I’d like to give a big welcome to ANDREA GRIGG to my blog.
rem: Thank you for joining us today, ANDREA.
ANDREA: First of all Robin, I’d like to say a big thank you for having me as a guest. I really appreciate your support.
rem: Happy to have you here! Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
ANDREA: I was born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand, but moved to Australia when I was twenty-five. It was a good move, because I met my husband-to-be almost immediately; we married fifteen months later. We have three adult children (two daughters and a son) and one granddaughter.
rem: Yeah, I’d say that was a great move! wink wink How does life differ from Australia and other locales? How is it the same?
ANDREA: I suppose the only country I know well enough to do that with is New Zealand. Australia and New Zealand are beautiful countries and I’m very grateful to have lived in both.
I love NZ for its green-ness (it even smells different; sweet as opposed to Australia’s herbal scent) but it rains an awful lot to keep it that way! I live on Queensland’s Gold Coast and in our part of Australia we have lots of sunshine and white sandy beaches. Awesome!
There’s a lot of friendly rivalry, particularly on the sporting field, between Australia and New Zealand. New Zealand is such a small country, both in size and population (4 million people compared to 23 million Aussies) but it has an amazing sporting record. The All Blacks are the number one team in the world for rugby. There’s a lot of NZ pride right there!
The Aussies do very well in the sporting arena too. As I write this, Jason Day, a Queenslander, has just won the U.S. PGA tournament, held in Wisconsin.
I think Australians in general are quite relaxed or ‘laid back’ as we like to put it. Perhaps it’s to do with our outdoor lifestyle. We tend to shorten everyone’s name and/or give them a nickname, as a sign of affection and acceptance. For example, with our kids, Melissa is known as Mel, Hayley gets called Hayls, and Jackson is Jacko. At high school, teachers would call them ‘Griggsy’. Funny lot, aren’t we?
I think I’ll stop there – I’m rambling on a bit!
rem: Ramble on, good woman! Love it!! Tell us three things about yourself.
- I’m adopted (which I’ve known all my life) and found 6 out of 7 of my full blood siblings nearly 21 years ago. It’s an amazing but complicated story!
- I love Turkish Delight chocolate
- I am a voracious reader of romance and women’s fiction.
rem: That’s fantastic to be in touch with your siblings! What is your most treasured possession?
ANDREA: My USB. It has all my writing stuff on it. And yes, I back it up. Most days.
rem: Yeah, gotta say mine’s up there in the ranking! ALLLLL my stuff is on it. Now I just need to back up regularly…..
What is your favourite quotation and why?
ANDREA: I love Psalm 139, especially verse 13: ‘For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.’ I know my birth wasn’t a mistake.
rem: Can’t go wrong with Scripture! And that’s a great one! What do you most value in a friend?
rem: What quality do you most admire in a man or woman?
ANDREA: Kindness. I think we underestimate the power of kindness these days.
rem: I think you’re right. What do you do as a hobby?
ANDREA: Read, listen to music, read, have coffee with friends, read.
rem: I think we’re twins! Dogs or Cats? Which do you prefer?
ANDREA: I like both but my husband doesn’t so we have a dog. Micky is a border collie, with one blue eye and the other is half-brown half-blue. He’s still very lively, even though he’s eleven.
rem: What is your Writing Routine?
ANDREA: Get jobs done in the morning, write in the afternoon
rem: Okay, maybe not twins – I am so not a morning person! What are your Top Writing Tips?
- Read loads of books in the genre you wish to write in
- Just write. You can’t edit a blank page.
rem: Tell us a little about your writing journey.
ANDREA: I started writing in 2008. I finished my first draft 16 months later (I was teaching full time at that stage). I ended up joining a writing group in Brisbane where I was told I should apply to attend a sponsored mentorship week. I did, met a publisher there who liked my story and offered me a contract. A Simple Mistake was released in April 2012.
rem: Love when stories come together like that! What makes you struggle as an author? How do you handle it?
ANDREA: I struggle with writers’ block from time to time. I handle it by having a few books on the go and switching to whichever one appeals to me at the time. Keeps the creative juices flowing.
rem: Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy nook?
ANDREA: I write in my lounge room using my laptop while sitting in my recliner. Bliss!
rem: Lounge room! Love it! Not so dissimilar to mine! Do you prefer the creating or editing aspect of writing? Why?
ANDREA: I enjoy both aspects but I think editing might have the edge. I love making my story better and better. I would go over the whole manuscript around thirty times, maybe even more.
rem: What are your top 3 recommendations for a new writer? What 3 things would recommend not doing?
ANDREA: I would recommend a new writer:
- Join a writers’ group for support and learning
- Know their main character(s) inside out and back to front
- Get that first draft written no matter how inadequate you feel – you can tweak it later.
My only don’t is: Don’t submit or self-publish until you’ve had your manuscript professionally edited.
rem: Wish I had known that [editing] sooner… What do you enjoy most about being a writer? What is the hardest aspect of being a writer?
ANDREA: I love making up characters and watching them march in and take over the story. The hardest aspect is getting that first draft down.
rem: They do take over, don’t they! My MC didn’t want to talk to me there for a while! What would you do if you didn’t write?
ANDREA: I’m not really sure, except my house would be a lot cleaner!
rem: I think that’s true of most writers! LOL Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
ANDREA: I guess it can’t be one of mine J so I’d have to say Caleb from Amy Matayo’s ‘Sway’. He’s a compassionate, kind and honest man who has shown grit and determination to become the godly man Kate falls in love with.
rem: At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
ANDREA: I’ve loved books ever since I can remember. I wrote a little during my primary school years, but music was my real passion … for the next four decades! I guess the indicators were there though – after reading Little Women (when I was eleven), I rewrote the ending because I was so upset when Beth died.
rem: We really are twins! I was supposed to be a vocal music major in college! If you could choose to be a character in a book, who would it be and why?
ANDREA: I don’t read a lot of historical fiction and I know it’s clichéd but I really admire Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice. She’s honest and loyal and not strictly conventional yet still gets her man. I like her spirit.
rem: Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read?
ANDREA: My favourite genre is romance. My favourite authors are Amy Matayo, Carla Laureano, and Varina Denman. I love the realism in their writing.
rem: Tell us a little about your book? What sparked the story for this novel?
ANDREA: Too Pretty is about Ellie, a stunning beautiful Christian girl, who makes a promise to God to not date for six months, and get to know Him better instead. Of course, as soon as she makes the promise, she meets the darkly handsome Nathaniel, equally determined not to have a relationship, despite the instant chemistry between them.
The idea for Too Pretty came to me as I was cleaning the bathroom. No idea why! I just remember thinking, ‘I wonder what how hard life would be for a stunningly beautiful Christian girl.’ And off I went. The concept interested me as I hadn’t read anything with that premise. I’ve used several real-life examples in the book, as told to my daughter by two Christian girls in the modelling industry.
rem: What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with?
ANDREA: That God loves us no matter what. Amazing.
rem: I think that Truth escapes so many people!
Thank you, Andrea for being on my blog this week. How can we connect with you online?
ANDREA: At the moment, my website is under construction but you find me in several places.
My facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/author.andreagrigg?ref=hl
Or twitter: https://twitter.com/andreagrigg
Or simply email me: email@example.com
I would love to hear from you J
#andreagrigg, #authorinterview, #aussiesinaugust, #toopretty, #asimplemistake