‘The Withering,’ released through an independent faith-based publisher hits shelves on July 26

TEMPLETON — Local author, husband, and father Patrick Patton, who writes under the pen name P.S. Patton, fell in love with literature in his youth. He not only read but also illustrated and wrote his own superhero comics while also delving into classic novels by authors such as John Steinbeck, Charles Dickens, and Herman Melville. On Tuesday, July 26, his debut young adult novel, “The Withering,” will hit shelves. 

Though Patton started dabbling with writing “The Withering” in 2009, it wasn’t until the COVID-19 pandemic hit that he realized what he’d been working on could be a novel. After a false start querying agents with his first draft and reworking his entire book, Patton joined a Twitter pitch party called #FaithPitch in 2020. Three publishers showed interest in his young adult manuscript based on his tweet-sized pitch, and in the end, he signed with independent Christian publisher Ambassador International.

“I didn’t really intend for this to be a Christian book, but that’s just part of my life,” Patton said. “That’s who I am, and you write what you know.”

“The Withering” is the story of three teenagers dealing with the end of their world, Noloro, and what happens when a sardonic traveling magician offers them a way out. Though the book has science fiction and fantasy elements, at its heart, it centers around family, faith, and courage.

“It deals heavily with themes of flesh vs. spirit, natural life vs. eternal life, and physical death vs. spiritual death,” Patton said. “It is pretty Christ-centered. He’s at the core.” 

Patton went on to say that he set out to tell a good story and that he included his faith in the narrative but didn’t want it to come across as preachy. 

“I tried to write a story that was entertaining and could be appreciated by anybody of any faith,” he added.

He also stated that he doesn’t always write faith-based books and has several more projects in the works, from epic fantasies to humorous Young Adult stories.

“I started this story that’s coming out, ‘The Withering,’ in 2009,” Patton said. “It’s funny because the stuff I’m working on now is so very different than this story.” 

You can preorder “The Withering” on Amazon or Barnes & Noble and follow Patton’s writing journey on his website.

Ten percent of all proceeds from “The Withering” will go to the local organization Loaves and Fishes, a ministry of churches working together and with businesses to help feed local families in need.