Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Introducing Andrea Grigg - a new Aussie author

About three years ago, I received an email from Andrea Grigg. After introducing herself. She wrote, “I've had a dream about writing a Christian romance novel for years and finally got around to starting it back in March of this year.”
Our contact since then was spasmodic until twelve months ago when I met her at last year’s Word Writers Fair in Queensland and discovered she is a truly beautiful woman inside and out! I have been privileged to read her manuscript, A Simple Mistake, she has been working hard on and am thrilled she has now signed a contract for it to be published. I have discovered that besides writing, Andrea is a woman of several talents and I have asked her to share with us a little about herself and especially her writing journey so far.

So, do tell us what keeps you the busiest these days, Andrea.

I wish I could say it was writing, but it’s not! I teach part-time, and when not in the classroom, preparation and marking take up a good portion of my week. Great job though!

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of?

My three children – all grown-up now. Two girls and a boy. They are wonderful people, and my husband and I love spending time with them.

Tell us the range of the kind of books you enjoy reading.

Women’s fiction, various genres, but they all need to have an element of romance to keep my interest.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?

When I was at primary school. I would write stories at home, just for the fun of it and ask my teacher to read them – it must have driven her mad! I can remember having an awful lot of ‘and then’ in them.

What is the problem with writing that has so far been your greatest roadblock, and how did you – or are you - overcoming it?

Apart from having enough time you mean?
I’m a ‘plotter’, not a ‘pantser’. If I was a ‘pantser’ (someone who flies by the seat of their pants) I could just sit down and write and write. Because I’m a plotter, I like to have it all sorted in my head before I start typing. I have to tell myself that I can’t go back and edit a blank page, so just get on with it. I’m getting there.

What advice would you give to an author just starting out?

Read lots of books in the genre you’d like to write in.
Have fun creating your characters and getting to know them.
Write about something you’re familiar with (my first protagonist is a teacher, like me).
Get in contact with a writers’ group and/or have some book buddies to read your work and encourage you.
Just start writing!

How do you choose your settings for each book?

 I like to use what I’m familiar with, so I can get the atmosphere right. I tend to use Sydney, or Auckland (where I’m from originally) and the Gold Coast (where I’ve lived for 26 yrs).The details are the creative part, like what type of house my characters live in etc. That often comes from junk mail, glossy magazines, places I’ve visited, or images off the internet.

Do you have another story waiting to be told?

Too many! My major problem is I keep thinking of new plots and characters. I’ve got about nine folders on my computer, complete with character profiles, a story plan, and several thousand words each. My husband tells me I’m doing what I used to do with my knitting – I’d get bored with a project and start another. But guess what? I always finished them eventually. I’ve got enough to keep me going until I’m ninety but I’m worried I’ll think of some more!

What would you like to tell folk about the manuscript you once sent to me?

It was my ‘baby’ and I was sending it to a very qualified someone for inspection! Scary yet thrilling. I knew it was too big, (originally it was huge!) and it was wonderful having someone help me to hone and shape it into something I’m now very proud of.

I understand how you felt about a published author reading your manuscript, Andrea, as I have experienced that many times over the years and still do when I know one is reading one of my books! I am thrilled to have been able to help you a little on your road to being published.

And to tease readers, here is more about A Simple Mistake, an inspirational romance which has been contracted by Even Before Publishing and for release next year.

Nick broke Lainey’s teenage heart when he left to embark on his music career – despite his promises to keep in touch, she never heard from him again.
 When she runs into him while playing her violin at a wedding and Nick asks to see her again, Lainey is wary but thrilled. And when they discover the truth about why their relationship ended, everything changes.
 What’s a girl to do? Nick is an international celebrity, and she’s just a school teacher; his faith in God is minimal while she’s a dedicated Christ-follower. Not only that – now they’ve met up again, she must tell him her secret, the one that could rip them apart, the one Nick has every right to know…
Lainey can feel her life spinning out of control.
Andrea is on Facebook and you can find her on my Friend's list there - or the photo above of course!. With the help of a clever daughter, she is working hard on getting a blog up and running. Stay tuned. We are going to hear a great deal more from this very capable new Australian author!

And I already want to read the sequel to A Simple Mistake, Andrea, so get writing - in between church, family and teaching responsibilities of course!
I know she will be encouraged by any comments you'd like to share.

Mary Hawkins is a best-selling inspirational romance author. A Queensland farmer’s daughter, she became a registered nurse before going to Bible College. She and her minister husband have three adult children and five grandchildren, enjoyed over 46 years of ministry including church planting in Australia, two years in England, three short term mission trips to Africa and now live in Tasmania, Australia's island state. Her 19th title, Justice at Baragula, was released May, 2011
Read more about Mary's writing journey, her husband Ray and his devotional books on their blog from the website:


  1. Mary, thanks for introducing us to a new Aussie author :) Andrea, thanks for visiting with us today & it was great to meet you in Brisbane last weekend! Your book sounds like a fascinating read :)

  2. Wonderful news about your contract, Andrea. You've given wise advice here and I will certainly look forward to reading "A Simple Mistake."
    Paula V

  3. I am hooked and want to read more. Congratulations, Andrea!

  4. Your tease definitely hooked me. So pullout one of those idea files and get busy on the next one!

  5. I had to laugh when you said, "I’ve got enough to keep me going until I’m ninety but I’m worried I’ll think of some more!"

    Yeah, that's me, too. I currently have TWENTY novels I could write that interest me a lot, but ideas for more are always crowding in.

    Best wishes, Andrea! And thanks for inviting her over, Mary.

  6. Great interview Andrea! It was such a privilege to spend a little time with you last weekend. I can't wait to read your first novel. All the best with it. XXOO

  7. I was there in Brisbane at the Writers' Fair but didn't get to meet you, Andrea. At least, I don't think I did! Congratulations - and you are very fortunate to have had Mary to guide you along the way.

  8. Great interview Mary and Andrea. Lovely to meet another Aussie writer. I wasn't able to get to the Word Writers.You might be interested in my blog from last week about the importance of place

  9. Thanks for the introduction, Mary. Great interview.

    Andrea, I can hardly wait to read A Simple Mistake. Sounds wonderful. Keep writing.

  10. Thank you everyone for your encouraging comments. You've done my heart good! And, of course, many thanks to Mary for interviewing me. God bless.