Winnie Griggs has written historical and contemporary romances for three different lines. Her work has won a number of regional and national awards, most recently the 2011 Lorie for Best Inspirational Romance of 2010. A small town girl herself, Winnie’s books focus on family and community and matters of faith – all subjects that are near and dear to her own heart. In fact, the motto on her website reads “Small Towns, Big Hearts, Amazing Grace”
Winnie has been married for 35 years to her college sweetheart and together they have raised four children and a too-numerous-to-count assortment of dogs, cats, fish, hamsters, turtles and 4-H sheep. Besides reading and writing, Winnie’s favorite activities include cooking, exploring flea markets and pretending the growing army of dust bunnies who have invaded her home will disappear if she just ignores them.
Winnie loves to hear from readers. You can contact her via her website www.winniegriggs.com or find her on facebook.
I’m excited about having you on the blog today Winnie, could you start off by telling us a little about your novella?
I had previously written two full length novels that featured Lassiter siblings in lead roles. The only remaining sibling, Griff Lassiter, was a rather enigmatic character who made brief appearances in these books but stayed pretty much in the background. When my editor asked me to pen a novella with a Thanksgiving theme, I knew immediately that I wanted to tell Griff’s story. As for the story itself, here is the back cover blurb: All that stands between Ruby Anne Tuggle and a fresh start is an escort to Tyler, Texas. Rancher Griff Lassiter is too kind to refuse, but too wary of being hurt again to offer anything but protection on the journey. Then a fever forces an unexpected detour and a chance to find the place they both belong…
Like Home for Thanksgiving, many of your previous works are historical fiction (which happens to be my favorite), can you tell us about your research process and where the ideas for your books come from?
The ideas come from everywhere – news clippings, research rabbit trails, overheard conversations, scenes from books and movies, even my dreams. My research starts first with internet research to get a high level feel for the subject. Then, if it is for a key piece of information I’ll dig deeper by looking for experts, trying to dig out journals or other reference materials, or talking to other writers who may have already explored that topic.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
In sixth grade when I penned a complete story (20 handwritten pages) featuring my favorite TV characters.
What fictional books have had the most influence on your life?
The early works of Mary Stewart. I reread those books multiple times when I was in junior high and really was blown away with her story telling ability.
If I looked at your writing desk right now, what would I find?
I actually use one end of the dining room table as my writing desk, so there are any number of things scattered there, including the mail, some reference books on paddle wheelers (an element in my current WIP) my large tea mug and the latest RWR magazine which I haven’t read yet.
What are some things you like to do when you’re not writing?
I enjoy cooking and getting together with my friends for a girls day out.
If someone wrote a biography about you, what would it be titled?
A life filled with blessings
Name one dream place you would love to travel to but haven’t yet. Why would it be your dream location?
I’d love to do an Alaskan cruise some day. It seems like it would be a place of wonder and beauty.
What’s for dinner tonight?
Red beans and sausage over rice.
What’s your favorite time of year, and why?
Autumn, because I love the cooler temperatures and the family community feel of harvest and Thanksgiving.
Many of my readers are aspiring writers, what advice would you give them?
If you want to be a writer there is no substitute for just sitting down and writing. Reading how-to manuals and attending workshops are important learning activities, but not if they are used a procrastination techniques. Eventually you have to stare down that blank piece of paper and just start typing away.
Make sure to stop by next Friday when I’ll review Once Upon a Thanksgiving, and give a free copy away to a person who leaves a comment that day.
For more information about Once Upon a Thanksgiving, click here.