Today I’d like to invite you to meet someone I’ve known from way back, when I was active on another writing site: Patti Tingen. I met Patti in one of the forums and we later met up again on Facebook. Some of the things that always stood out in my mind was her positive attitude, her work ethic in regards to getting her book into the hands of readers, and her helpfulness when I had questions. It always makes me happy to hear of her progress and of the doors that open for her and her books. So it gives me great pleasure to have Patti here with me for today’s spotlight interview.
1- So, Patti, can you start by telling us a little about yourself? Perhaps include something unusual, like a talent or skill?
I live in beautiful Lancaster County, Pennsylvania with my husband Doug and our cat Braveheart. I work full-time for a county Mental Health/Intellectual Disabilities/Early Intervention Program. I also stay busy in various ministry positions at my church including prayer, teaching and serving as an elder. I love animals, music and nature. Probably what’s most unusual about my story is that I never had any aspirations to be an author. God truly had dreams for me that I knew nothing about!
2- How did you get your start in writing and why were you drawn to it? What keeps you motivated/inspired?
I discovered I was a writer during the creation of my first book. What started out as a simple desire to preserve the stories of my extraordinary cat Knickerbocker, turned into something far greater than I would have ever imagined. He Was Never a Cat became an incredible adventure as I honed my writing skills and formed lasting relationships throughout the writing, publishing and marketing process.
What keeps me motivated is receiving feedback from readers. Every time I hear that my writing has given someone encouragement or hope, I am amazed and humbled all over again. That God would choose to use my words to impact others, including those from various parts of the world, is just incredible to me.
3- Your books are inspirational. How do you go about writing something like that? Do you write in other genres of forms like short stories, poetry, novels?
I write from the context of my own spiritual journey over the years. Through many teaching opportunities at my church, I saw how God blessed my words of personal experience and testimony to encourage and inspire others. So I already had a lot of material that I could use to transfer to written text for my books.
I haven’t written in any other genres at this point with the exception of a picture book manuscript. It’s a fun story that I hope to see published one day.
4- How often do you write? Do you hold to the idea that a writer must write every single day?
Mostly, I only write when I’m working on a project, so no, I would not believe that a writer must write every day. Even when writing my books, I didn’t necessarily write every day. In fact, it’s helpful for me to let ideas stir around in my mind and spirit for a bit. I then find that my writing is much fresher and more powerful than if I tried to force it before I was ready.
5- What do you find is the most difficult aspect of writing and how do you cope with it?
As above, I needed to understand that I didn’t have to panic when I couldn’t find the words. Over time, I learned to trust the Holy Spirit to guide my thoughts and let my writing flow from Him – in His timing.
6- What advice would you give to new writers?
I found it very helpful to join a website with other aspiring writers. (That’s how I met Dyane!) The feedback and critiques that I received from fellow authors was invaluable to me in polishing my manuscript for A God for All Seasons. I’d also encourage writers to never give up on their ideas. Do the hard work to see your story in print and you’ll never regret it!
I’ve also learned that there are no easy or quick roads to publishing, even if you self-publish. It takes a lot of work if you want to produce a quality product. I’d also encourage any aspiring authors to do extensive research on publishing companies before they commit to one and be very wary of anything that looks too good to be true.
7- What other projects are you working on? Upcoming promotional events?
I don’t have any other projects at the current time but want to be open to any new ideas God may have for me.
I am very excited to have recently received invitations to several events. One of those includes being a special guest at WoofStock 2013 in Harrisburg, PA to sign copies of He Was Never a Cat. I’m quite honored to be sharing space with their featured guest, Jon Provost, Timmy from Lassie.
8- How can readers get into contact with you?
I can be contacted through Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/patti.tingen
or my Facebook author page: http://www.facebook.com/PattiTingenAuthor
My Amazon page is https://www.amazon.com/author/pattitingen
Synopsis of my books:
A God for All Seasons: Inspiration and Reflection for All Times takes the reader on a yearlong journey, month by month. Starting with winter, the book moves through the natural seasons of the year. Each chapter then correlates with a month, starting with December, and offers personal testimony and insights for the various spiritual seasons that we all experience. The theme of the book is that God’s love and presence is with us through every time and every season of our lives.
He Was Never a Cat: Knick’s Story, My Story, Your Story is the heartwarming true story of my remarkable tabby Knickerbocker. Humorous tales relating the many antics of Knick are told in each chapter. I then draw a spiritual parallel to the characteristic described and share some of my own testimony and personal experience. The “Your Story” section of each chapter offers the reader an opportunity to apply the principles to his or her own life.
Many thanks to Patti Tingen for joining us today. To find out more about her books or upcoming appearances (or events), please visit her at one of the links above. Or, drop her an encouraging message or just say, ‘Hi!’ You won’t regret it.
Until next time, folks!