Susan Patron lives in Los Angeles, where she was Juvenile Materials Collection Development Manager for the Los Angeles Public Library, training many other children’s librarians (and amassing a detailed knowledge of children’s literature in the process) until her retirement in 2007. Prior to The Higher Power of Lucky, Patron published several children’s picture books. Her novel Maybe Yes, Maybe No, Maybe Maybe won the 1993 Parent’s Choice Award.
Patron’s inspiration for The Higher Power of Lucky came from several sources but most especially her vacations in Darwin, California; her husband, Rene, who is French-born like Lucky’s guardian; and her own mother’s death, which gave the book its emotional core. As for Lucky’s habit of listening in on conversations, Patron draws that from her own childhood, when she learned to love eavesdropping. She had wanted to write children’s books since a teacher read E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web to her class when Patron was just eight, and she started telling stories when she was in third grade. As for her knowledge of twelve-step groups, which feature prominently in Lucky, Patron has acknowledged that she smoked for 20 years and only quit with the help of Smokers Anonymous.
The Higher Power of Lucky won the Newbery Medal in 2007, and Patron is currently working on a sequel titled Lincoln’s Knot, due in 2009.