Meet Patricia

Patricia Charpentier Headshot 300 DPIPatricia Charpentier, author of the multi-award winning book, Eating an Elephant: Write Your Life One Bite at a Time, turned loss into passion when she embarked on a journey to help people give those they love the gift of a lifetime.

She grew up in South Louisiana surrounded by extended family but had no desire to understand the history and culture into which she was born. By the time she became interested, all those who held the answers to her questions were gone.

Through ghostwriting memoirs on behalf of others, as well as co-authoring, editing, teaching, speaking, and publishing Patricia has motivated and guided hundreds in leaving written legacies for their families.

Mark & Patricia fixed withLipstick
Patricia and FAPA President, Mark Wayne Adams

She is a recent recipient of the Founders Award by the Florida Authors and Publishers Association (FAPA) for achievement and service to the organization and community through Writing Your Life. In presenting the award, FAPA President Mark Wayne Adams said, “Our recommendation of Patricia Charpentier was based on her dedication to starting a publishing business to help others share their life stories. She has not only grown within the organization but has also encouraged new members to pursue successful writing and publishing careers.”

Patricia served as artist in residence at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Orlando through a grant in cooperation with the United Arts Council of Central Florida.

Owner of Writing Your Life, a company devoted to personal and family history writing, Patricia offers ongoing workshops and classes, including prograEating_an_Elephant_Front_Cover_300_DPIms that utilize videos, group and one-on-one coaching, and is a popular speaker and seminar leader throughout Florida and South Louisiana. She’s published three other booklets related to life story writing, and her work has been anthologized numerous times. Her byline has also appeared in a variety of periodicals.

Patricia Charpentier holds an M.A. in creative writing from the University of Central Florida and a B.A. in journalism from Louisiana State University and has worked as a memoirist, writing coach, editor, writing instructor, journalist and photographer. She also had a twenty-eight-year career in mortgage banking information technology. Originally from South Louisiana, Patricia now lives in Orlando, Florida with her husband Bob. She loves to dance for exercise but is grateful that the motto of the studio is: There are no mistakes, only solos.

To find out more about Patricia Charpentier and Eating an Elephant: Write Your Life One Bite at a Time, contact the author directly by email at or phone at 321.279.1791.APHLogo

Speaking Out:

Patricia encourages and inspires hundreds of people each year to write their personal and family histories. She offers fun, lively workshops and presentations that give people the tools needed to write those all-important stories before it is too late. To request information about having Patricia visit your group, click here

A sampling of Patricia’s presentations and workshops:

  • Get Started Writing Your Life Story
  • Bring Your Ancestors to Life or Raising the Dead
  • Spiritual Memoir
  • Your Life Story in Photographs
  • How to Write a Story
  • Electronic Editing
  • Don’t Force Your Descendants to Research You
  • Writing a Journey Story
  • Your Life in Lists
  • So You’ve Finished Writing—Now What?
  • Map Your Story
  • Characters of Your Life
  • Many Approaches to Write Your Family’s History
  • Self-Publishing Your Life Story
  • Reading Like a Writer
  • Journal Writing
  • Make Your Story Shine
  • Variety of topics on the craft of writing, including editing, detail and description, strong sentences, setting, dialogue, scenes, transitions, pre-writing, titles, plot/tension/suspense and many more

Some of the groups Patricia has addressed:

  • Association of Personal Historians
  • Rollins College Lifelong Learning
  • Florida Authors and Publishers Association
  • Stetson University Lifelong Learning
  • Florida State Genealogical Society Conference
  • Florida Writers Association State Conference
  • Florida Writers Association Mini-Conferences
  • Business of Writing International Summit
  • University of Central Florida LIFE
  • North Florida Genealogy Conference
  • University of Central Florida Public History Center
  • The Villages Genealogical Society    
  • Amelia Island Book Festival
  • ArtsFest by United Arts of Central Florida
  • Orange County, Winter Park, Iberia Parish, and St. Mary Parish Libraries
  • M.D. Anderson Cancer Center (artist in residence)
  • Genealogy groups in Jacksonville, Boca Raton, Dade City, Daytona, South Brevard, Orlando, Palm Coast, Largo, Amelia Island, and elsewhere
  • Florida Writers Association chapters in Orlando, Maitland, Longwood and elsewhere
  • Winter Park Junior League
  • Pine Castle Women’s Club
  • Orlando Lutheran Towers
  • Media on Main Bookstore, Sarasota, Florida
  • Roth Jewish Community Center
  • Many churches and organizations









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