G.G. Wynter writes stories about love, friendship, and family. If you enjoy writers like Jojo Moyes, Jennifer Weiner, and Kristan Higgins, and your idea of a great story includes plenty of romance and lots of culture, humor, and spice, you’ll love her books.
She is a Georgia Romance Writer Maggie Award Finalist and a regular contributor at Writer Unboxed—a Writer’s Digest Best of the Best website for writers. She has an MBA in marketing, an editing certificate from the University of Chicago, and when she was eight, she beat out hundreds of other eight-year-olds to win the prestigious Pete Rose Award for reading the most books during summer vacation. She is a proud member of the Romance Writers of America and The Alliance of Independent Authors.
Her debut novel, Free Falling, was a 2016 Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award finalist. When she’s not traveling between the Marvel and DC Universes, you can find her on Facebook and Instagram. You can also go to her website at www.ggwynter.com if you’re interested in signing up for her newsletter or hiring her for writing or editing projects.
1) First, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me! When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most?
Thanks so much for inviting me to chat with you! As for when I knew I wanted to be a writer, I’d say I was about 8 or 9. We lived in Philly at the time and over the summer there was a contest to see who could read the most books. I devoured everything I could read that summer but remember being sad that I didn’t have any books with little girls who looked like me. Authors have been writing stories that center black girls, but access to them had been limited—and my library didn’t have any. I think that was when I knew I wanted to write stories about black girls and women.
2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?
I was born in Kingston, Jamaica, so the protagonist in my first novel, Free Falling, is a first-generation American who returns to her small home town to help her widowed mother run their family’s Jamaican restaurant. At its heart, it’s romantic fiction, so of course, there’s a second chance romance and a few shocking secrets, too. You can read more about me and Free Falling on my website, G.G.Wynter. http://ggwynterwrites.com/
3) Where do you draw your inspiration from for the stories that you manage to weave together and the characters that you create?
My characters come from my culture, my family, the society I see around me. I’m a sucker for happily-every-after, too, so my stories always include that.
4) Do you have a schedule for when you write? Do you outline your novels? How long does it generally take you to finish a novel? What projects are you currently working on?
I work as a freelance editor, so although I’d like to keep a strict writing schedule, the writing sometimes has to take a backseat to deadlines. It took me about three years to write and publish Free Falling. It’s the first in a planned series, and I’ve outlined the next book, but haven’t had the time to work on it the way I’d like. I’m also working on a YA speculative fiction mystery that I hope to be querying soon.
5) What’s the first book you ever read that really moved you emotionally? Who is your favorite author to read? What book are you currently reading?
It’s impossible for me to choose just one, so I won’t even try. But I’ve just finished reading An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, and the way she sucks you into the story is brilliant. I read Jane Austen repeatedly, and Persuasion is one of my favorite books.
6) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years?
Free Falling was a Georgia Romance Writer Maggie Award finalist, and that was pretty great. And, the fact that the Ripped Bodice (the country’s first romance-only bookstore) selected my novel—an indie-published book—for their store and as a book of the week, were definitely highlights.
7) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career? What are your thoughts about how the publishing industry is drastically changing in terms of traditional and self-publishing?
Rejection is a part of writing and publishing: if you haven’t yet been rejected, you’re not working hard enough. Seriously. From critique partners and beta readers who tell you (kindly) to go back to the drawing board, to losing contests, to crickets when you query, it’s all a part of what we sign up for when we say we want to be published authors. As for self-publishing and trad, I think the binary argument isn’t helpful to anyone, least of all authors. I’m a huge fan of self publishing, and think, when done well, it can be brilliant. I also think that traditional publishing has its merits, too. My plan is to be a hybrid author, because I think that’s the way the future is headed.
8) So many writers say that they hate reading their own work. Do you ever enjoy reading your own work back to yourself?
I’m not sure “enjoy” is the right word.. LOL – but I love reading something I’ve set aside for a while and getting that sense of, “this is kinda good!” It’s a great feeling.
9) Do you believe that there is ever a point in life where it’s too late for an aspiring writer to become successful in this industry? Do you feel a late start would hinder their chances?
Absolutely not! Though it can feel like this is a young person’s game, I believe that if you’ve got a story in you and you want to tell it, age shouldn’t be a factor at all.
10) I feel like writing is a remarkable tool to help people not only express themselves, but also to cope emotionally and mentally. I know for me I write to be and feel more authentic. What unique quality is there about you, about your art, that you feel represents your authenticity? How does writing help you to be more empowered in your purpose?
What a great question! I’m an empath, and I think my ability to experience other people’s emotions and translate that to my work helps my voice. And, being able to tell stories that make people laugh or dream or just cope after a bad day is empowering, and that’s why I love it so much.