Long-held dream of becoming a published author comes true for Katrina Patterson


Day by day, Katrina Patterson cheerfully goes about her duties as BSW Student Services Secretary and Recorder at the Indiana University School of Social Work where she has worked more than 20 years.

She is an expert at helping students capture their dream of becoming social workers. What no one knew is Patterson has a dream of her own.

For nearly 30 years her dream could be found in a drawer at her home.

In 1985, while still in high school, Patterson completed an English assignment on fiction by writing a children’s book. She kept her manuscript and put it in a drawer knowing that one day she wanted to do something more with it. Patterson loved art of all kinds, but liked writing and wanted to be a published author.

She got busy, got married and had a daughter and then had twins. Sure, she took it out and read it to her daughter and later to her twins. Patterson even talked to her brother-in-law about illustrating the book but nothing came of it. 

As a kid growing up in Gary, Patterson had a vivid imagination. She recalled riding past a creek and would always think about being in a boat and she would come up with all types of stories about what she would do in the boat and what she would find. All this from a “dirty little stream of water,” Patterson recalled. “I always tell people I live in ‘Trina’s world,’ ” Patterson said laughing.

Last year though Patterson’s dream took flight. After a colleague at the School of Social Work came out with a children’s book about making right and wrong decisions, Patterson mentioned she had written a book, too. “I explained I had it for years and wrote it when I was in high school. I kind of laughed it off.” Her friend, Dr. Carolyn Gentle-Genitty, asked to see it.

Dr. Gentle-Genitty made a few changes and talked about Patterson could illustrate the book. When Patterson mentioned she could also draw, they agreed on a deadline to complete the drawings. What’s more, as Dr. Gentle-Genitty had just completed publishing her book, she had the answer to Patterson’s most basic question: how to get it into print.

Earlier this year, Ralph’s Journey to “Babyland: A place for the night” was published and is now available on Amazon. The book tells the story of Ralph, a 10-year-old boy who is playing with his dog Sonic and loses track of time. Before he knows it, Ralph is lost and then walks through a cloud. What happens next is Ralph’s amazing discovery of a world of babies and the casual free, candy filled lives they live.

Patterson already has a second book in mind about one of her children who was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder and the struggles he is having being a twin but being the only one with ADD. When she recently asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up, Patterson thought he might say a zookeeper because he had mentioned that once before. This time though, he paused and thought about it before saying, “I think I’ll just be me.” His answer provided the title for her upcoming book.

Rob Schneider