small town girl born and raised in Southeast Louisiana’s Cajun Country who grew up to marry a country boy from the piney hills of Northwest Louisiana. Though her Prince Charming (who often wears the guise of a cattle rancher) is more comfortable riding a tractor than a white steed, the two of them have been living out their own happily-ever-after for 30+ years. (Congratulations Winnie!)
During that time they raised four proud-to-call-them-mine children and a too-numerous-to-count assortment of dogs, cats, fish, hamsters, turtles and 4-H sheep.
Winnie has a BS degree in mathematics and has held a job in the electric utility industry for more years than she cares to contemplate.
Her favorite activities, outside of writing and reading, are cooking, exploring flea markets and pretending the growing army of dust bunnies who have invaded her home will disappear if she just ignores them long enough.
SKC: So you are from the South, huh? One of those places I'd always like to live, if the Good Lord wills it for us.
Before you tell us more about your work, Winnie, how would you say your upbringing relates to your writing?
WG: Well, as far as being from the South, there’s no place else I’d rather live, but I can’t say how that shaped me as a writer other than to say everything you experience in your life has an impact of one sort or another on who you are and what your worldview is. In fact, I do a writing workshop on dealing with character backstory, and that’s one of the points I try to drive home - all backstory is important to some extent, because for fully realized characters, everything that came before, shaped them into who they are today.
SKC: I so agree with you! But I don't often hear that from people. I do, however, like to read the whyfores and wherefores when I get into a story. That's why I sometimes add prologues to my own.
Okay, Winnie, So how does a person who uses one side of her brain for things that deal with logistics and facts get their brain into the creative mode?
WG: Hmm, another how question
SKC: Great answer! What inspires you to keep going?
WG: If you mean keep going in my writing, I just have so many stories in me that are clamoring to be told that I can’t NOT write. If you mean in my life in general, when I need rep
SKC: So a little of both. Okay. What about when you knew writing books would become the passion of your heart and what message do you filter in your stories, if any?
WG: I’ve always enjoyed writing., but I suppose I first got the bug to try my hand at a full length novel during my college days. Of course it was nearly 25 years later before I actually completed one!
SKC: You are a late author bloomer like me, then which explains why you are still a fairly new a
WG: Having a real passion for whatever it is you are writing. The story has to first move YOU before it can move your readers.
SKC: How do you schedule your daily writing time so that it does not interfere with your God time and quality time with family?
WG: That has always been a tough balancing act for me. I don’t really have a set schedule for my writing, though I’d probably be more productive if I did. My day job used to require me to travel quite a bit and I would do some of my best writing in hotel rooms and airports. Since I’m not traveling as much any more I am struggling a bit to find a new routine that really works for me.
SKC: Why do you think so many authors have a difficult time coming up with their proposals? What is it like for you?
WG: Proposals require you to really think through your story and understand the entire arc. That’s a difficult thing for me – though I have a general idea of what t
SKC: I admit, myself, no proposal is easy for me, especially when it comes to the dreaded synopsis. After you finish your present projects, Winnie, what plans do you have?
WG: I just turned in my first contemporary work, The Heart’s Song, which will come out next June. Next up I plan to write two books set in the same town and period as my current book, The Christmas Journey. These will feature first the hero’s sister and then the heroine’s sister in a book of their own.
SKC: You have plenty to keep you busy then.
Our readers here at A Pen for Your Thoughts usually get excited about the reflection question an author has to ask, in part, because there is always a chance their name might get selected for a book from our guest. What would you like to ask our readers and writers in the next few days and what book will you be offering?
WG: One of my favorite story premises is that of the marriage of convenience, and this seems to be popular with readers as well. Why do you think this is and do you personally enjoy them?
SDC: Good question, Winnie. Thanks. I can’t thank y
WG: Thanks for inviting me – it was fun sharing. Readers can email me at http://firstname.lastname@example.org and please visit my website, http://winniegriggs.com to be entered in my monthly drawing. My October book, The Christmas Journey, can be found at most bookstores and online at http://amazon.com or on the www.eharlequin.com site.
I’d like to give away a copy of my March book, The Hand-Me-Down Family (which does employ that marriage of convenience premise) and is no longer available for order.
Our congratulations to Deborah Malone of Georgia. You are the fortunate winner of Winnie's book. Be watching for it soon!