Katherine Pendergast never imagined she’d become an author.

In fact, growing up she never really enjoyed reading and writing. It wasn’t until the things that sparked her soul collided and she discovered the gift of writing, which she knew she had to share with the world.

Katherine, who lives in Bismack with her soon-to-be 6-year-old son and two dogs, spends her time creating soft-soled baby shoes, bibs and car seat covers for her online boutique, Kat’s Socks. She and her son along with their certified pet therapy dog, Carmela, are also avid volunteers within the community.

“I discovered my love for books when I started reading about training dogs,” Katherine said. “After that, I was hooked and read anything I could get my hands on. When I had my son is when I fell in love with children's books.”

Reading became a special time for Katherine and her son, and as their love of books grew, Katherine reflected on a special story about a dog named Pickles.

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“It was 2011 in Minot, North Dakota, and the city was experiencing dangerous flooding. Pickles was found and brought to a local animal shelter,” she said.

While many families welcomed Pickles into their home, she had a hard time adjusting and shortly after her adopters returned her to the shelter. Another animal shelter agreed to take her and eventually she found her forever home with one of Katherine’s family members.

That’s when the idea for Katherine’s first book,“Pickles the Dog, Adopted in North Dakota,” was born.

“All animals deserve a loving home and I wanted children to be aware of that too — that pet adoption is a great way to find some of the best furry family members,” Katherine said. “After reading so many children’s books with my son, it sounded fun to write my own and share Pickles’s story.”

Since its release in 2018 the book has won several national awards. Katherine has also published a few other Pickles books since then, including “Pickles the Dog, A Christmas Tradition,” and “Pickles the Dog Goes to School.” But perhaps her most exciting accomplishment has come with her co-authoring ventures.

“Sometimes my son and I make up stories before bed and I'm always impressed by his creativity,” she said. “He asked me if he could write a book just like me, so we actually did! We wrote about his favorite dinosaur, and it will be released soon. It was so much fun, and I can't wait for him to hold the first printed copy!”

“Spinosaurus, Bigger than T. Rex,” will be released soon and is a testament that when you follow your heart, you inspire others to do that same.

Here’s a little more on her and her experience:

I chose Kat Socks as my pen name because...

the name of my baby boutique is Kat's Socks. My name is Katherine (Kat), and I made baby shoes or socks, so that’s where the name Kat’s Socks started. Katherine is a hard name for young kids to say, and most people knew me as the Kat's Socks lady, so the pen name was born by dropping the apostrophes in the name of the boutique. A lady named Kat who writes about a dog!

The most challenging thing I faced when publishing my first book was...

navigating the world of publishing, which was new to me. Because of my experience, I now help others and even have a course on writing and publishing I made with a fellow author.

With my first book I really wanted to...

help inspire young girls to do anything they want so I made the main character a girl who comes up with a solution all on her own. I also hope that readers might learn a little bit about the training technique she enforces in the book.

"Pickles the Dog" was inspired by a true story of a dog that survived the Minot flood and was adopted by a family. Special to On the Minds of Moms
"Pickles the Dog" was inspired by a true story of a dog that survived the Minot flood and was adopted by a family. Special to On the Minds of Moms

The most important thing I’ve learned is...

don't give up. Know what gives you strength and turn to that when you need it.

My advice to aspiring authors is...

be clear about your dream and go for it! A mentor of mine once told me, you never know what you can do until you try!

What inspires me is…

my son, for sure.

What do you enjoy doing together?

We, of course, love reading. We also love hiking in the Badlands and riding our motorcycles and dirt bikes.

What I love about owning my own business is...

meeting so many incredible people. I love doing book signing events, school visits and speaking to groups on various topics.

Author and mom Katherine Pendergast was inspired to write a children's book after she discovered how much she loved reading books on how to train a dog. Special to On the Minds of Moms
Author and mom Katherine Pendergast was inspired to write a children's book after she discovered how much she loved reading books on how to train a dog. Special to On the Minds of Moms

A few of my favorite books are…

“A Dog’s Purpose” by W. Bruce Cameron, whom I actually got to meet in person, which was a cool experience. I also enjoyed reading “The Five Love Languages of Children” by Gary Chapman, “Remembering Who We Really are Through the Nurtured Heart Approach” by Howerd Glasser with Melissa Lynn Lownstein, and anything by Cesar Milan.

I look forward to...

continuing to write with children's books and seeing my son release his first book. I also plan to someday write in other genres, but that will be down the road.