Author Interview: GG Vandagriff


G.G. Vandagriff

Her website here

She blogs here

GG, who are you as a person versus an author?

GG My kids are raised, and I have chosen to spend my life as the writer I always wanted to be. I also love to travel, and in researching an upcoming series (The Crazy Ladies of Oakwood) I will be traveling to four of my favorite places on earth: Florence (this October), the Greek Isles, Provence, and the Scottish Highlands. This is providing the earth holds together. Aside from being a writer, I am a mother of grown children, a grandmother, a wife of an extraordinary man, and a passionate Latter-day Saint.

What genre(s) do you write in?

G.G.: I have written mostly mysteries in the past: Cankered Roots, Of Deadly Descent, Tangled Roots, Poisoned Pedigree, The Hidden Branch, and The Arthurian Omen. (see and I call these my "potato chip books." We all love and need potato chip books at times. But my serious novel "The Last Waltz,"( represents the direction I would like to go in now—women's fiction. There will always be romance in my books, but it will be true romance, even though it may take a lifetime to achieve. DB has my "Only Bright Thing," right now, which I hope they will publish next spring—another woman's novel with romance, but it is not a romance, if you get my drift. I also write non-fiction, primarily my twice-monthly column for Meridian. However, I am currently working on a gift book: Embracing Abundance, which I hope to publish next year. I already have two non-fiction books: Voices in Your Blood: Discovering Identity Through Family History and Deliverance from Depression: Finding Hope and Healing through the Atonement of Christ.(

Do you seek to educate or entertain?
GG: Both. All the books that I have written since my miraculous healing three years ago contain my testimony of the atonement somewhere in the story.

Where do you write your best stuff, and when?

G.G.: I write daily for most of the day. Right now, I am trying to promote two books and write two others, so it is very demanding and difficult work. I have a lovely office overlooking the Utah Valley. It is painted cranberry, and I have pictures of the Savior and my family all around me, as well as copies my husband framed of each of my books. In front of my nose, just behind my computer screen is a large sign: "Life is God's Novel, Let Him write it."

Why do you write?

GG: I have been writing since before I could write. I used to draw picture books when I was little. I have been creating alternative realities ever since I can remember. It was a long time before I realized everyone didn't do this. Now I write because I want to have my readers experience, through my stories, the power of real love to change peoples' hearts.

Vanilla or chocolate?

GG: Chocolate definitely, and the darker the better.

Laptop, PC, Mac, longhand, other? Why?

GG: I have a PC with a large flat screen and an ergonomic keyboard. I also just purchased a netbook which I take with me on my travels or when I want to sit in my zero gravity chair and rest my back, but continue working. The why is just that we've always been a PC family.

What do you like to read?

G.G.: It depends on my mood and how hard I've been working and what I have been working on. I like to read things that will bleed into my writing consciousness. So when I am writing serious fiction, I read serious fiction. When I am writing fun stuff, I read fun stuff. When I'm writing spiritual stuff, I read the scriptures and conference talks almost exclusively. Sometimes, I must confess, I'm too tired to read, and simply veg out watching TV—mostly classic movies from Netflix.

What is your current book?

GG: I have two this year. The Last Waltz (Shadow Mountain, has been compared by four reviewers to Gone with the Wind. It is a romance that is not according to formula, set in a time and place most Americans know very little about—Vienna, 1913-1938. Its flawed characters are ultimately redeemed by love. People should read this to understand the fragile nature of democracy and some surprising truths about love.

The Hidden Branch(Deseret Book, is a serio-comic mystery, featuring my mischievous sleuths: Alex and Briggie who own a genealogy research company. This time, they are working with a quirky large family of Armenian-Americans among the surfers of Huntington Beach. They suspect one of them of murder, of course. Alex experiences a crisis in her faith and in her love life, while Briggie (a grandmother of nine) buys a wetsuit and learns to boogie board. Unfortunately, she also has several brushes with the law. People should read this for entertainment, and to understand the Lord's prescription for a sound, Christ-centered marriage.

One piece of advice/wisdom for the world?

GG: Mosiah 3:19.

Dogs or cats?


What do you want to be remembered for, or as?

GG: A valiant servant and witness of the Lord Jesus Christ.

GG Vandagriff's novel of mystery, romance, and comedy, The Hidden Branch, will be released on or before September 16th. Set in Huntington Beach, CA, the book is the fifth in the Alex and Briggie Mystery Series, but can also be read as an introduction to the series. For more information please see:

From now now until September 17th anyone who buys the book on line or in a store will qualify for an Alex and Briggie gift package and a chance to win an autographed set of the entire series. Simply e-mail GG your name and address ( ) and tell her where you bought the book.


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