Writing the Book

Hi. I’m Pat Tiffin. 

I’ve done so many drafts of this book I lost count. I was lucky enough to be part of the Second Cup Writers group in Franklinton, NC.  Donna, Kathy, Dorothy, Jackie, Wendy, Kim1, Kim2 and Kay. My dear friend Deena comes when she’s able.  All amazing writers and great women. The book wouldn’t be done if it wasn’t for them. Insights, critique, praise, disagreement and the best snacks ever.

You have no idea how much I hate having my picture taken. 

dove as holy spirit

The Birth of the Book

I grew up in a Catholic family. Every night during Lent, we said the Rosary around the dinner table. I wasn’t much of a Catholic but I still remember chanting those prayers on each bead. 

Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee, Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death, amen.

Author Note: I had no idea what a womb was and the fruit thing really threw me off.

I remember my mother telling me once that it made sense to pray to Mary. A good son would want to please his mother.  She liked the Virgin Mary and I think it kind of rubbed off.  Lourdes is probably the most well-known location of the Blessed Mother’s visit. Since the apparition, there have been over 7000 unexplained healings at Lourdes. 

Author Note: They run a live web cam on the grotto, which is kind of wild. I’m always afraid to stop watching.

That was when I started wondering about miracles. What would I do if I saw one? Would I believe it or not?  That’s how the premise started. It rolled around in my head for a long time. The first draft was a monster – over 400 pages.

Author Note: I was nuts. Too many characters, too many details, too much! But there were some pieces that were worth saving.

I started cutting. I ditched some characters and got to the good stuff faster. Carlene’s relationship with the Virgin Mary is the real deal. Their back and forth on Saturday nights is always an amusing tussle.

The Virgin Mary and the Reverend Elvis call Carlene “The Helper.” For some, that term means the Holy Spirit. For Carlene, it means she’s stuck being the Lady’s wingman.

The final version of the book includes some of the sightings of Virgin Mary around the world. I was astounded at the number of them. I had heard of Fatima, but most of the rest were new to me.

Author Note: The appearance that freaked me out was in Egypt. She appeared from 1968 to 1971.  Millions witnessed it. The only place it was reported in America was the National Enquirer.

A bit about me

I’m a former yankee who’s made her home in North Carolina. I’ve moved around a bit, currently in the southern half of the state. Breast cancer survivor, cancer free for over 10 years.

I love dogs. My last one passed away three years ago. Broke my heart and I am still dogless. I do have a Dr. Jekyll|Mr. Hyde cat. Either she’s super sweet or I’m sleeping with one eye open. 

I’ve been in recovery for a long time now. Who would have thought? Certainly not me – I’d put vodka on corn flakes and my favorite drugs were free drugs. Sigh. Happily divorced and spiritually fit. 

Other books

“No New Messages” is the story of a 9/11 widow coming apart at the seams. She ends up in a small NC town near Wendell. With help from friends, a lost puppy, and a broken-down house, she finally comes to grips with her past.  Get the Book.

Our Lady of Variety is the first of a series of books on the Virgin Mary.  I’m hoping you like the characters enough to keep them around for a second book. Crueler times are coming… Get the Book.

My first novel is out of print. “Watching Vanessa” was picked up for mass market by St. Martin’s Press. I’m trying to get an eBook done.

My Grandmother’s Virgin Mary

Other Places to find Our Lady of Variety