“My inspiration for writing is all the wonderful books that I read as a child and that I still read. I think that for those of us who write, when we find a wonderful book written by someone else, we don't really get jealous, we get inspired, and that's kind of the mark of what a good writer is.” – Patricia MacLachlan
Born in Wyoming on this date in 1938, MacLachlan grew up outside Cheyenne, then moved east to study at the University of Connecticut where she earned degrees in English and education. After a dozen years as a teacher, she began writing in the mid-1980s and won instant accolades and success with her debut novel Sarah, Plain and Tall.
The book not only catapulted her onto the national writing scene but also won the Newbery Medal. Eventually the novel was adapted into an award-winning Hallmark television movie starring Glenn Close. Since that book’s successes, she’s gone on to write two dozen more and a board member of the National Children’s Book and Literary Alliance.
Now making her home in Massachusetts, MacLachlan has also been a visiting lecturer and teacher of creative writing workshops. And she advocates for writers to remember their roots and write about the regions to which they are most aligned.
“I think it's important to remember where I began,” she said. “I know that when I talk to other writers, say, writers from the South or writers from abroad, it's where they begin as children that is important to them.”
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