7 June 2012

Getting to know you Thursday with Winnie Griggs with giveaway

Please welcome Winnie Griggs to my blog today. Winnie has a new Love Inspired Historical book out at present and is giving one reader the chance to win a copy.

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Well first and foremost I’m a wife and mother.  I’ve been married to my college sweetheart for nearly 37 years and together we have raised four very independent children who are now grown with homes of their own. 
I’m a small town girl, preferring rural towns to big cities.  But I’m not very outdoorsy - it gets very hot and humid here in Louisiana and I like my air conditioning too much
On other fronts, I worked at a day job in the computer programming and project management fields for 35 years.  I’m an active member of my local Romance Writers of America chapter and a charter member of my American Christian Fiction Writers chapter. 

2. When you were a child did you have a favorite book or books?
I have always been a voracious reader, but as a child my favorites were the Trixie Belden mystery series.  I bought every one I could get my hands on and re-read them numerous times.

3. Do you have a favorite Genre to both read and right write?
It goes in cycles for me, but right now it’s Historical romance. (Jenny here, I am like that with reading too I go in cycles)

4. Did you have favorite authors growing up who have influenced you?
Mary Stewart, Georgette Heyer, Jane Aiken Hodge, Samuel Shellaberger, Elswyth Thane, Agatha Christie - LOL I could go on and on but I’ll leave it there

5. When did you know you wanted to be an author?
I’m not sure I can point to one specific moment.  I’ve always enjoyed writing, even as an adolescent.  One day, after my kids were all school age, I decided to try my hand at penning a novel length work as sort of a personal challenge.  Even then I didn’t seriously consider trying to get it published - it was just for me.  But once the book was done, I let my sister read it and suddenly it morphed into a sort of ‘why not’ moment.  It took a number of years to finally get there but it was well worth the journey.

6. How did you go about becoming an author?
The one thing I did that gave me the biggest boost in my writing journey was joining a local writers group.  The NOLA STARs chapter of RWA is among the most supportive, encouraging and sharing group in the writing community.  In addition to that, pushing myself to enter contests and attend writing conferences also added to my confidence as well as helped me make the connections to move forward.

7. If you were not a writer what would you like to be?
I’ve always enjoyed doing project management and process improvement work, especially in the information technology field. 

8. Outside reading and writing what do you like to do?
I love to cook - especially when I have time to experiment with new recipes.  I also like going to flea markets and estate sales.  And of course it’s fun to celebrate an occasional girl’s day out with my friends.

9. Do you have a place you love to visit or would love to visit?
Travel to me is more about who I’m with than where I’m going.  I love road trips and ‘event’ travel to any destination as long as the company is good.

10. If you could have a meal with 3 living people who would you choose and why?
I assume you mean folks not already in my circle of acquaintances - so let’s see
Rebecca Paisley, because I love, love, love her very humorous, very charming books and imagine she is a lovely person herself.  (I’d also like to find out why she quit writing)
Shirley Temple Black - because she’s led such a fascinating life, and I’d love to discuss it with her
Bobby Jindal, the current governor of my home state of Louisiana, because I’d like to talk to him about his vision for our state and our country.

Finally can you tell us about your current books and/or any that will be coming out soon. Also where we can find you on the web.

New this month, my very first ever continuity book, A Baby Between Them, hits the shelves.  For those of you not familiar with the term continuity, this is when the editors at Harlequin come up with the overall theme and story arc for a multi-book series and then invite authors to participate in actually writing the books.  Each author is given about a two page sketchy overview of their book along with notes on the continuity threads that flow through all the books.  Then they are turned loose to ‘make it work.’  I’d always wanted to try my hand at this and I was tickled pink to not only get the invite but to learn I would be teamed up with authors Cheryl St. John and Renee Ryan - two fabulous writers and good friends of mine.  The Irish Brides trilogy follows the story of three sisters who immigrate from Ireland to Massachusetts during 1850, right in the midst of Ireland’s great potato famine.  Cheryl has the first book which tells the story of the youngest sister, Maeve.   Renee has the middle sister, Bridget, and middle book.  And I have Nora, the oldest sister and final book in the trilogy.  Being the oldest sibling myself, I could really identify with Nora.   It was such a fun project!  I hope readers will enjoy it as well.

Then, coming in September, I have Handpicked Husband, the first in a new four book Texas Grooms series I’m working on.  The story centers around Regina Nash, an independent minded female photographer, who is cornered into having to pick a husband from among three bachelors sent across country to her by her grandfather.  Of course there’s a fourth man in the picture as well, just to complicate matters further J.  The other three books in the series will deal with what happens to the three men who don’t end up with Reggie.
As for where you can find me - my website is www.winniegriggs.com.  I’m also on facebook, goodreads and pinterest and would love to connect with readers there.  Just search on my name - I’m the only Winnie Griggs out there (at least for now!)

Thanks again for your time and agreeing to be on my blog.
You’re quite welcome - it was fun!

Winnie is offering one of my readers a chance to win her latest book. To enter you need to leave a way to contact you (myemail at email dot com) and leave a comment to do with this interview. (please don't just put nice interview enter me.).  You have til Thursday 14 June 6pm Australian time.


Alexis Morgan said...

I'm with you, Winnie. I'd love to meet Shirley Temple Black--what an amazing woman!

Wendy Newcomb said...

Winnie, I see we have at least a couple of things in common, I am definitely NOT an outdoors person and I loved reading Trixie Belden when I was growing up, along with Nancy Drew and The Bobbsey Twins.

Thank you for offering Ausjenny a book to give away and for doing this interview.


Winnie Griggs said...

Hi Alexis - wouldn't she be fun to meet? Imagine the stories she could tell....

Hi Wendy. Yaaay - another Trixie Belden fan!!! When I was a kid I wanted to BE her.

Victoria Bylin said...

Hi Winnie! The continuity series looks just amazing. Terrific covers!

Alexis Morgan said...

How true, Winnie--she's met so many interesting people both in her movie career and in her work with the UN.

Mary Connealy said...

I loved learning more about you, Winnie. :) And I'm heartbroken I didn't make your 'lunch' list!!!!!

Betsy said...

Hi Winnie, enjoyed the interview, and as a fellow Louisianian (Metairie), I like the A/C too!! I read the Amazon Kindle excerpt of your latest book, and of course got very caught up in it right away....would love the chance to win it!
betcee63 at gmail dot com


Winnie Griggs said...

Thanks Vicki! And I love the job LIH did on this cover too!

Mary - LOL, if only the question had been aimed at people I ALREADY know...

Winnie Griggs said...

Betsy - Metarie - we were practically neighbors!!! And thanks for the nice words about my book - glad you enjoyed the excerpt!

Ausjenny said...

Hi all thanks for dropping in I makes me feel good also to see comments. I am really looking forward to this book.
Have to say didn't read the Trixie Belden books I think they came to Australia later. I was an Enid Bylton fan.

Tanya Hanson said...

LOVE the interview, Winnie. Although Little Women will always be my favorite, I devoured Trixie Belden mysteries and confess I've got a whole stack of 'em in the attic.


Winnie Griggs said...

Thanks for the kind words Jenny.

Tanya - Trixie was such a fiesty girl, and I must confess that Jim was my first adolescent crush!!

Charlene Sands said...

Hi Winnie,
I think your title is quite compelling and the cover is simply gorgeous!

Best of luck,
Charlene Sands, your Filly sister!

Winnie Griggs said...

Thanks for the kind words Charlene and thanks for stopping by!

Ausjenny said...

Thanks to all for dropping by. its great seeing so many post here. The contest is open for a week.

Sarah said...

Looks and sounds interesting!
Please enter me in the drawing!
God Bless!

Narelle Atkins said...

Jenny, I don't remember reading Trixie Belden either - maybe they weren't as popular in Australia? I loved Enid Blyton books and the mystery books I remember reading were Famous Five, Secret Seven and also Nancy Drew. Winnie and Jenny, thanks for the fun interview :)

narelle [at] narelleatkins [dot] com

Merry said...

I would love to meet Shirley Temple Black, she's had a full, interesting life. The series you are part of sounds awesome. I loved your earlier book, The Proper Wife.
worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

Winnie Griggs said...

Sarah - Thanks for stopping by to read the interview

Narelle - Nancy Drew was very popular among my friends but I was always a Trixie girl :)

Merry - THANK YOU for the kind words about The Proper Wife - so glad you enjoyed it!!

Laetitia :-) said...

Hi Winnie,

Is the Texas Grooms series set in Texas or is it just that the men are from there?

Laetitia :-)

l-web at b-m dot id dot au

Ausjenny said...

Laetitia great question I actually missed that info but it sounds interesting.

thanks to all who have visited and good to see some Aussie here.

PurlingPenny said...

I did enjoy this interview, it's always neat to know the person behind the words a little better. I love to cook too ... but do enjoy the outdoors. :) You have such a full life I wonder how you fit everything in! I'm glad to hear about a continuity series as I appreciate getting to know characters deeply and see where life takes them.

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