Wednesday, March 09, 2011
I don’t consciously put anything of myself into my characters, but of course who we are as people and the sum total of our own experiences can’t help but inform our characters.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Hmmmm - I’m afraid I’m a rather boring person so I can’t really think of anything particularly quirky that I’ve done. Oh, unless having a pet squirrel counts - I was about eight years old and his name was Squeaky. :-)
That counts. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I don’t think I ever had a specific aha moment where I suddenly realized I was a writer. It’s just always seemed to be a part of who I am. I’ve always loved to read and would find myself spinning alternate endings or new adventures for some of my favorite characters, some of which I took the time to write down. And I remember scribbling original stories in grammar school.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Oh my goodness, my tastes are very eclectic. If you look at my bookshelves you will find that Romance dominates. In addition you’ll find Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery, Mainstream Women’s Fiction, and YA. I also love to read fairy tale collections.
I'm reading The Healer's Apprentic by Melanie Dickerson, which is loosely based on Sleeping Beauty. I'm loving it. How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Who says I do? :-) But truly, I think the secret is having a few really good friends who are always there for you, who let you vent when you need to, cry when you need to and brace you up when you need it. I’ve been blessed to have a handful of such dear people in my life.
That is so true. Actually, my two grown daughters are two of mine. How do you choose your characters’ names?
There’s not any one method. I go through baby name books to get ideas, but I mainly just let my characters try on various names until I find one that fits.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Raising my four children to be the bright, responsible, giving adults that they’ve turned into.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I’d be a songbird - I just think it would be neat to be able to fly.
What is your favorite food?
Hands down it is my momma’s crawfish stew. Evokes all sorts of childhood memories and there is nothing else on earth like it. I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit I pig out on it on the rare occasions I get to eat it these days.
One of the things I still struggle with is pulling together a coherent, compelling synopsis before the book is complete. I normally have a clear picture of the opening scenes and a good idea of where it will end up but the middle stuff is foggy until I get there. I always want to just put ‘and lots of good stuff happens’ when I get to that part and tell the editor to just trust me :-). As far as how I overcome it, with a lot of blood, sweat and tears. I brainstorm, alone and with writer friends, until I can articulate several turning points that make up a logical story arc. And know that these may or may not be the actual scenes that make it into the final story.
Tell us about the featured book.
The Proper Wife features Sadie Lassiter as the heroine. Sadie is the younger sister of the hero from my book The Christmas Journey - she’s generous, spirited, fun-loving and anything but staid. The hero, Eli Reynolds, is desperately trying to establish himself and his young sister as prominent, respectable members of the community they’ve moved into. He’s looking for a proper wife, she’s looking for a loving family. The back cover blurb reads as follows.
Sensible, settled, steady... and not Sadie Lassiter.
Eli Reynolds knows what he wants in a wife, and the flighty Texas girl couldn’t be further from the mark. Eli has his nine-year-old sister’s welfare to consider - Penny deserves a mother who will give her proper care. But when bad weather strands Eli and Sadie together, he sees a new side to her character. She’s rash - but also resourceful. Instead of discipline, she has diligent faith. Her housekeeping skills are lacking, but she’s filled with humor and sweetness. She may not be a “proper” wife, but to save her reputation - and to take a chance on happiness he’d never expected to find - Eli will take her as his bride.
Sounds like a book I'd love to read. Please give us the first page of the book.
He needed a wife and he needed one soon.
Eli Reynolds strode through town, ignoring the intermittent drizzle as he pondered his current situation. According to the workmen he’d hired, the renovations to his newly acquired home would be ready by the end of next week. Once that was done he and Penny would no longer have a legitimate reason to remain at the boarding house.
Which meant his time was running out.
Because no matter what the cost, he was determined to be married, or at least have wedding plans, before he moved himself and his nine-year-old sister into that house. Mrs. Collins, the widow who ran the boarding house where he and Penny were staying, was doing a good job of watching over his sister for the time being. But leaving an impressionable young girl like Penny in the care of a housekeeper or governess every day while he went to his office at the bank was an unacceptable option for the long term.
Trusting a servant with such a precious duty had already resulted in one tragedy. He wouldn’t make such a costly mistake twice.
This business of finding a proper wife should have already been settled, would have already been settled, if he hadn’t so badly misjudged his field of candidates. He thought he’d found the right woman in Myra Willows. She appeared intelligent, mature, of good character, competent in the domestic arts - all the characteristics he was looking for. He’d actually been on the point of declaring his intentions yesterday when he’d been pulled up short by a bit of gossip.
I know I want to read it. How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website is http://www.winniegriggs.com/ and you can find me on facebook as well - as far as I know, I’m the only Winnie Griggs out there.
And thank you Lena for the opportunity to visit with you today.
You have blessed my and the readers of my blog today, Winnie.
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