Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Patti Shene {Writer Wedensday}

I'm especially excited to introduce you to this Writer Wednesday author, Patti Shene. She's currently on hiatus from full-time writing to devote time to her husband while he is struggling with health issues. She has made a slight exception and agreed to be a guest on my blog and I'm honored :) Please give her a warm welcome!

A little bit about Patti...

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Patti is a retired registered nurse who has always harbored a desire to write. She worked with Written WorldCommunications for the past three years as editor of Starsongs magazine and also served as Division Manager for YA and Childrens’ Imprints. She is published in two anthologies and in local publications. 

How to connect with Patti...

Visit Patti’s three blogs at her website, www.pattishene.com, and leave a comment to let her know you stopped by!

Connect with her on Twitter (https://twitter.com/PattiShene)

Author Interview | Patti Shene
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You & Writing
Tell us a little bit about yourself:
...I was born and raised on the south shore of Long Island in New York, but have made my home in Southeastern Colorado for the past forty years. I am married to my husband of 35 years and we have two wonderful adult children and one amazing granddaughter. Our son and daughter-in-law live in the UK and our daughter and her family live here in town. I enjoyed a career as a registered psychiatric nurse for almost forty years.

How did you start writing? 
...I remember always carrying one of those “composition” notebooks around during junior high school with the scribbled words of my first novel, a poem, or whatever. The novel never did see completion, and I have absolutely no idea whatever happened to it.

What has kept you writing?
...I think what has motivated me to keep writing is the response I get from those who have read what I write. From critique partners who have read portions of my novel, to my attempts at inspirational pieces for our church newsletter, to a blog post that draws a comment, the feedback that tells me someone has been touched in a positive way serves to encourage me to keep writing.

Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written?  If so, why?
...One of my favorite published works is a piece that appeared in the anthology Angels, Miracles, and Heavenly Encounters: Real Life Stories of Supernatural Events. Our church organist told me this true story over coffee one day and I just knew it had to be put into print. I had read the call out for the anthology and felt God had placed the story in my hands at just the right time. It is very powerful and I’m sure whoever reads it will be touched in a profound way. It can be found on page 139 of the book and is entitled The Sweet Touch of a Small Hand. The book can be purchased at major online retailers and is also available in stores such as Wal-mart.
...I do have a huge regret, though. When I returned the contract, I must have failed to indicate that the story was an “as told to” story, so it appeared in the book with only my name. My friend was not upset about it, but the editor understandably was and I still am very distressed to have made such a blunder.

...Another reason this story is important to me is because my friend, Bonnie Hoffman, who told me the story, had wanted this experience to be shared for a long time. She is thrilled to see it in print, even though her name, thanks to my oversight, is not on it. I just feel terrible that people think this was my experience. I never lost a little brother in a fire. I never even had a brother.   

If published, what was the hardest thing about publishing?  The easiest?
...I don’t have a book published, but I have non-fiction pieces in two anthologies. The hardest for me was waiting to see if my work had been accepted. I knew I was in competition against hundreds of other writers, so the longer I waited for a response, the more sure I was that my work had not been accepted.

...The easiest was fitting the story to the particular call out. When that happens, I believe it is truly a God thing.

Your Writing
Tell us a little bit about your book or what you’re working on currently? Why are you/did you write it?
...I took a long break from writing when I started working with Written World Communications three years ago. I was investing most of my writing time in editing with them. I left WWC when my husband developed some medical issues and I felt my energy and time needed to be devoted to his health.

...I have three novels in progress, but to be honest, they are not priority right now.

...I am currently working on some content to get the Authors of Tomorrow portion of my web site, a section for young writers, up and running. I also have some short work in progress to submit to ChristianDevotions.us and Devokids. Then there is that article I need to get done for the church newsletter over the next couple of days.

What is one take-away from your work that you hope readers identify with?
...I would hope readers would be able to make a connection with the God I have come to know who is real, who cares about each of us as individuals, and who does amazing things in our lives if we only let Him.

Writing
Where do you find inspiration for your story/characters?  Are they based on real life or pure imagination or both?
...I find my inspiration for my stories and characters from my own experiences and those of others around me. I like to read fantasy sometimes, but I’m not so sure I could write it, so I guess I’d have to say my stories are based on real life.

When you write, what is your overall intention with your stories?
...To encourage and inspire. I like to theme my stories around the things we all fall prey to so easily, our reluctance to forgive, our greedy desires, our jealousy and prejudices, our tendency to want to do things our way instead of God’s way.

...I dream of finishing my novels someday and maybe seeing them in print, but that isn’t the driving force in my writing life right now. After working with Written World Communications, my passion is to encourage other writers to reach their goals. In the next few weeks, I’m going to concentrate on resuming my Over 50 Writer blog and Patti’s Porch blogs, both meant to encourage and showcase writers striving to promote their work.

...The Over 50 Writer blog is my favorite because it amazes me to hear the stories of older writers, some just starting out in the profession, who persevere against many odds to complete their work and get it out there in print.

...Another very important goal is to launch Authors of Tomorrow. After editing several issues of Starsongs magazine, a publication of Written World Communications for kids by kids, I know there are many young writers out there with incredible talent. I want to be one of the people in their lives who can serve as a mentor and encourager to them.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors for writing and/or publishing?
...Search your soul and learn why you want to write and what you want to say. Seek God’s guidance when setting your goals. Find your passion and use it to fuel your words.

...Once you have established what you want to write, seek all the knowledge you can on how to do it right. Be professional. Don’t submit your work until it is the very best you believe it can be. If an editor gives you advice on how to improve your work, listen.

...Persevere. Whether a work takes you two months or twenty years, if you feel that driving force to complete it or get it published, don’t give up. Only God knows when the time is right for your work to do the most good for His glory according to His perfect plan.

...Learn from my mistake (cited above). When you receive a contract, be sure to include all of the information requested!

You                                                                      
Have you ever attended a writer’s conference? If so, which one(s) and what were most helpful about it?
...I have attended the Colorado Christian Writers Conference for several years, the Greater Philadelphia Writers Conference a couple of times, the ACFW conference a couple of times, and the Idahope Writers Conference once. I was very blessed, through Written World Communications and Marlene Bagnull, to serve on faculty at CCWC and GPCWC in recent years.
...Whether conferee or faculty, what I find most helpful occurs outside of the classrooms, when small groups of writers get together and discuss their successes, their failures, and their future plans. Those conversations help fuel my desire to pursue a career as a writer.


What’s your favorite green food?  (In honor of St. Patrick’s Day of course!)
...Mint Oreo blizzard from Dairy Queen (well, it’s sort of green!)

If you could travel to any location and stay there for one month (probably spending most of the time writing) where would you go?
...I’d love to spend a month in a warm cabin in the Adirondack North Country of New York in winter.

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Thank you so much for sharing with us Patti! I totally think a Mint Oreo Blizzard counts as a green food, I've never been to New York (yet!) but a warm cabin in the winter sounds amazing, and I just love your advice to writers - especially when you say we must "learn why" we want to write.  Motivation is a big thing and I have a feeling that it really affects how we will do as writers.

Again, it's so wonderful to have you on the blog - a special thanks to you for doing the interview despite the difficult circumstances with your husbands health!
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Patti has also offered up a copy of the anthology Angels, Miracles, and Heavenly Encounters: Real Life Stories of Supernatural Events that her story is featured in! 

You have until the end of next Wednesday (April 3rd) to leave a comment on this post and we'll choose randomly from the comments left on this posts so make sure we can get in touch with you (ie: leave your email or a way we can contact you). 


We will announce the winner 
on Thursday April 4th!