Author and Illustrator Bios

Co-author Patricia Branigan

Patricia Branigan Walker graduated with an art degree from CMU. She combined art and writing when she was featured during the 2016 Grand Rapids Art Prize Competition. Her installation highlighted the words of her children’s book; A Weed Grew In Our Garden, a picture book about waiting for and searching for beauty that is all around us. The story was brought to life by ten 3ft x 3ft shadow boxes. That’s over thirty feet of art!

Later in life, she dreamed of helping children as they faced the juvenile justice system and went back to school where she obtained a criminal justice degree and studied psychology. Patricia earned her addiction studies certificate. In her day job, she helps people who struggle with addiction. Through her job, she was drawn to a local Buddhist recovery program. She has combined her education in psychology, her mindfulness Buddhist practice, and her passion for writing children’s books.

As Patricia encouraged her three amazing children to follow their dreams, she became relentless in following her dreams of being a writer. She has the added bonus of working with her best friend who doesn’t seem to mind her calling every day to share the excitement of their current project. 

co-author Beth Buttery

Beth Buttery was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, in the ’70s. Beth considers her family to be most important to her and has spent several decades raising her four children. When her youngest daughter, Lainey, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, Beth learned to think like a pancreas.

Beth’s earliest memories of books were when her mom read Charlotte’s Web to her every night before bed. She never thought she would be an author, but she understood the power books held and loved getting lost in their pages. She feels privileged to have been able to join forces with her best friend and author, Patricia, to write their children’s chapter book series, Mixing Up Magic. The experience of seeing her ideas come to life on the pages of a book has been powerful. Beth desires to give hope to her daughter and to other families who receive the news of a type 1 diagnosis.

When Beth has free time, she likes to bake a batch of her famous chocolate chip cookies and watch her favorite sitcoms with her incredibly soft bunny, Bunjamin Button. 

illustrator Kathryn Carter

Kathryn Carter, an East Tennessee resident, is a freelance web and graphic designer as well as an illustrator. Having written two published novels herself, Carter is passionate about captivating stories with vivid messages and imagery. She began illustrating her own stories when she was old enough to hold a pencil and has since honed her craft and found unique styles appropriate for all kinds of literary journeys. Kathryn Carter lives with her husband and their two fur babies among mountainous views.

Jena Mei - Marketing

Jena Mei is a recent high school graduate. She now attends GRCC, pursuing her associate's degree in marketing. 

Jena's interest in social media began in her early days when she discovered videography and YouTube. To this day, she creates content for most ages, sharing her college life and kitten, Peanut. Jena is also an avid reader. Her earliest memory is reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. Now, she often has her nose in a book.