Pat Schmatz

©Barrie Brewer,

Pat Schmatz has lived in the Wisconsin woods of her childhood after years in Michigan, northern California, and Minneapolis. She’s worked everywhere from a green bean canning factory to UC Berkeley campus. . . she’s been a fitness consultant, legal secretary, stable hand, librarian, and forklift driver, all while continuing a lifelong quest for story in any form.


What was your favorite book when you were a child?

The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton

What’s your favorite line from a book?

"You can’t pray a lie."
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?

What a hard question!  As a child, they were Laura Ingalls Wilder, Mark Twain, and Jim Kjelgaard. As an adult, my favorite children’s authors are E. L. Konigsburg, Markus Zusak, and Kate DiCamillo. My top three adult authors are Stephen King, Ann Patchett, and Charles Dickens.

Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?

Since early childhood I’ve been surrounded by books and they’ve been my joy, my escape, my inspiration, and my emotional teachers. I’ve always wanted to be a part of that magic.

Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?

The joy is in the creation—do the work, love the work, and believe in the power of story.