Award Winning Author Winnie Griggs





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October 2006

Margaret DaleyWG:  Welcome Margaret.  Thanks for stepping into my spotlight this month.  To start off, please tell us about yourself.  

MD:  I live in Oklahoma and besides writing for Love Inspired and Love Inspired Suspense, I teach at a high school. I work with students with learning disabilities and teach 11th grade English. This allows me to use my writing skills and that’s fun. I have a Masters in Education and have been teaching in Special Education for twenty-seven years.

Because I have a day job as well as a writing career, I don’t have that many hobbies—no time for them. I do play bridge once a month with a group I’ve been a part of for years. I love to go to movies and have lunch with friends. I also love to read books. I have so many books in my TBR pile, however, because my time is limited for reading.

I have been married to the same man for thirty-six years and he is such a support to me. We have one son who is married and he has two children.

WG:  Let’s talk about your own personal road to publication:  Is there some individual, group or event that you can point to as the catalyst/impetus that set you on the road to becoming a writer?  Explain.

MD:  Actually I started writing before Romance Writers of America was formed. I was a charter member and went to the very first national conference in Houston in the early 1980s. I did belong to a Writer’s Round Table and we met once a week to critique each other’s writing. That toughened me over the years. 

WG:  Tell us about your journey.

MD:  I started writing to see if I could put a story down on paper. I’ve always had a vivid imagination and loved to weave stories together, but I had never written one down. I joined Tulsa Nightwriters and went to the OU Writing Short Course where I met other writers. Through a contact with an editor at Dell, I got my first agent. The editor recommended me to that agent. Shortly after I got my first agent, Silhouette launched their first line—Silhouette Romance. I sold my first book to them after writing for several years. I have had many rejections and I still receive them.

WG: How many books did you complete before you sold your first?  Have all/any of them sold since?

Hearts on the LineMD: I completed three books (100,000 words) before I sold. One of them in a smaller version sold since then.

WG: What changed most about your life as a direct result of joining the ranks of published authors?

MD: I don’t have much free time.

WG:  Let’s talk about your writing process:  Do you maintain a set schedule?  Is there such a thing as a typical day for you?

MD: In the summer and on weekends I write throughout the day. When I am teaching, I will come home most days and write after I have checked my e-mail and relaxed some from teaching. I do often write everyday at least some. One page is better than none.

WG: Do you have a ‘mood setter’, something (music, ritual, environment, etc.) you use to get you going when you sit down to write?

MD: I check my e-mail and play a couple of games on the computer before I get started. I also do that as a break.

WG: Do you do a lot of up front plotting before you start or do you just dive in?

MD: No, I don’t do a lot of up front plotting. I do know my characters well, though, before I start and the key points of the story (goals, motivations, and conflicts).

WG:  Do you normally start with storyline or with character or with some combination of the two?

MD:  I have started both ways in the past. It just depends on where my spark comes from.

WG: Do you find certain themes or character archetypes making recurring appearances in your stories?

MD: Yes, I like the tormented hero (alpha). Also I often write about trusting the Lord and yourself. Forgiveness is another theme I write about.

WG:  Has anything about the way you work changed since you became a published author?

MD: Not too much. I usually am a steady writer who writes almost everyday anywhere from a couple of pages to maybe 8 or 9. I have rarely written over 10 pages in a day. I consider myself the tortoise to the hare.

WG:  Is there anything else you'd like to tell us about your process?

MD:  I write everyday to keep myself immersed in the story. That way it is easier to pick up each day.

WG:  Do you have a favorite sub-genre as a writer?  As a reader?

MD:  As a writer—romantic suspense

As a reader—romantic suspense, mysteries, adventures, thrillers

WG:  Is there a genre you haven't been published in yet that you'd like to try your hand at someday?

MD: Women’s fiction

WG:  Do you have any advice to offer writers still striving toward publication?

MD:  Keep writing and submitting. If you don’t, you will never sell. So much a part of this business depends on being in the right place with the right story. Perseverance is important.

WG:  Is there some piece of advice you received or bit of ‘conventional wisdom’ that you wish you had ignored?

MD:  No, I can’t think of any right now.

WG:  What do you find to be the most rewarding thing about being a writer?  What do you struggle the most with?

MD:  I love piecing a story together.

What I struggle with the most is description. I don’t particularly like to read it, and I don’t like to write it. In some books it slows the pacing. I always have to go back into a story and layer it.

WG: When you’re not writing, what do you do for fun? 

Tidings of JoyMD: I love to travel and try to go somewhere every year. Also, I love to read.

WG:  I love to collect quotes, all kinds of quotes - inspirational, quirky, motivational, profound, etc.  Do you have a personal favorite you'd like to share.

MD: God inspires faith, hope and love.

Mine—on my bookmark

WG: Please tell us about your current project.

MD:  I am currently working on a Love Inspired Suspense that is scheduled to come out in October 2007. It is called Buried Secrets. It is a cross between Indiana Jones and National Treasure. It is the brother’s story from Heart of the Amazon, Love Inspired January 2007. Maggie is forced to work with a family enemy to find a treasure before both are killed for the secrets they know.

WD:  Tell us about plans for future books.

MD:  I just signed a three book contract with Steeple Hill—one Love Inspired Suspense (Buried Secrets) and two Love Inspired books (the second and third ones in my Fostering by Love series).

WG:  And before we close, tell us how  your fans can get in touch with you.

MD:  You can e-mail be at or visit my web site at I also have a blog at If you sign my guest book at my web site, you have chance of winning an autographed book. I have a drawing every month from that month’s entries.