About Winnie Griggs
Always an avid and eclectic reader, Winnie has dabbled in writing stories for her own enjoyment most of her life. In the early 90s she gave herself a personal challenge of trying to write a full length novel from start to finish. It took her a couple of years to complete, but once she’d made it to ‘the end’ she was hooked. It took several more years to accomplish her next goal – that of becoming published – but in 2000 she received ‘the call’ and saw her first book hit the bookstore shelves in 2001. Since that time she has sold eleven additional full length novels and one novella.
During this period, Winnie kept busy in other areas of her life as well. Armed with a BS in Mathematics, she held professional and managerial positions in the electric utility industry that required frequent travel. On the personal front, she and her husband raised four active and proud-to-call-them-mine children who have since gone on to have productive careers of their own.
Winnie is also very active in her local Romance Writers of America chapter, having served in nearly every board and committee position over the past fifteen years, including a three year stint as President. In addition, Winnie has served on Romance Writers’ of America’s Long Range Planning Committee and numerous committees for the regional and special interest chapters she belongs to. Winnie is also an active member of Novelists, Inc. and the American Christian Fiction Writers organizations. Nowadays she also presents craft workshops at regional and national writers’ conferences several times a year.
Her writing has garnered enthusiastic reviews and numerous awards, among them a TOP pick rating from Romantic Times, two nominations for a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award and an Award Of Merit from the prestigious HOLT Medallion contest.
The hero and heroine of my current release, Second Chance Family, first appeared as secondary characters in two of my earlier books. But when I initially wrote The Christmas Journey, the first of my Knotty Pine, Texas books, I didn’t have any intention of turning it into a series of connected books. However, one of the secondary characters, the hero’s sister Sadie, spoke very strongly to me, and I kept lingering on her, trying to figure out her backstory and her dreams, even though they played no real part in TCJ. So much so, that I decided to give her a story of her own.
However, when my editor read my first draft of TCJ, it was the heroine’s sister Cora Beth that intrigued her and she asked me to consider telling her story in a subsequent book. So during my next contract negotiations I pitched both stories as a two book deal and so I found myself writing three books set in the same town. Sadie’s story, The Proper Wife, came out this past March. Cora Beth’s story, Second Chance Family released this month.
Working on these books was both easier and harder than I expected it to be. Here are a few things I discovered:
PROS: I had to do less work in the worldbuilding aspect since the town and many of the secondary characters were already well defined. And of course it was fun to be able to revisit the characters from the first book that I had grown fond of and to give my readers a chance to see what happened to them past the ‘the end’ of their own story.
CONS: Since I didn’t start off planning to do a series, there were things about the characters and the town that I was ‘stuck’ with based on how they were described in the first book. If I had to do it over again, I would have done quite a bit more up front planning and laid the groundwork more carefully for the follow on stories. Also, in Cora Beth’s case, I already showed a building attraction between her and the town sheriff in the two prior books – big mistake. Since I didn’t have the ‘first meet’ and ‘getting to know each other’ scenes to draw on, I had to dig a lot deeper to keep the push-pull, ‘what is keeping them apart’ tension going in the first half of the book.
As for whether or not there will be any more books set in Knotty Pine, well, I don’t have any more planned at this time, but I’ve learned to never say never. However, I do have another story that is related to these three that is coming up in October. The third Lassiter sibling, Griff, who made brief appearances in all three of the Knotty Pine books, lives some distance away on the family ranch. He is the hero of my novella Home For Thanksgiving which is part of the Once Upon A Thanksgiving anthology from Love Inspired Historicals.
You can find out more by visiting Winnie at http://www.winniegriggs.com
About the Book
Book Title: Second Chance Family
10 Digit ISBN: 0373828772
Publisher: Love Inspired Historical
Take one sheriff who is convinced marriage is absolutely not for him and one widow who is all about the importance of family, then add two mistreated orphans desperate for a loving home and a busybody neighbor determined to send them packing, and you have all the makings of a head-butting confrontation set to rock the sleepy town of Knotty Pine, Texas.
Mitch Hammond is a man of his word. And for Cora Beth Collins that’s a problem. The honorable sheriff has vowed never to love again, for fear of wounding someone else. The most he can offer is marriage in name only, which is not at all to Cora Beth’s liking. But with no other way to adopt two runaway orphans, she accepts.
Despite his intentions, however, Mitch is starting to want more from Cora Beth…and from himself. For in her trusting eyes he sees everything he hopes to be – as a lawman, a father and a husband.