Name: Vanessa Davis Griggs
Birthday: August 8
Occupation: Wordsmith (Author & Speaker)
City of Residence: Birmingham (AL)
Favorite Books: Song of Solomon, Friday Nights at Honeybee’s, The
Greatest Miracle in the World, What Makes the Great Great, A Woman of Substance, The Lovely Bones, Baggage Claim, The Da Vinci Code, Belladonna
1. What inspired you to write?
I believe I was born to write. I recall writing and producing plays as early as the 6th
grade and it has evolved into me penning novels. Four books impacted and defined by purpose when I write. “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman” by
Ernest J. Gaines, “A Woman of Substance” by Barbara Taylor Bradford, “The Greatest Salesman in the World” by Og Mandino and the Bible. I saw in these
writings it was possible to keep it real, engage the reader, and teach without compromising a quality reading journey.
2. Tell us a bit about PROMISES BEYOND JORDAN?
George Landris is preparing for his upcoming wedding to Theresa Jordan when he learns a
cherished friend, Johnnie Mae Taylor, has been in a car accident along with her daughter and husband. Subsequent decisions will impact more lives than
he ever thought. But Theresa has a few dilemmas to deal with of her own. And watching her fiancé rush to see about another woman begins a play on her
thoughts and her subsequent actions. It’s a tale about secrets, scars, sacrifices, and promises. An inspiring, spiritual drama some reports say will
keep you up into the middle of the night to finish reading.
3. PROMISES BEYOND JORDAN was first self-published but was acquired by BET/New
Spirit. To what extent is the journey to being published by a major publisher different?
There are positives and negatives to almost anything we do. One positive thing about
being with a major player is the level of respect you receive. It’s easier to get into bookstores (although self-published authors are easily accepted
by online booksellers). With a major publisher, others are putting their resources to work on your behalf to make things a success. With
self-publishing you may be a one-person operation doing everything yourself. When you’re self-published though, you know when things aren’t being done
that should be, you can’t fuss about anyone but yourself. So there is a control difference when you’re at the “mercy” so to speak of others who now
are making the final decisions.
4.Do you have a full-time career outside of your writing?
No. I am a former employee of a telecommunication company, but I made the decision to
give writing all that I have. It was difficult for me to hear characters speaking while I was working on something someone else was paying me to do. I
loved my job, but writing was calling my heart. It’s hard to serve two masters at the same time. So I chose to write and speak full-time.
5. When you're not writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to read. Nonfiction is something I truly enjoy. Anything that will assist me in
being a better person in all areas of my life. I’m a creative person, so I’m always doing something creative. My computer allows me to do many
creative things. I’m also a fantastic cook. I like working in my vegetable garden. Spending time with family. I love music. Lately though, I’ve not
had much spare time, so I have to juggle fun.
6. What is something about you that your readers would be surprised you do?
That I can build a room (top to bottom) in a house. I’m a little handywoman. I also
7. What do you enjoy most about writing?
I adore words. I’m serious. To take words and create a world that plays in a person’s
mind. To string the words together so well people experience what you want them to see. Giving life to words while adding value to someone else’s life
in some fashion.
8. How did you feel when you got THE CALL?
It was flattering and encouraging knowing that someone thought enough of my work to
contact me and desired to partner together to make it available to “the world” so to speak. But business is business so I had to keep to the business
at hand and not get caught up in ego and end up making some wrong decisions.
9. How did you get started writing your PROMISES BEYOND JORDAN?
I love to tell this story. Essentially, I was minding my own business when one morning,
early, I heard the words loud and clear: “Have you ever loved someone that you never had?” I got up with the intentions of typing that sentence as not
to forget or lose it forever (writers know what I’m talking about). Four pages later, I knew this book was going to be something else. As it turns
out, that was the beginning sentence of chapter one and became the recurring theme throughout the story.
10. How long does it take you to complete a manuscript and what process do you use
in writing your novel?
Novels for me are like my children. Each one is different with their own distinct
personalities. I have written a novel in as little as three weeks or taken as long as six months. The novel I’m finishing up now has taken me several
months to research then I had to wait for it to simmer in my soul before I poured it out on paper. Once a book inside of me is ready to erupt, I type
it then do my polishing and editing which might take longer than the actual writing ever did. When my brain tells me the words on paper match what my
brain originally saw “up there” I always know it. Then I’m finished and ready to send it out.
11. How easy or difficult was it to become published?
It wasn’t so easy back when I first began, to get published by a mainstream publisher.
Now if you’re asking how easy was it to become published, period? Self-publishing was a breeze for me because I studied, researched, and learned what
needed to be done. I have “Starting your own press/self-publishing” down pat so much that I’ve assisted and taught many others in their journey!
12. Is being a published writer what you thought it would be like?
No. The process is slow from so many angles. There are few overnight successes. So your
dreams of people lined up to get your books, especially when you’re first published, aren’t always manifested in the beginning. I often tell people to
hang in there! Keep believing and working things in a positive way, and I believe you will have what you say. But this journey has truly been a
blessing to me so far, and I can’t complain.
13. What do you feel has been your greatest accomplishment as a writer and why?
Knowing that my writing has been, at times, more than just entertainment. That it has
touched lives in a positive way or made someone else’s existence better just by the words I took time and prayer to weave together. I’ve won some
awards, and I do appreciate them and look forward to many others. But having a reader contact me to let me know how much they enjoyed what I’ve
shared…my purpose…my calling—that’s the greatest reward for me.
14. Give us a sneak peek of your next book?
My next book is a spin-off of PROMISES BEYOND JORDAN. There are new characters
(one who even had me saying, “No she didn’t say that!”). There’s romance, history, drama, and great places to see and hang out with some characters
that will keep you on the edge of your seat. It’s called: WINGS OF GRACE.
15. Do you like communicating with your readers? In what forms. And how can a reader contact you?
I love hearing from readers. My web site is:
www.VanessaDavisGriggs.com. My email address is: VanGriggs@aol.com
or just click email from my web site (I do read all my emails). If you’d rather snail mail me: P. O. Box 101328, Birmingham, AL 35210-6328.
Wayne, thank you SO much! You are truly a blessing. I can’t wait for
your books to take the world by storm! It’s ALL good!
ROMANCE IN COLOR wishes Ms. Griggs continued