Your Instructor

Patricia-Charpentier-Headshot-300-DPIPatricia Charpentier, author of the 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 and speaking, Patricia has motivated and guided hundreds in leaving written legacies for their families.

Patricia currently serves as artist in residence at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Orlando through a grant from Lance Armstrong’s LiveSTRONG Foundation 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 online classes, 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 in the Florida Writers Association’s third collection, Let’s Talk. 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.

Eating_an_Elephant_Front_Cover_300_DPITo 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.

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
  • Spiritual Memoir
  • Your Life Story in Photographs
  • How to Write a Story
  • Don’t Force Your Descendants to Research You
  • Writing a Journey Story
  • Your Life in Lists
  • So You’ve Finished Writing—Now What?
  • Mapping Your Story
  • The 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:APHLogo

  • Florida State Genealogical Society Conference
  • Florida Writers Association State Conference
  • Florida Writers Association Mini-Conference
  • ArtsFest by United Arts of Central Florida
  • University of Central Florida L.I.F.E.
  • Orange County, Winter Park, Iberia Parish and St. Mary Parish Libraries
  • M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
  • Genealogy groups in Jacksonville, Boca Raton, Dade City, Daytona, South Brevard, Orlando 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

Pardon our website dust while we create a better online experience for this program. We’ll be upgrading and making this site better and better throughout the whole course.

In the meantime, click on the Logistics tab at the top of the page, and it’ll help you get started. Pay special attention to the website tutorial–there is a video posted that explains how to use this website, and what to expect in the coming weeks.

Thanks for joining us, and happy writing!

6 Responses to Your Instructor

  1. Jo Ann Toner
    Jo Ann Toner May 8, 2020 at 9:55 am #

    Hi Pat,

    I am hearing impaired and am having difficulty with the video portions of this class.  There are no auto-subtitles for the video and I am only catching maybe every fifth, sith word that you are saying.  Is there any possibility that you could insert captioning?

    JoAnn Toner