Friday, September 12, 2008

Author Spotlight: Susan Patron

Susan Patron's initial career plan was "to be a struggling writer renting a maid's room in a Paris attic." 

Instead, after earning her BA in English Literature and her Master's in Library and Informational Sciences, she began a career as a children's librarian at the Los Angeles Public Library in 1972. Then in 1980, she accepted a position there as the Juvenile Materials Collection Development Manager. 

But, being a librarian was not Susan Patron's only ambition. She reviewed children's literature. She taught and lectured on children's literature. She served on boards and committees in the children's literature field. 

And she wrote. She loved being a librarian, but she wanted to be a writer, too. So she worked on writing children's books during weekends and over vacations. Her first book, Burgoo Stew, was published in 1991. She followed that with three more picture books, and then wrote a chapter book - Maybe Yes, Maybe No, Maybe Maybe - which won the 1993 Parent's Choice Award.

Then came The Higher Power of Lucky. It was published in 2006, and won the Newbery Medal in 2007. Says Mrs. Patron:

"I wrote The Higher Power of Lucky for the 10-year-old girl that lives inside me. That girl was curious about everything and sometimes went to great lengths to get information about the world and how it works."

Susan Patron was born in 1948 in San Gabriel, California. She grew up the middle of three sisters, in Hollywood, California. She now lives with her husband, Rene, in Los Angeles, and in a small cabin in the high desert of the Eastern Sierras - where she does most of her writing.


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