Vanessa, describe yourself for our visitors.
I was born and still reside in the Birmingham, Alabama area. Growing up in a small community, I loved playing softball, reading, and dancing. Actually, I’ve always loved music. I grew up with gospel music and loving the music of Earth, Wind, & Fire which has always had a spiritual overtone with it. I came along with all the music greats. I grew up in the church. I am a Christian who loves the Word of God. I really enjoy reading and studying the Bible. As a speaker, I make appearances at churches, schools, colleges, businesses, and conferences. And had you met me early on in life, you would know I’ve always loved to talk.
How do you find time to connect with God?
It’s important to not just find time but to make time to connect with God. I start my day off praying and spending time with Him. When things are the most hectic and unbalanced for me, I settle myself with God through His Word as well as talking one-on-one with Him. I love praising God not for what He’s done (which is so much in my life), but for Who He is. Writing the types of novels I do requires me to study and keep my Bible handy. Learning more and more about God and what He desires for all of us is the meat of who I am. The published books and the knowledge of how much my work is blessing others who read them is the gravy. It’s a blessing knowing that my labor is not in vain.
Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?
I love a variety of authors (such as Og Mandino and Toni Morrison). I will confess that my favorite books are those that not only entertain, but teach, enlighten, and inspire and those that are well written. I love both nonfiction and fiction books. If a book uplifts and helps me to grow, that makes it all the better. The most recent book I’ve enjoyed is called The Shack by William P. Young.
Tell us about your journey to publication.
I was working for BellSouth during the day and writing late at night on the side. My characters would bug me through the day so at the end of 1996, I stepped out on faith and totally walked away from 18 years of service with BellSouth. I decided I was going to really trust God (not just talk) and give my all to doing this. It was difficult getting a publisher in the beginning. I met someone who encouraged me to publish my first book myself. I started my own publishing company and published three of my novels.
The third novel was called Promises Beyond Jordan. An editor with BET BOOKS/New Spirit called me about acquiring this novel. She offered me a two-book deal. BET BOOKS republished Promises Beyond Jordan in 2004, and published Wings of Grace in 2005. Wings of Grace was also an audio book. I signed with Kensington/Dafina for a three-book deal. The Blessed Trinity trilogy includes Blessed Trinity released May 2007, Strongholds, May 2008, and If Memory Serves October 1, 2008. I’m excited that these three novels have now sold audio rights. I have also signed another three-book deal with Kensington with the next two books scheduled for release June and the fall of 2009. Just look how far God has brought me!
Tell us about your current book?
If Memory Serves is book 3 of the Blessed Trinity trilogy. Scandalous secrets, impossible choices, and supreme tests of faith combine in this new novel full of twists and thrills. Memory Patterson has been hiding for much too long. Her instinct has always been to run, and never more so than when a chance meeting with Pastor Landris and his pregnant wife, Johnnie Mae, leads to a shocking revelation as Johnnie Mae discloses the truth about Memory’s mother.
Just as Memory attempts to convince everyone she has changed, the woman responsible for reuniting her with her past finds herself suffering with troubles of her own. Pastor Landris may have to make an impossible choice—one that will amount to true spiritual warfare. Meanwhile, Charity finally comes face to face with the painful truth and damaging secret of her past. For all those involved, secrets have done nothing but tear them apart and destroy their families. And—for Memory and Charity especially—only hope and the power of faith can mend these shattered fractured lives.
How did you come up with ideas for this book?
In a novel I wrote called Wings of Grace, there was a character named Memory. I brought her back somewhat in Strongholds. There was a lot to work with when it came to Memory. Also a character named Charity had some unresolved issues that needed to be addressed. The best way for me to tell the entire story was over three books (thereby the trilogy), although each book can stand on its own.
In If Memory Serves, I deal with losing a loved one, and there really is a lot of drama taking place throughout, so much so, I had to write asking the readers not to turn to the back of the book before time. I do pray about whatever I am to write, and God directs me on what He desires from me. There are times though when I ask God why I can’t just do the easy books (which I could do). But honestly, I’m just honored God has chosen me to do what I do the way He has given it to me to do it. I am so blessed!
List your three most recent books.
Blessed Trinity, Strongholds, and If Memory Serves.
What’s next for you?
My next book due to release June 2009 is entitled Practicing What You Preach.
Where can visitors find you online?
My Web site: www.VanessaDavisGriggs.com
Also, I have a MySpace page: www.MySpace.com/vanessadavisgriggs