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Writer’s Window–Winnie Griggs

Monday, March 21, 2011

Joining us today for Writer’s Window is historical-romance author Winnie Griggs.

One lucky commenter* will win a signed copy of Winnie’s latest book, The Proper Wife. Deadline for leaving a comment to enter the drawing is Friday. To enter the drawing, you must answer the question posed by Ann at the end of the interview. Only one comment per person will count toward the drawing. You do not need to include your e-mail address in the body of your comment—just make sure it’s correct when you sign in to leave your comment. The winning name will be drawn next weekend and announced on the next Writer’s Window post. Congratulations to Steve Demaree, who won the drawing for last week’s featured book.

      *U.S. residents only, void where prohibited. If you win the drawing, you will be ineligible for the next three drawings, though hopefully you will still come back and join in the discussion.


The Proper Wife
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 the proper care she deserves. 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 the happiness he’d never expected to find—Eli will take her as his bride.

Welcome, Winnie!
What do you like best about being a writer?

    Getting that occasional letter from someone whose life my story touched in a positive way has got to be far and away the best part of being a writer.

What do you like least about being a writer?

    Deadlines! But then again, I’m a first class procrastinator and if I didn’t have deadlines I’d probably never get anything finished.

Pop, Soda, or Coke? What do you call it, and what’s your favorite variety?

    Coke. As in, “What kind of coke do you want? We have Coke, root beer, and Seven-Up.”
    And my favorite, as it happens, is straight up Coca-Cola.

What’s your favorite dessert?

    Brownies! Especially warm, just-out-of-the-oven brownies with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Mmmmmm good.

What’s the most fun/interesting/crazy/scary/unique hands-on research you’ve done for a book?

    Though I truly enjoy research—in fact can get quite happily lost chasing all sorts of rabbit trails when I get into a really interesting topic—I normally do my research by digging through books and internet files. I can’t really recall any sort of “hands-on” research I’ve done.

What’s your favorite movie from childhood?

    101 Dalmatians, as much for the remembered experience as for the movie itself. I remember my parents taking me and my siblings to the drive-in in our old station wagon to see it. I can still hear the crackle of the speakers and smell the scent of those mosquito repellent spirals that you would light and stick on the window. I also remember the feeling of closeness as we all squeezed together to get a good view of the screen.

If you were to write a novel about what your life would have been like if you’d become what you wanted to be at eight years old, what kind of character would the story be about?

    I was really enamored of Trixie Belden for a period at that pre-teen age and would have liked to have adventures like she and her friends did.

What makes you happy?

    Having all of my now-scattered family back together again.

What makes you nervous?

    I’ve always dreaded having to get up in front of folks to do a formal presentation. I’ve pushed myself to overcome this and now give several workshops a year to various writer’s groups, but I still get extremely nervous each and every time.

What’s your biggest dream for the future?

    I believe Erma Bombeck said it best: “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.’”

Tell us about your newest release and what you’re working on now.

    The Proper Wife was released this month. It features Sadie Lassiter as the heroine—she was a secondary character in my 2009 book The Christmas Journey. Sadie has a heart of gold but is a bit of a klutz. So of course the guy she falls for is not only comes off as something of a stuffed shirt, but is looking for a wife who will present a proper, ladylike example for his little sister. When the two of them are found in a compromising condition and forced to marry to salvage their reputations, it leads to all sorts of interesting twists and turns, including some rather painful self-discovery, before they finally find their happily-ever-after.

Where can people find out more about you/connect with you online?

    I love to connect with readers on Facebook—right now I’m the only Winnie Griggs there so I’m not hard to find :-). And of course you can always visit my website is, which is updated at least once a month.

Now it’s your turn to ask the question. What question do you want to ask the commenters to answer?

    Which of the following story types do you enjoy or speak to you the most and why?

  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Marriage of Convenience
  • Reunion of estranged friends/lovers
  • Adventure/Quest stories
  • Other type


Winnie Griggs is a small-town girl born and raised in Southeast Louisiana’s Cajun Country who grew up to marry a country boy from the piney hills of Northwest Louisiana. Though her Prince Charming (who often wears the guise of a cattle rancher) is more comfortable riding a tractor than a white steed, the two of them have been living out their own happily-ever-after for 30+ years. During that time they raised four proud-to-call-them-mine children and a too-numerous-to-count assortment of dogs, cats, fish, hamsters, turtles, and 4-H sheep.

Her favorite activities, outside of writing and reading, are cooking, exploring flea markets, and pretending the growing army of dust bunnies who have invaded her home will disappear if she just ignores them long enough.

  1. Monday, March 21, 2011 3:22 am

    love the interview. and the book sounds really good and funny.
    I know I cant enter but figured I would try to answer the question.
    Which of the following story types do you enjoy or speak to you the most and why?
    Beauty and the Beast
    Marriage of Convenience
    Reunion of estranged friends/lovers
    Adventure/Quest stories
    Other type

    I think I like all I read the reunion of estranged friends/lover recently and really liked it. I have read a coupole of marriage of convienience also which were really good. With the beauty and the beast it depends how it is when its one of them feeling they are not good enough or has a low selfesteem and the other brings out the best in them and lets them know they are beautiful inside out its really good to read.
    Adventure/quest stories are good too its nice to read these to.
    Ok which do I like best honestly no idea.
    I honestly it depends on the story and how it is written.


  2. Monday, March 21, 2011 5:50 am

    Lovely interview. I can relate to your happiness question and being most happy when all the family is together. I have two away and two at home, but on the few times we are all together…well, it is heaven on earth. 🙂

    I love marriage of convenience stories! There is something about being thrown together, knowing intimacy is “allowed”, while trying to learn about one another and becoming friends first. I think sometimes the romantic/sexual tension in those kinds of situations (even though we don’t write them explicitly) can add so much to a story.

    Your story sounds like a winner to me! 🙂


  3. Monday, March 21, 2011 7:22 am

    Love the interview. 🙂 I think my two favorites are either reunion or marriage of convenience…at least those tend to be the ones that I gravitate toward!


  4. Monday, March 21, 2011 8:36 am

    My two favorites are the reunion stories, and marriage of convenience.

    I like marriage of convenience because you are putting together two people, who barely know each other, yet they are already married, and thus the courtship happens after the marriage.

    Reunion stories are second chance stories, and we all need a second chance at some point.


  5. Amee permalink
    Monday, March 21, 2011 10:53 am

    Great interview. I enjoyed The Christmas Journey, so I’m looking forward to reading The Proper Wife too. 🙂

    My favorite is Beauty and the Beast stories. I think I really relate to the Beauty and the Beast idea of loving what’s on the inside instead of focusing on the outside.


    • Monday, March 21, 2011 7:58 pm

      Amee – how cool that you’ve read TCJ!! And Beauty and The Beast is one of my all time favorite fairytales.


  6. Monday, March 21, 2011 11:33 am

    Great interview and thank you for introducing a new (to me) romance author. I like romance. I can’t say that I gravitate to one type of story. Intriguing characters fascinate me and I am entertained whether they are having an adventure, meeting for the first time in ten years, or marrying for a useful purpose.


    • Monday, March 21, 2011 7:58 pm

      Kate – you’re absolutely right – it’s all about the characters, especially in romance.


  7. Monday, March 21, 2011 2:07 pm

    Ausjenny – LOL, you sound like me. I have trouble pinning down a favorite myself

    Sherrinda – Cool, I have four children as well. Tbhey’re all out of the house now, but we get visitis fairly regularly now. And thanks for the kind words about my books! 🙂


    • Monday, March 21, 2011 10:49 pm

      yep thats me indecisive. In the past weeks or so I have read the former friends/or dating etc at least 3 times, adventure quest type a couple of times, marriage of connivence or cos of circumstance at least once, beauty and the beast well not really although a couple of the books one thought they couldn’t marry because they may do something like one was an recovering alcoholic, one thought he may inherit a terminal illness, one thought he was the reason his first wife too an overdose and didn’t want to cause someone else he loved to do the same so I guess thats sort of beauty and the beast.
      But hey throw in a cowboy or ranch or small town, open spaces and im there or a single I dont care if I never get married heroine and im there.
      What I dont like are single heroines who are self obsessed with being married like life will end if they remain single and are going all out to capture a man these books tend to annoy me as I am single and yes I did want to be married but it hasn’t happened and I am ok with it but these books make it almost sound like there is something wrong with me for being single and not boy obsessed.


  8. Monday, March 21, 2011 2:09 pm

    Reunion stories work for me. They always deal with forgiveness, something I think sorely lacks in our society, and they encompass such hope that as long as we live and breathe, there’s a chance things can work out for the best.


    • Monday, March 21, 2011 8:07 pm

      Oh, what wonderful insights into what reunion stories are all about. And forgiveness and hope are such powerful emotional forces.


  9. Michelle H. permalink
    Monday, March 21, 2011 3:34 pm

    It’s so hard to pick a story type that I like best because each story is unique in its own way. But if I had to pick one, I’d say I really like the marriage of convenience stories. Watching the romance progress while the couple is already married is an interesting perspective.


  10. Monday, March 21, 2011 4:00 pm

    I think I’ll go with Reunion as well. I guess I’m a sucker for ‘first love’. Of course, right now I’m thinking of Ransome’s Honor in particular.

    I would buy this book based on the cover. It really draws me even though I’m not a huge
    ‘wedding story’ fan. Thanks Kaye and Winnie!


    • Monday, March 21, 2011 8:19 pm

      Glad you like the cover – The folks over at Love Inspired always do a great job.


  11. Monday, March 21, 2011 4:19 pm

    Jolanthe – You’re in good company – both of those story types are quite popular.

    Michelle – I’m glad to see Marriage Of Convenience seems to keep popping up – those are so fun to write 🙂


  12. Monday, March 21, 2011 6:57 pm


    I say you speak once and never would have guessed you were nervous. I dread speaking in public. How did you managed to overcome your fear of speaking? Your book sounds great!


    • Monday, March 21, 2011 8:25 pm

      Vickie, bless your heart – you are being too kind. As for how I overcame the fear – I haven’t :). I still get big time butterflies whenever I speak in front of a group.


  13. Charmaine Gossett permalink
    Monday, March 21, 2011 7:10 pm

    Your book sounds interesting and would love to read it.

    As to the type of stories I like, I like them all, but at the moment I think I like to read biographies of people who are successful dispite the odds against them. These stories are always an inspiration to me. They are evidence that dreams do come true.


    • Monday, March 21, 2011 8:30 pm

      Charmaine (love that name) it’s good to have eclectic tastes in reading material. Keeps you from getting tired of any one story type.


  14. Monday, March 21, 2011 7:51 pm

    I guess I’d pick the marriage of convenience stories because they often tend to have humor and a lot of misunderstanding back and forth that results in a happy ending. Love those happy endings. Sigh! 🙂

    Jodie Wolfe


    • Monday, March 21, 2011 8:41 pm

      Jodie – I’m right there with you on the happy endings – that’s why I’m so fond of romances!


  15. Wednesday, March 23, 2011 12:45 pm

    Winnie, it’s nice to “meet” you, and I salute you in your quest to ignore the dust bunnies! The question posed at the end of the interview is SO HARD. One cannot deny the pull of those marriage of convenience stories (I’m writing one now), and whoever doesn’t root for the Beauty & the Beast types is just plain romance deficient. But I guess, even though I love them all, the Adventure/Quest story still speaks loudest to me. In my favorite books, and even in those I write, there’s usually an adventure/quest, even if the other story types are layered in. Blessings to you as you continue to write for Him!
    Naomi Musch


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