Winnie Griggs’ interview

» Posted on Mar 25, 2009 in Blog | 13 comments

This week I’m hosting Winnie Griggs with Hand-Me-Down Family. If you want to be entered in Winnie’s drawing, please leave a message on a post this week with your email address (you won’t be entered if I don’t have a way to get in touch with you). You can email me at to enter the drawing. The drawing will end on this Sunday evening.

Winnie Griggs’ interview:

1. What made you start writing?

Hard question. I don’t remember actually making an actual decision or having a sudden epiphany that I wanted to be a writer. I’ve loved story for as long as I can remember – being both an avid reader and an active ‘daydreamer’ since childhood. Stories are always around, clamoring to be told.

2. How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book?

If by that you mean writing with an eye toward publication, I started down that road in 1991 when I attempted my first novel length work. It was 2000 and several manuscripts later before I actually made that first sale.

3. How do you handle rejections?

By pouting . Seriously, any kind of rejection hurts, there’s no getting around that. The trick, I’ve come to believe, is to not let it get you down for long. Give yourself a day or so to wallow and then put it behind you and move on. Start a new project, finish an existing one, polish a draft – anything to focus your attention forward and not backward.

4. Why do you write?

Because my characters demand it.

5. What would you be doing with your free time if you weren’t writing?

More reading, some travel perhaps and I’ve always enjoyed estate sales and flea markets

6. What are you working on right now?

I recently turned in the manuscript for what will be my October release THE CHRISTMAS JOURNEY. Now I’m toying with a contemporary small town story set in my home state of Louisiana. It will be a departure for me but I’m really excited about it.

7. Do you put yourself into your books/characters?

Not overtly, but to the extent that who I am influences the values and goals of my characters, yes.

8. Tell us about the book you have out right now.

The Hand-Me-Down Family is a book about a group of strangers – a lone wolf of a man, a woman who thought she’d end life as an old maid, and three orphaned children – coming together to form a family. Here’s the official blurb:
Callie Gray always assumed she would never marry, that is until she took a leap of faith and became a mail-order bride. But when she arrives in Sweetgum, Texas, she gets the shock of her life. Her husband is dead, and his brother proposes she marry him, for the sake of his orphaned nephew and nieces.
Jack Tyler warns her not to hope for a love match – theirs is strictly a convenient marriage. He’ll support her and the children financially, but he doesn’t plan to actually stick around for very long.
However, Callie soon yearns for a true partnership with the man who unexpectedly captured her heart. Now she must convince Jack what he truly needs is a lifetime of love, faith and family – with her by his side.

9. Do you have any advice for other writers?

Develop a thick skin and an inquiring mind. Write every day. Read as much as you can.

10. How important is faith in your books?

It is a simple thread woven throughout that binds the whole together
11. What themes do you like to write about?

Family, the need to belong, the need to find purpose – all thing very important to me.

12. What is your favorite book you’ve written and why?

That’s like asking which of my four children is my favorite – I just can’t pick one. They’re all special to me for very different reasons.

13. What is your writing schedule like?

I’m afraid I’ll have to confess that I don’t really have a set schedule. I work three days a week at an 8:00 – 5:00 job and normally don’t do much writing, if any, on those days. The rest of the week I try to dedicate 3-4 hours toward writing or writing-related activities, but I’ll admit that I don’t always achieve that.


  1. Ahh, what fun to see your response for rejection:


    It does sort of hide the bruising for awhile, doesn’t it? For a few hours we can be sure that they are wrong and we are right!

    Thanks for sharing, Winnie, and thanks Margaret for your blog. I’m never disappointed.

  2. This sounds like a really lovely story. I love mail-order bride and marriage of convenience stories.

    Margaret, please include my name in the drawing. Winnie, thanks for the giveaway.

    Cheryl C. (Cheri2628)

  3. I’ve noticed that most authors always had an inkling to write since they were small. Many daydreamed. I’ve neither. Any chance someone without those inklings can write?

    The mail-order bride sounds hilarious, at least from our point of view.
    Please enter me in your contest.

  4. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to learn a little about you as a person and an author. Thanks for sharing. Thanks for the giveaway. house_mouse88 at yahoo dot com

  5. I love to read about the interviews. It helps you visualize more about the person writing the books you are reading. Thanks.
    Please enter me in the drawing

  6. Loved question and answer #4
    Why do you write: Because my characters demand it. Nice! I’d love to win this book.
    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  7. Hi Debra – LOL. Pouting is not the most edifying of responses but there it is. I just do my best not to wallow in it for long

    Cheri – thanks for the compliment on the blurb. Marriage of Convenience stories are my favorites as well and I find myself returning to that theme often

  8. Linda – if you truly want to write I have a feeling there is a storyteller buried inside you somewhere. You just need to nurture her and let her come out to play

    HouseMouse – You’re welcome, I always like the opportunity to chat with readers

  9. Jessiecue – Hi! Glad you enjoyed the interview – thanks to Margaret for inviting me!

    Abi – LOL! I know that sounds silly but it’s true. My characters come to me first (usually when I’m in the middle of another story) and start nagging at me until I develop a story for them

  10. Hi Margaret! Hi Winnie! What a beautiful cover! I love your casual attitude about getting your writing done.


  11. Hi Kit! And LOL on the casual attitude. You should see me when a deadline is approaching – nothing casual about my attitude then 🙂 !!

  12. I love mail order bride stories and this one sounds wonderful. Please enter me in the drawing, thanks!

  13. Carolynn – Hi! Thanks for leaving a comment. And I agree – Mail Order Bride stories is a really fun story convention.

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