Bio

Patti Sherlock's books, three novels for young people and three adult nonfiction books, have garnered awards and recognitions.


    A Dog for All Seasons, St.Martin's Press, April, 2010, about the author's brilliant and steadfast companion, Duncan, a Border collie.

    Letters from Wolfie, Penguin-Putnam, 2004, about a 13-year-old boy who volunteers his dog to be a scout dog during the Vietnam war. Junior Library Guild selection. Selected for "Solano Kids Read," 2008; selected for "One City-One Book," by Westminster, CO, 2005; nominated for the Rebecca Caudill Award (Illinois) 2009; won the Merial Human-Animal Bond Award from the Dog Writers Association of America; nominated for the Children's Welfare Prize by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, and the Waseda University Journalism Prize (Japan); nominated for the California Young Reader's Medal, Maine Student Book Award, Rhode Island Young Reader's Choice; was a Lone Star Commended Young Adult Book and was among Pennsylvania's Top Forty Best Books.

    Taking Back Our Lives, Acta Publications, 2003, Meditation book. Catholic Press Association Pastoral Ministry Award, fourth place.

    Some Fine Dog, Holiday House, 1993, about a town kid whose Border collie wants to be a herd dog. Junior Library Guild selection; Young Reader's Choice nominee in South Carolina, Oklahoma and Florida.

    Four of a Kind, Holiday House, 1992. Runner-up, Spur Award, Western Writers of America; International Reading Council Selection.
Other works include these:

    "Mother George, Midwife," short story in American West, Random House, June 2001.
    Alone on the Mountain, Doubleday. Chronicled the life of western sheepherders.
    Beautiful Bonneville, co-edited country centennial book.

Patti Sherlock

by D.L. Birchfield, for Roundup Magazine

Patti Sherlock was pulling her horse trailer loaded with two horses when she first saw the Yellowstone backcountry of eastern Idaho. It was a moment she would never forget.

Winding down out of the mountains, with the Grand Tetons in the rear view mirror and the South Fork of the Snake River glistening in the setting in the setting sun, she was overwhelmed with joy that this was going to be her new home. "I'm going to live here!" she remembers shouting out the window to the countryside.

It was a far cry from the Midwest where her career as a newspaper reporter had taken her.
A native of Golden, Colorado, she had missed the mountains so much she had broken down in tears in confiding her homesickness to a minister, who had wrung his hands while searching for something consoling to say, finally telling her, "mountain flowers don't transplant well."


She would never let herself get transplanted again. Sinking new roots quickly, she and her husband started a sheep ranch near Idaho Falls that would eventually take national prizes for Polypay sheep, a breed developed in Idaho. For her first book, Alone on the Mountain , she traveled through the mountains conducting interviews to chronicle the lives of modern day shepherds, typing the manuscript with her twin baby boys clinging to her skirts. Now, many books later, those boys are completing their doctorates, one in physics at Berkeley, and one in law at the University of Texas.

While her children were growing up, Patti became one of the best known writers in eastern Idaho, writing regular columns in magazines and newspapers throughout the region, while her young adult novels won awards and reached audiences throughout the nation. Her knowledge of local history runs deep. For the Idaho bicentennial celebration, she co-authored a thick, heavily illustrated volume on the history of Bonneville County. From that research, her fictionalized tale based on one of eastern Idaho's most intriguing 19th Century characters, Madame George, Midwife, appeared in the Western Writers of America's (WWA) short story anthology, 2000.

Her books have been inspired by her surroundings. Four of a Kind sprang from watching the draft horse pulling competition at the Eastern Idaho State Fair, where she has also served as a judge in baking competitions. Some Fine Dog is a wonderful tribute to sheep dogs, based on the family's amazing sheep dog, Duncan. Though Duncan is now retired and living the life of an aging, dignified monarch, Patti still receives mail from children all over the country wanting to know more about Duncan and how he is doing these days.

Patti has taught creative writing for many years at Eastern Idaho Technical College, and is on the faculty of the Jackson Hole Writer's Conference. A member of Toastmaster's International, she writes and performs the television and radio spots for the local food bank and is a frequent speakers for local civic organizations. A dedicated ballet student, she recently won a part in the City of Idaho Falls Christmas presentation of the Nutcracker, along with her teenage daughter. She won the bid for WWA convention to be held in Idaho Falls.

Few people know eastern Idaho as well as Patti. Her magazine and newspaper assignments have taken her to just about every nook and cranny within the region. She's a great resource for the people of eastern Idaho, and a great resource for WWA.

D.L. Birchfield is the Roundup Magazine copy editor.
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