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Blog: This Writing Life


  • Writer's pictureMelissa Stoller

3 Question Interview - PATRICIA SAUNDERS

I'm so happy to feature my good friend, author/illustrator Patricia Saunders. I first met Patricia at an SCBWI conference in Texas a few years ago! Her stories and illustrations are wonderful and I loved learning about the inspiration behind the books. Three cheers for Patricia's new picture book, IT'S A MUFFULETTA! IT'S A WHATA? Stay tuned for Patricia's thoughts about stories . . . creativity . . . and connection. Welcome, Patricia!

STORIES – Discuss the inspiration for your ideas and stories, and share the process about your latest projects.

My second picture book, It’s a Muffuletta! It’s a Whata?, was inspired by way of a visit to a spice shop in Galveston, Texas. They also offered the Muffuletta Sandwich which my husband and I shared. They are huge and we actually split a half in half. We sat at a stainless steel counter top and enjoyed talking with the owner. He said the sandwich was first created in New Orleans. Before we left, I had thoughts of a book and I couldn’t wait to begin research.

Inspiration for Mother Teresa: The Little Pencil In God’s Hand, came forth as I learned about her interesting childhood. Knowing that one’s childhood develops their adulthood, I knew I had to tell her story. Not many know about her time as a youth or her struggles. To acquire truth, I ended up contacting the Mother Teresa Center in Rome to further my research. And so the years went by and finally I had the book completed.

My next book is, Wesley Rose and . . . It’s an early reader chapter book series and my inspiration is mostly from myself. Oh dear, and that’s all I’m gonna say!

CREATIVITY -- How do you showcase your creative side through writing/illustrating and other pursuits?

The arts, always my beginning. I’ve been painting, drawing, dancing, and singing since I can remember. That’s what I am attracted to. I find the writing of stories completes a circle for my creativity. I never suspected I’d be an illustrator along with being a writer, but I have to say, it’s the best to spend my time doing these things that I love.

CONNECTION -- How do you connect to your young readers through your writing/illustrating, and how do you stay connected to the KidLit community?

Even though I am a retired art teacher, I still teach a summer program. It’s a total blast because there are no grades and because the students want to be there. I’m very involved with the classes and never surprised at how creative these kids can be, if left alone. I’m a member of SCBWI and I attend their conferences. The illustrator’s group in North Texas meets monthly and we go over any art that one may want to show. I’m in two critique groups . . . everybody is meeting on zoom. . . what a great blessings it is! And, I participate in several smaller groups on Facebook. We need each other and especially now, just getting to visit and share on-line is a real treat!


As a child, Patricia loved traveling and meeting people from all over the world. When she was growing up, most people did not ride on airplanes or go to many faraway places. In fact, when she was born in Alaska, it was not even a state. She was in 6th grade when she realized the opportunities she had been given. Inside the world history textbook, was a photo of the Inca ruins in South America. She clearly remembered thinking how she had stood on that ground. From that day on, she appreciated moving ‘almost’ every year and making new friends. She’s always been into drawing and painting. Teaching art to the younger grades, allowed her to notice the illustrations in picture books. Now she loves adding words to her pictures. Somehow, it has come full circle and she feels blessed.


Book Trailers: It’s a Muffuletta! It’s a Whata?

Mother Teresa: The Little Pencil In God’s Hand


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