Patti Benning has lived in Marquette Michigan for what seems like forever, and she absolutely wouldn’t trade it for the world. Benning has a loving and supportive hubby, and furry friends Sadie and Rags, who seem to be constantly underfoot, which is just fine with her. Benning was the editor of her high school newspaper and has written short stories, just for fun, ever since she can remember. When Benning’s not tapping out Cozies on her faithful, and still running, laptop, she loves working in her vegetable garden and cooking, of course. Readers often ask Benning for recipes, but unfortunately, she is one of those gals who just puts in a sprinkle of this, and a dash of that, tasting as she goes. Benning has made every dish that is described in the Darling Deli series, with varying degrees of success, and fortunately, her hubs is very patient with her cooking adventures.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned about writing?
To take creative criticism to heart and learn from it. Being a writer means having so many people read your writing in all of its various stages – if I’m too sensitive, I might miss out on a learning experience, so I try to take comments in stride.
How has this helped you as a writer?
Well, it certainly keeps me humble. I get so excited when readers really love my story, but I learn a ton from the ones who don’t, as well as through the editing and proofreading process. When a manuscript gets bounced back to me for a revision, I don’t take it personally, I just try really hard to make it better the next time. No matter how much I write, I am still learning and evolving as a writer every day.
Mac or PC?
Definitely. I have just now joined in on the 21st century and created my very first Author Facebook Page! I’m pretty shy about using new technology.
Do you use Word or Scrivener?
I use Word and have never tried Scrivener. Word is just so user-friendly and that is just what I need.
Do you write or take notes with an iPad or tablet?
I use good old fashioned pen and paper when I take notes. I have a notebook right next to me at all times and am always writing something down to help me stay organized. I even keep one in my handbag for when I am on the go and get a crazy idea and need to jot it down.
Do you have any writing rituals?
I like to write when I first wake up in the morning. I feel like I am at my best at about 5am. I make myself a cup of tea and head over to my desk in the den that overlooks the back yard and get right down to it. I generally get several hours in every morning.
Do you start by writing or researching first?
I don’t do a huge amount of research, but when I’m working on a new book, I do like to get an outline going that I TRY to follow. I spend some time checking out new recipes though, and that’s always a ton of fun!
Favorite spot to write in the winter?
My den, except instead of sitting at my desk, I curl up in my lounge chair and grab my laptop and work from there. There’s just something about being warm and cozy that helps get the creative juices flowing.
Favorite spot to write in the summer?
Out by the pool, for sure. Usually around mid-May we get it opened up for the year and I just love sitting out on my little patio with a cold glass of lemonade and a snack, feeling the sun shine down.
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Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco