Mj Pettengill


Mj Pettengill is an author and social historian focusing on cultural narrative, intergenerational studies, and the Feminine Perspective.
She covers a diverse range of topics including social justice, race, class, and gender roles while emphasizing the importance of analyzing and acknowledging cultural events that have been erased from public records and our collective memories.
She is a facilitator of creative writing, nature, and transformative arts workshops.
Before becoming a writer, she was a cornetist, performing Civil War Era music and presenting living history programs throughout the Northeast.
She lives on a small farm in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, where she is also a wildcraft practitioner, aligned with her passion for nature and exploring the ancient healing traditions, customs, and folklore of her ancestors.
She holds degrees in History, Psychology, and an MFA in Creative Writing.

Smashwords Interview

What is your writing process?
My writing process is complex in many ways, yet very simple. I am always open to ideas. I pay attention to my reactions to things. I allow my thoughts to percolate and come in and out of my dreams. I always have a notebook on hand, but usually end up scribbling on random pieces of paper and stuff them into my notebooks. I also keep notes on my computer, and I have a notebook by my bed. More than once, I have woken up scribbling in the dark when I solved a writing challenge. I do not settle immediately into an idea or storyline. I allow my flashes of inspiration to emerge and I know when the time is right to begin the writing process. I keep a timeline going, and I have very comprehensive character files going at all times. I add to them constantly, as my characters develop. I trust my instincts. When I force anything, I feel uncomfortable and sometimes a little panicky. I have learned to relax and accept that when the authentic plot or characters that must be heard are ready, they come to the forefront. I try to write first and edit later, but there is a good amount of revision as I go along. I am a late morning and into the afternoon writer. I ease into it. I am also very much into clearing my head through meditation and connecting with nature. I LIGHT MY WRITING CANDLE. If I take a break, I blow out the candle and relight it before starting up again. I have to listen to what I refer to as zoomy, ambient music. I also like to listen to Shamanic and Gregorian Chants, and Native American flute music. I tend to match music with what I am writing. I cannot listen to anything with words, or music that I know (as a musician), because I drift away from the words that I am writing and into the music. The music is for transporting and centering, not for listening and zoning in on. This question is comprehensive. Wow.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes. I wrote a story about my sister Susan. She was so excited to have a new pocketbook. She used to carry it around with her and make sure that the things inside made a jingling sound. She was often rooting around inside of it -- opening and closing it. I wrote a story about how happy her pocketbook made her. I believe I was about six years old. It is called, "Jingle Pingle." She still has a copy of it.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Mj Pettengill online

Where to buy in print


Etched in Granite ~ Historical Fiction Series ~ Book One
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 138,470. Language: English. Published: January 29, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Historical » USA, Fiction » Romance » Historical
Secrets of passion and forbidden love, betrayal, and survival are resurrected from anonymous graves in this harrowing account of life and death on a rural New England Poor Farm in 1872. After being sentenced to a life of shame, will the old Indian woman provide the wisdom and courage that Abigail needs to face Silas?

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