Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Getting Visual

Hi all, Winnie Griggs here.  I've just recently started work on a brand new book--this one is scheduled to come out next December and will have a Christmas tone.  I'm a fairly visual person - though you probably couldn't tell that from my books since I tend to use descriptions sparingly.

But because I need to really have an image firmly in mind, one of the first things I do when I'm developing my story is start a pinterest board and begin pinning images that relate to the story - hero, heroine, significant secondary characters, homes, pets, etc. - anything that will help me really 'see' the people and elements of my story.

And I spend just as much time finding the images of the animals in my books as I do the people.  For the last hour I've been searching for just the right images for the pets in my book - a dog for the hero and a cat for one of the children.  It's one of those instances where I have only a vague idea of what I want but as soon as I see it there's an immediate connection.

For the last book I turned in (Second Chance Hero that will come out next May) I knew I wanted the hero, a real tough guy, to have a small, perky dog, an animal that seems totally at odds with who he appears to be.  And I had the perfect animal in mind, my daughter's dog.  This is his picture:

Besides setting up a board for each of my books, I've also set up a separate board for the animals that play major parts in my books.  You can see it HERE.

My next book, Her Holiday Family, comes out in November and it features a different kind of dog, a stray that one of the children in the book rescues.  The dog eventually worms his way into the hearts of the whole family (and it's a BIG family).

And because I just received my author copies of this book, I'd like to give one away to one of the lovely readers who leaves a comment today.  So leave a comment and tell me, do you like books that include animals with strong supporting roles?  And how important is it to you that the author provide a lot of description?


What happens when a straight-laced young widow’s home is invaded by ten rambunctious orphans and their handsome caretaker just in time for the holidays...
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 just before Thanksgiving, 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?


  1. Hi, Winnie! :D
    Yes, I like books that have animals with a strong supporting role. I am an animal lover. :)
    And yes, description is very important to me. If the description is well done; I can visualize being there more easily and that draws me into a book. :)
    Your ARC of the above story would be lovely to have and read. I enjoy a Christmas/holiday story. :)Thank you for the insight into how you create a story and thank you for the chance at an ARC of your next novel. :)

  2. I know what you mean about finding pictures of just the right animal. I was so excited the day I went for a walk and found the perfect dog for my upcoming release--a Golden Doodle. Thankfully, I had my camera on me. :D

  3. Hi, Winnie
    I am looking forward to reading Her Holiday you like books that include animals with strong supporting roles? Yes.I enjoy reading your books.Thank you for the opportunity to win.

  4. I'm not a big animal person, so I don't necessarily drift toward strong animal roles. But, if an animal plays a prominent part in a book, it better be a well-developed character. I enjoy lots of description as long as it still leaves something to the imagination. I love your books!

  5. Hi Winnie! Finding those perfect images can be both fun and frustrating. I hope you find the ones you want for your new book.

  6. Hi Mippy. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this and so glad you are an animal lover! Your name is going in the hat for a chance at the book!

  7. Hi Sandra. Golden Doodle - the name alone sends out a happy, fun image! I'll have to try to can find a picture of one to see if it matches the picture I have in my mind!

  8. Hi Emma - glad to hear you enjoy my books :). And I'll be throwing your name in the hat for the drawing as well.

  9. Hi Amy! So nice to hear that you enjoy reading my books. And of course you name is in the drawing :)

  10. Winnie, do you post your own photos on Pinterest or buy them online? There's so much talk--and concern--about using someone else's photos. How do you handle that problem? Would love to know your thoughts...and anyone else's as well.

  11. I really do enjoy books with animals included! Love the cover of your book and would love to read it!

  12. Oh if it is not too late I would love a chance to win this book. I am so happy to see Eileen Pierce finally melt some and get to know her side of the whole story.

  13. Hi Winnie, love the covers of all your books. They always look so warm and welcoming ! Pets always add to photos , looking forward to your new books !

  14. I love animals that steal the show although I am more a cat lover than dog lover. Love the pinterset board you have of the pets. cats looks sweet.
    I am not a descriptive person at the end of the book I wont remember the colour of eyes normally may remember hair colour if its mentioned often enough but will remember what sort of cat it is. like if its a tabby, calico, ginger etc.

  15. Hi Winnie,

    I just added a rescued mutt to my historical I'm writing. Not only is he showing my hero's compassionate side, but he's adding humor, too!



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