Tinnin to sign new book at The Crown next week

By BRYAN DAVIS PUBLISHER,

Marilyn Tinnin grew up watching her mother, Marie Hemphill, scramble to write and meet deadlines her entire childhood.

When it came time to leave Indianola for college, she knew she did not want to lead the life of the journalist, but that doesn’t mean she did not have a passion for writing.

Just last year, Tinnin sold her popular Jackson-based magazine, Mississippi Christian Living, and retired.

Next Thursday, she will make a homecoming to hold a signing for her new book, Mae Mae’s Grandmother Book: Life Lessons For Our Grandchildren (Big People Too) at The Crown in Indianola.

The event will take place from 11-1.

“I’ve never felt so driven to do anything in my life as I did wanting to do this book,” Tinnin told The E-T this week.

For years, Tinnin’s creative side was largely a secret. She kept journals, but she did not publish anything.

That was until her daughter went off to college in 2002.

“When my daughter went to college, I really was very depressed and felt like ‘What’s my purpose now’ because I didn’t have any children at home,” Tinnin said.

Working jobs in both a dentist office and for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Tinning was around influential people in the Jackson area everyday.

She began to explore the notion of writing for a magazine, but when she visited a publication conference in Birmingham that year, a Christian magazine caught her eye.

“I said, ‘I really think I can do this,’” she said. “There was nothing like this in the Jackson area at the time.”

When she returned to Jackson, she began to contact some of those business people she had gotten to know through her work, and the doors just kept opening.

“They all were there,” she said. “I wouldn’t have known them if I hadn’t had those crazy jobs.”

For 16 years, Tinnin published Mississippi Christian Living, before selling the publication in 2018.

Today, her passion is trying to reach the youth, particularly her own grandchildren, who have become more exposed to secularism through popular culture, she said.

“I’m concerned about the demise of our culture,” Tinnin said. “I care deeply about my grandchildren’s hearts. I want their hearts to be in the right place.”

In the Grandmother Book, Tinnin draws from the life lessons she learned growing up in Indianola.

“There’s a lot in there about my upbringing in my sheltered world, about little Indianola in the 1950s and 60s,” Tinnin said. “It was a great place to grow up. I was surrounded by people who had the same values. I don’t mean that we were all homogenous or something, but everybody valued the same things.”

Tinnin said she hopes her stories will help parents today pass on a positive message to their kids, who she says are constantly inundated with negativity through the celebrity culture.

Tinnin has two 14-year-old granddaughters, she says will read the book and hopefully will use her stories and life lessons to guide their hearts as they enter high school.

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