Welcome to Introduce Yourself, a new and exciting blog segment of The PBS Blog dedicated to introducing to you new and established authors and their books.
Today I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Patty Fletcher. Welcome to The PBS Blog! Let’s get started.
Go ahead and Introduce yourself. Tell us your name and where you’re from.
My name is Patty L. Fletcher, and I am from a town in Northeast Tennessee in the United States called Kingsport.
Nice to meet you Patty! What would your perfect reading/writing room look like?
It’s funny you should ask. I am currently redoing the home I live in. Even though it is a rental, I feel very much as if it were my forever home, and thanks to a special grant I have recently received due to being Multiply disabled, the owner and property manager have given me a free hand. My perfect reading/writing room is going to have soft comfortable furniture for lounging, so that when I have free time or I’m working on a book review for another author, I’ll have a relaxing place to sit and read. I am also going to put in a desk for writing which will have plenty of room for my computer, Bluetooth keyboard, and other writing implements. Of course, I’ll have a big dog bed because I have a big beautiful beast of a Labrador from The Seeing Eye and he will need a place to hang out while Mommy works. There are two wonderful windows in the room, and I’m going to put in new shades so that when the sun is shining and temperatures allow, they can be open wide to let in the light, and breezes that seem to always blow through. I’ll have a big rag rug on the floor and even a bean-bag chair. I’m excited to be designing this room, and cannot wait until my dog and I can hang out in there all the time.
Wow! I think it’s so cool that you get to design your perfect room now. Congratulations on the grant too! You’re winning Patty. What is the most annoying habit that you have?
I believe the most annoying habit I have is that I obsess about things. If I get something stuck in my head like a problem that has not been resolved, I cannot let it go until it is resolved in some way. This can affect my writing because if I have a passage of a book, or blog post that I’m working on and it doesn’t feel right to me I’ll work, and work on it until it does. Thus, leaving other tasks undone.
In your own words what is love?
Love is being able to give all of yourself to another, yet still retaining your individuality. It is knowing all there is to know about another and still being able to be with them no matter what. It is being able to dislike something they do, say, or are, and still being able to find room in your heart for them, and it should always be unconditional.
That’s beautiful Patty. I LOVE it. Favorite line: “Love is being able to give all of yourself to another, yet still retaining your individuality.“ You mentioned blogging, does blogging help you to write?
Yes, Blogging Helps me to write. When I discovered blogging I realized I had a way to connect with those who had read my first published book, Campbell’s Rambles: How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life, in a whole new way. Recently I was interviewed for a podcast, and they asked me about my blogging. I told them I called it “Reality Blogging” because I didn’t necessarily plan my writing. I just wrote what happened as it happened.” I write what I see and do. I write what I feel. I write what others do to me, for me, and with me, and how that works or doesn’t work in my life. I use it to publish excerpts of things I’m working on. Someone asked me why I do that, and I said, “Because I can get feedback from the ones who are going to buy my books, and find out what they like, or dislike about it. It is my way of sharing who and what I am. It has helped me to grow in all ways as a person, thus it has helped me grow as an author as well.
Indeed. So, Patty, what’s your favorite food?
Well, that’s hard. I suppose there are many reasons that I was matched with a Labrador for a guide, because just like a Lab I’ll just about eat anything that won’t eat me. I suppose if I had to name a food I really love it would be fried shrimp. I could eat my weight’s worth of the stuff. Just give me a big mountain of Fried shrimp and a large cup of dipping sauce, along with a large jug of Micro-Brew and watch me go!
Nooo. Not Shrimp! Lol. Who is your favorite writer?
My favorite writer of all time is Stephen King. Not only do I love to be scared silly, but I find his books, such as, The Dark Tower Series, 11/22/63, The Bill Hodges Trilogy, The Talisman, Black House, and Joy land, have helped me learn things about myself in ways that nothing I have ever read before has done. I love how he writes notes to his, “Constant Reader” and although his books aren’t Nonfiction, they touch on reality in a unique way.
I loved King’s On Writing. If you could shadow your favorite artist who would it be?
This answer is the same as above. ‘Laughing’ 😊 Stephen King. It is my Dream to meet him. Sit and talk with him, and have him read my book.
Lol Hee hee. OK. Now, as you may know The PBS Blog loves music. What kind of music do you like?
I love Classic Rock! From the 50’s 70’s and 80’s as well as heavy metal. I was a teenager in the 80’s and got really into the Big Hair Bands.
OK, I see you. Heavy Metal. Lil wild there huh Patty? Lol. When did you publish your first book? What was that like?
I Self-Published my first book in 2014. It was a thrill like nothing I’ve ever experienced, and probably will never experience again. It had always been a dream of mine to do so, and when I was finally able to accomplish it I was never so happy or proud. Oh! Yeah! I was terrified, because I wrote about my life, and the people in it, but I had to. The story was just too good to keep to myself.
Nice. I love it that I’m meeting all these memoir writers! Ya’ll are gonna have to give me a lesson or two. Patty, I sense you have a good heart. Who is your best friend?
My very best friend in the whole wide world is King Campbell Lee Fletcher Super Seeing Eye Dog A.K.A Bubba. He goes everywhere with me, doesn’t care that I’m thin or fat. It doesn’t bother him that I am blind, and he is ever happy. He can lift me out of the muck of depression like no other. He keeps all my secrets, and listens no matter what I have to say, and he answers all my questions and never cares how many I ask. He is always there for me, and you remember how I said love should always be unconditional? Well, he’s got that down pat! There won’t ever be a friend like him in my world again after he’s gone. Even though I’m sure I’ll have more guides, he’s absolutely the best friend ever ever ever in my life.
Patty, I understand that you’re blind. Can you share with us some insight into how that impacts your writing? What is it like being a blind writer? What makes it special?
I guess I don’t think of it much. The most challenging thing I think for me as a Blind Writer are the different methods of Technology, and how compatible they’re going to be with my Operating System, and Screen Reader, or Iphone Voice-Over.
What makes it Special? Well, the telling a story in such a way so that the Sighted Reader gets a glimpse into the World of a Blind Person. I have been Complimented many times in Topic Specific Social Media Groups that unless a Specific Topic came up, most did not know, or if they did, had forgotten that I was Blind. This means I’m functioning as “Anyone else would.”
I simply love to write. I want everyone to feel as I feel, Hear as I hear, and experience with all my senses, and how they work.
A Reader came to me one day and taking my hand said, “I read your book! I loved it! I cried, laughed, got angry, and scared, all in the same moment.” I laughed, squeezing her hand and said, “Of course! A Bipolar wrote it” Turns out for her, my Blindness wasn’t the Amazing part, and if that is so, I really did my job! 😊
Ms. Fletcher paints a vivid picture of her experience in training for a guide dog under difficult personal circumstances. A must read for those contemplating the move from a cane to a guide dog, as well as those interested in the physical and mental obstacles faced by the blind. – Amazon Customer Review
That’s amazing. I hope you’re listening writers! Patty is blind and still writes books. You, my writer friends, have no excuse. 🙂 ….Patty, what do you think of the world we live in?
Right now, the world we live in, in my opinion needs a big kick in the ass. There is too much hate. Too much negativity, and entirely too much judgmental behavior going on. We need more love. More peace, and more acceptance, but as a whole, I know there are still lots of great people places, and things left and I want to find each and every one of them. Draw all them out, and help make the rest of the world a better, and brighter place to live.
Lol! I know that’s right *pumps fist* What is the most thought provoking book you ever read?
The most thought provoking book I’ve ever read has thus far been Wolves of the Calla Book Five of The Dark Tower Series. It helped me to define allot of fears I have wrestled with for many years in my life, and I was able to begin to address them, and overcome them after having read it.
Why is writing important to you?
Writing is important to me because it allows me to express my whole self. If I’m writing SF (Which I’m finally getting the nerve to do) I can allow myself to come out in my characters in ways I haven’t yet been able to do. If I’m writing about something that hurts me I can express it fully because if I’m writing about it, rather than speaking directly to another I can say all I have to say without being interrupted, scolded or made to feel small. It allows another to read my thoughts, digest them and then react. Some call this being non-confrontational. I don’t know? Maybe it is, but for me it is the best thing on earth.
Patty, it was truly a pleasure. Thank you for spending time with us!
Patty L. Fletcher lives in Kingsport, TN, where she is a nonprofit consultant, the creator of The Neighborhood News, and writes full time.
Her autobiographical book is Campbell’s Rambles: How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life (C 2014). There, she tells how she obtained her first guide dog from The Seeing Eye® in Morristown, NJ: what motivated her, the extensive training she had, and the good friends she made.
For more details about her and her book, including where to purchase the book in e-book or print format go to: www.dvorkin.com/pattyfletcher/
To see her blog and newly updated website go to http://campbellsworld.wordpress.com/