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Monthly Author Q&A > November Q&A with LIH Authors

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message 1: by Christine (last edited Nov 03, 2014 03:21AM) (new)

Christine Johnson | 1102 comments Christine Johnson here. I will be hosting the November Q&A next week. The following authors plan to visit us:

Monday, November 3 - Winnie Griggs Winnie Griggs Her Holiday Family by Winnie Griggs

Tuesday, November 4 - Danica Favorite Danica Favorite Rocky Mountain Dreams by Danica Favorite

Wednesday, November 5 - Regina Scott Regina Scott The Bride Ship by Regina Scott

Thursday, November 6 - Rhonda Gibson Rhonda Gibson A Pony Express Christmas by Rhonda Gibson

Rhonda will try to pop in to answer questions. She appreciates your prayers for her mom, who came through her procedure well a few days ago. Please continue to keep the family in prayer.

See everyone next Monday!

~Christine


message 2: by Paula-O (new)

Paula-O (kyflo130) | 2257 comments Prayers for Rhonda's family and will be watching for the new Christmas book. see ya next week Christine and ladies of LIH.


message 3: by Melody (new)

Melody | 2493 comments Yahoo! :) Can't wait!


message 4: by Brittany (new)

Brittany | 220 comments Looking forward to it. Sorry to hear about Ronda's mom's health problems.


message 5: by Ausjenny (new)

Ausjenny | 4954 comments Sorry to hear about Rhonda's mom.


message 6: by Wendy (new)

Wendy Sparkes (wendysparkes) | 340 comments Praying for Rhonda, her mom & family.

Looking forward to hearing about the new releases.


message 7: by Valri (new)

Valri Western | 964 comments Looking forward to it. How fun to have Danica with us as an AUTHOR this time :)


message 8: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy Clark | 1393 comments Looking forward to the Q&A. I'm sorry Rhonda can't be with us. Prayers for her and her mom.


message 9: by Lyn (new)

Lyn (lyncote) | 1644 comments Mod
Yes, I'll look forward to the Q & A and pray for Rhonda's family.


message 10: by Christine (new)

Christine Johnson | 1102 comments Valri wrote: "Looking forward to it. How fun to have Danica with us as an AUTHOR this time :)"

Yes, it is, Valri. I can't wait. A debut is always special and super special when it's one of our group.


message 11: by Britney (new)

Britney | 230 comments I am excited about the Q & A and so sorry Rhonda won't be joining us. I will certainly keep her and her mother in my prayers.


message 12: by Christine (new)

Christine Johnson | 1102 comments Just heard from Rhonda that she will try to pop in next Thursday to answer questions. Her mom's procedure is today, so prayers are definitely welcome.


message 13: by Christine (new)

Christine Johnson | 1102 comments Today we welcome Winnie Griggs who grew up in south Louisiana in an undeveloped area her friends thought of as the very back of beyond. With her two younger siblings and another family of two siblings for playmates, she spent many an hour exploring the overgrown land around her home, cutting jungle trails, building forts and frontier camps, and looking for pirate ships on the nearby bayou.

Once she ‘grew up’ she found other outlets for dealing with all those wonderful, adventurous imaginary friends by filling notebooks with their stories. And somewhere along the way, those scribblings gave way to full length stories.

Eventually she found her own Prince Charming, a rancher whose white steed takes the form of a tractor and whose kingdom is situated in a small rural community that she loves to call home, and together they’ve built their own storybook happily-ever-after. Their lives together expanded to include four now grown children who share Winnie’s vivid imagination and her husband’s steadier influences and are now out in the world pursuing their own adventures.

Winnie shares her stories with readers through her writings for Love Inspired and Love Inspired Historical books.

Her Holiday Family by Winnie Griggs

THE CHRISTMAS CHILDREN

Reserved widow Eileen Pierce never considered herself the kind of woman who was cut out to be a mother. She wouldn't know what to do with one child, much less ten. But when handyman Simon Tucker is stranded in town with a group of young orphans at Christmastime, she discovers she can't just turn them away.

Simon knows there's more to Eileen than meets the eye. Though his easygoing demeanor immediately clashes with her buttoned-up propriety, Simon's kindness soon melts Eileen's stern facade. Simon and the children already upended Eileen's quiet, orderly life. Will they do the same to her guarded heart?

Her Holiday Family is the next book in Winnie's Texas Grooms series.

**Winnie will be giving away two copies of her book this week. Winners will be announced on Friday.


Welcome Winnie! I love your description of growing up on the bayou. It made me want to be a kid again! Did those adventurous times help you figure out what to do with ten(!) children in this book? That's a lot for any widow or writer to keep straight.


message 14: by Winnie (new)

Winnie Griggs (winniegriggs) | 235 comments Thanks for the intro Christine. And LOL - I truly did enjoy my childhood - it was so fun to let my imagination run wild and my siblings and I certainly didn't lack for adventures. But the idea of having 10 orphan children in this story grew organically from the story itself. I needed for it to be a large enough number that they could only be accommodate in the largest house in town. And it was fun coming up with personality traits to make each child unique. It was also fun watching my heroine get so over run!


message 15: by Carole (new)

Carole Jarvis Welcome, Winnie! I've enjoyed your books in the past and hope to read Her Holiday Family soon.

I love the contrast between "easygoing demeanor and buttoned-up propriety." Sounds like some good conflict and cute scenes. Even though it's part of a series, does this book stand alone?


message 16: by Winnie (new)

Winnie Griggs (winniegriggs) | 235 comments Carole wrote: "Welcome, Winnie! I've enjoyed your books in the past and hope to read Her Holiday Family soon.

I love the contrast between "easygoing demeanor and buttoned-up propriety." Sounds like some good co..."


Hi Carole - so glad you've been enjoying my books. And yes, this can absolutely stand alone.


message 17: by Christine (new)

Christine Johnson | 1102 comments Carole wrote: "Welcome, Winnie! I've enjoyed your books in the past and hope to read Her Holiday Family soon.

I love the contrast between "easygoing demeanor and buttoned-up propriety." Sounds like some good co..."


Carole, I liked that contrast too. This sounds like a case of opposites attract. Winnie, do you enjoy bringing together opposite personalities? Readers, do you like that pairing?


message 18: by Winnie (new)

Winnie Griggs (winniegriggs) | 235 comments ...This sounds like a case of opposites attract. Winnie, do you enjoy bringing together opposite personalities? Readers, do you like that pairing? "

I do like to pair heroes and heroines who have some opposing qualities - it makes for great fun, especially as they try to figure each other out. But this only works if they have enough core values in common so that they can believably grow close and find common ground.


message 19: by Keli (new)

Keli Gwyn (keligwyn) | 757 comments Winnie, I enjoy your stories and look forward to reading this one. As a reader, I'm eager to see how Eileen and Simon work out their differences. As a writer, I'm curious to see how you developed TEN children as unique characters. Just coming up with ten names I liked could be a challenge for me. What was the most rewarding part of writing all those children? Did certain ones capture your heart more than others, or, like a mother, do you love them all equally?


message 20: by Paula-O (new)

Paula-O (kyflo130) | 2257 comments What a WOW intro for Winnie, I wanted the story to go on and on, that was great. I love to read stories by this author, nice to see you again Winnie and look forward to this next book, 10 kids all at once would be daunting to me. are all of the grooms books about characters that carry on from book to book or all different? I enjoy stories about brides and grooms so yours will be on my list.
thanks for sharing today


message 21: by Valri (new)

Valri Western | 964 comments I've always loved the covers of your books, Winnie! They make me want to stop what I'm doing and just start reading!


message 22: by Winnie (last edited Nov 03, 2014 08:04AM) (new)

Winnie Griggs (winniegriggs) | 235 comments Keli wrote: "Winnie, I enjoy your stories and look forward to reading this one. As a reader, I'm eager to see how Eileen and Simon work out their differences. As a writer, I'm curious to see how you developed TEN children as unique characters. Just coming up with ten names I liked could be a challenge for me. What was the most rewarding part of writing all those children? Did certain ones capture your heart more than others, or, like a mother, do you love them all equally?"

Hi Keli! Thanks for the kind words. Developing the ten children was fun - I come from a large family with beau coup cousins so I have some experience to draw from :)
I always spend lots of time coming up with character names to get ones that feel 'just right' so yes, naming these kids took lots of time! As far as them capturing my heart, they are all dear to me since I know lots of detail about their individual backstories, details that didn't make it to the pages of the book.
But the three standouts from a story viewpoint were Molly, Joey and Fern. Molly as the youngest was just a little sweetie pie. Joey, whose passionate desire to have a pet drove him had a personality trhat leapt from the page. And Fern, the oldest, was so determined NOT to like Eileen that my heart just cried for her.


message 23: by Winnie (new)

Winnie Griggs (winniegriggs) | 235 comments Paula-O wrote: "What a WOW intro for Winnie, I wanted the story to go on and on, that was great. I love to read stories by this author, nice to see you again Winnie and look forward to this next book, 10 kids all at once would be daunting to me. are all of the grooms books about characters that carry on from book to book or all different? I enjoy stories about brides and grooms so yours will be on my list."

Hi Paula-O - thanks for the kind words!

The Texas Grooms books started out as the stories of four men who came to Turnabout Texas from Philadelphia, and each had his own book. But I fell so in love with the town and it's people that I decided to set six more there. This is the first of those six.

Each of the books is written to be a standalone so there is no problem if you start in the middle of the series or read them out of order. But if you've read the prior books you get to see some of those characters pop in and find out how they're living out some of their happily ever afters.

And the heroine of this book has made appearances in several of the first four, so folks who have read the series in order have the satisfaction of seeing more of her growth arc as a character.


message 24: by Winnie (new)

Winnie Griggs (winniegriggs) | 235 comments Valri wrote: "I've always loved the covers of your books, Winnie! They make me want to stop what I'm doing and just start reading!"

Thanks Valri! But the art department gets most of the credit for all those gorgeous covers. They do a fabulous job of taking our notes and turning them into these lovely visuals.


message 25: by Valri (new)

Valri Western | 964 comments It just goes to show you how important a cover is though! I've seen covers that make me totally skip over them! There might be a great story "underneath" them but I'll never know!


message 26: by Wendy (new)

Wendy Sparkes (wendysparkes) | 340 comments Stories with children are favourites of mine, Winnie ~ and with 10 children in, it sounds like it's going to be a lot of fun. I work with young children, so having 10 around wouldn't be a problem, but I do know of people who haven't had much to do with children who are terrified at the prospect of looking after 1 or 2, so can see how the heroine will be totally overwhelmed with them.

Christmas is another favourite theme of mine, and bringing children & Christmas together seems like the makings of a good story!

Oh, & Valri, I'm with you on the covers. I've seen covers that make me pass over them too! It's the cover that grabs me (sometimes the title too) then I'll read the blurb.


message 27: by Winnie (new)

Winnie Griggs (winniegriggs) | 235 comments Wendy wrote: "Stories with children are favourites of mine, Winnie ~ and with 10 children in, it sounds like it's going to be a lot of fun. I work with young children, so having 10 around wouldn't be a problem, ..."

Hi Wendy! I'm with you - I used to be in charge of our church nursery so I know what it's like to be surrounded by lots of little ones. And yes, it was fun to have so may of them in a holiday themed book


message 28: by Carole (new)

Carole Jarvis I loved Keli's question and your response, Winnie. I'm an only child, so your story featuring 10 children fascinates me. Sometimes I don't really connect with children in stories, other times they steal my heart. Sounds like your book is the second type, Winnie.

And Valri is so right about covers, especially when readers might not be familiar with the author. The art department did a great job with this one!


message 29: by Winnie (last edited Nov 03, 2014 09:57AM) (new)

Winnie Griggs (winniegriggs) | 235 comments Carole wrote: "I loved Keli's question and your response, Winnie. I'm an only child, so your story featuring 10 children fascinates me. Sometimes I don't really connect with children in stories, other times they steal my heart. Sounds like your book is the second type, Winnie..."

Hi Carole. I certainly hope you still feel it's the second type after you read it (Naturally I think it is LOL )

And I'll definitely have to pass all of these compliments on to the art department!


message 30: by Brittany (new)

Brittany | 220 comments I am so glad you have added these additional stories to these families in Turnabout, TX. I love getting to catch up with characters from previous books.

Ok, my question is: From start to finish, how long does it take for you to write a book?


Laura AKA Loves 2 Read Romance | 909 comments I love Turnabout, TX and am so thrilled that there will be 6 more stories set there. So what are you currently working on? Since this book is set at Christmas I am assuming you wrote it at a time that wasn't Christmas so did you do anything to get into the Christmas Spirit while writing??


message 32: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 265 comments Hi Winnie, What made you decide Texas would be where your characters would live? And how did you come up with the Turnabout? Jenny


message 33: by Winnie (new)

Winnie Griggs (winniegriggs) | 235 comments Brittany wrote: "I am so glad you have added these additional stories to these families in Turnabout, TX. I love getting to catch up with characters from previous books.

Ok, my question is: From start to finish, how long does it take for you to write a book?"


Hi Brittany! Glad you're enjoying the Turnabout stories. As for how long it takes me to write these - anywhere from 4-5 months but I need a little down time between books, so I normally put out 2 a year.


message 34: by Winnie (new)

Winnie Griggs (winniegriggs) | 235 comments Laura AKA Loves 2 Read Romance wrote: "I love Turnabout, TX and am so thrilled that there will be 6 more stories set there. So what are you currently working on? Since this book is set at Christmas I am assuming you wrote it at a time that wasn't Christmas so did you do anything to get into the Christmas Spirit while writing?"

Hi Laura - thanks for all those nice words. And actually I didn't really do anything special. I know this will sound really corny, but Christmas is not a day so much as a feeling and I only have to close my eyes and remember past gatherings to experience it in my mind all year round.


message 35: by Winnie (new)

Winnie Griggs (winniegriggs) | 235 comments Hi again Laura - I forgot to answer the first part of your question - what I'm currently working on. The next book in the series, Second Chance Hero is already turned in and will come out in May. The book I'm currently working on is actually another Christmas book that will come out next December. This one features a heroine that readers of the series will already be familiar with - Janell Whitman, the schoolteacher. I'm only on chapter five but already the story is taking some unexpected twists and turns and I'm just a little nervous about where I'm going to end up with it :)


message 36: by Winnie (new)

Winnie Griggs (winniegriggs) | 235 comments Jennifer wrote: "Hi Winnie, What made you decide Texas would be where your characters would live? And how did you come up with the Turnabout? Jenny"

Hi Jennifer, I can't tell you exactly why Texas - a lot of times these things just sort of grow organically out of the story. When I needed a place to send my four Pennsylvania bachelors that would make them experience that fish-out-of-water feeling, Texas was the first place that came to mind.

As for why I named the town Turnabout, I have to tell you that I spend as much time pondering over the perfect name for the places in my book as I do the characters. Turnabout came about because when I thought about the four men who came there, the one thing they all had in common was the need to turn their lives around.


message 37: by Ausjenny (new)

Ausjenny | 4954 comments This sounds so cool. ten children! Its different for the hero to have the children. I can imagine the eldest resisting Eileen as she would see herself as the mother of the group. What was the most fun part about writing 10 children?


message 38: by Danica (new)

Danica (danica_favorite) | 49 comments Hi Winnie! So glad you're here! I'm loving all of this information. I can't wait to read your book!


message 39: by Britney (new)

Britney | 230 comments Hi Winnie! I love your Texas Grooms series and am eager to read Her Holiday Family! Christmas stories are some of my very favorites!! What special traditions or celebrations do you and your family enjoy during the holiday season?


message 40: by Winnie (new)

Winnie Griggs (winniegriggs) | 235 comments Ausjenny wrote: "This sounds so cool. ten children! Its different for the hero to have the children. I can imagine the eldest resisting Eileen as she would see herself as the mother of the group. What was the most fun part about writing 10 children?"

Hi Jenny! The most fun, hmmm, I suppose it was watching poor Eileen get her life turned upside down!


message 41: by Winnie (new)

Winnie Griggs (winniegriggs) | 235 comments Danica wrote: "Hi Winnie! So glad you're here! I'm loving all of this information. I can't wait to read your book!"

Thanks Danica. Your book is on the top of my TBR pile - my fingers are itching to pick it up!


message 42: by Winnie (new)

Winnie Griggs (winniegriggs) | 235 comments Britney wrote: "Hi Winnie! I love your Texas Grooms series and am eager to read Her Holiday Family! Christmas stories are some of my very favorites!! What special traditions or celebrations do you and your family enjoy during the holiday season?"

Hi Britney. One of my favorite traditions is that me and all my siblings and all of their families travel to my mother's house on some set date during Christmas week to celebrate together. We've grown into quite a large group - I think last year we sat 35 down to lunch - and still growing! But it is great fun and my Mom especially loves it.


message 43: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 265 comments Winnie wrote: "Jennifer wrote: "Hi Winnie, What made you decide Texas would be where your characters would live? And how did you come up with the Turnabout? Jenny"

Hi Jennifer, I can't tell you exactly why Texas..."

I like that about the name about turning their lives around.


message 44: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 265 comments Eileen sounds like me. My husband and I planned on not having kids and now we have four. :)


message 45: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 265 comments I enjoy hearing from past characters as it is like a reunion.


message 46: by Winnie (new)

Winnie Griggs (winniegriggs) | 235 comments Jennifer wrote: "Eileen sounds like me. My husband and I planned on not having kids and now we have four. :)"

Hi Jennifer. I have four children also! Of course they're all grown now and out having adventures and lives of their own...


message 47: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 265 comments That's really cool Winnie! ☺️


message 48: by Ausjenny (new)

Ausjenny | 4954 comments I only had a brother but as children before dad passed away we were close. we lived on a farm and we had lots of pine trees in our yard. Each autumn they would prune back the pine trees and for a week or so we would have the branches in our yard and we would make forts (or cubby houses) out of the branches. We could change them as we liked and play in them. It was so much fun.


message 49: by Christine (new)

Christine Johnson | 1102 comments Please continue to chat, but before I head to bed I want to thank Winnie for stopping by today. It was such fun!


message 50: by Winnie (new)

Winnie Griggs (winniegriggs) | 235 comments Ausjenny wrote: "I only had a brother but as children before dad passed away we were close. we lived on a farm and we had lots of pine trees in our yard. Each autumn they would prune back the pine trees and for a w..."

Jenny, those are the kinds of activities I remember most fondly from my childhood. There was a large overgrown lot near my home that was situated alongside a bayou. We used to fearlessly cut trails and build camps and tree houses and play hide and go seek in there. It was a glorious place to play and let our imaginations run wild.


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