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As It Was: Ashland Author Writes and Illustrates Children’s Books


The author P.K. Hallinan stayed awake one night questioning what he wanted to do with his life.  Hallinan, who lives near the Siskiyou Pass in the mountains outside of Ashland, Ore., decided to be a novelist.  He said he wrote two terrible novels that he threw away.

His wife asked him to write a children’s book as a Christmas present.  After writing a tale about two boys who stumbled upon a Bigfoot-like jungle creature, the 22-year-old author wrote another about things kids take for granted.  A publisher accepted the second one but not Hallinan’s illustrations.

Inspired by Charles Schulz and Norman Rockwell, Hallinan taught himself how to draw and began illustrating his children’s books. Forty-five years later, Hallinan is still writing.  He has written and illustrated 90 books for children and sold more than 9 million copies.  Along the way he has taught several thousand people the steps for writing children's books, although few finish them.

An ordained minister and the pastor of the Joy Chapel Christian Fellowship in Ashland, the long-time area resident centers his books on the innocence in shared values.  And he has even written one for adults.

Sources: Aldous, Vickie. "Kids' book author writes first book for adults." Ashland (Ore.) Daily Tidings 17 Feb. 2012. Web. 19 Mar. 2014. http://www.dailytidings.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID%3D/20120217/NEWS02/202170303/-1/NEWSMAP; "Author Study." P.K. Hallinan. 2008. Web. 19 Mar. 2014. .

Dennis M. Powers was a business law attorney with various real estate and business ventures before teaching as a full professor and later professor emeritus at Southern Oregon University in Ashland. He is a graduate of the University of Colorado (b.a.), the University of Denver Law School (j.d.), and Harvard Business School (m.b.a.).