Two-time author has ties to Guttenberg

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Katrina Zearley, two-time author and pharmacy student, recently read her children's book to audience members at the Guttenberg Public Library. (Press photo by Caroline Rosacker)

By Caroline Rosacker

On July 29 two-time author Katrina Zearley, of Tucson, Ariz., read her children's book, I Think When I Am Older I Might Be a Pharmacist! to audience members at The Guttenberg Public Library.

The 22-year-old student and author is the daughter of Chris and Margi Zearley. "My father, Chris Zearley, was born and raised in Guttenberg, and I have visited during the summertime as I grew up," she commented. 

Zearley graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences with a minor in Spanish from the University of Arizona - Tucson. This fall, she will begin the professional pharmacy school graduate program. "The pharmacy program lasts four years," explained Zearley, "After that I will take the national pharmacist exam in order to become a practicing pharmacist, in some aspect of pharmacy – specifically I haven't yet decided."

Zearley was inspired to write her first book Opioids, Opiates, and Overdose: A Quick Guide to Opioids, the History, and the Epidemic after one of her favorite professors encouraged a select group of students at the beginning of one of her writing classes. "My professor specifically said she hadn't seen anyone write a drug guide on opioids, and I simply took that as a challenging goal, to impress both her and myself," She told The Press. "After a year's worth of research and editing I published my opioid book and decided it was much more difficult than I thought. But I wanted to do it again and maybe try my hand at a different genre," 

The young author decided to write and illustrate a children's book. "I had asked for a friend’s opinion because I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to write poetry or a children’s book," said Zearley. "My friend questioned, 'Why not both?' And thus began my challenge of both writing and illustrating my most recent publication."

Zearley choose the subject matter because it was within her field and range of knowledge. "I find it easy for me to educate others and share my wisdom, knowledge, and talent through these works I was able to curate on my own," she proudly shared.  

The pharmacy student hopes her books bring understanding, a learning experience, and highlight the importance of pharmacology to people of all ages."There are few children’s books about pharmacy if any, but what makes me stand apart from them is the fact that I wrote and illustrated my book, which demonstrates my multitude and range of talents and skills," she noted. "Pharmacists have to be knowledgeable and well-rounded, and I take these aspects with great regard in my own life!"

Both books took a considerable amount of time and research. "The opioid book had a lot more research and includes about three or more pages of sources at the end. I would say that it took about a year, with extensive periods of hard work and researching," Zearley commented. "The children’s book was a little longer in terms of creation time, but less research as the majority of what I presented were things I knew based on experience and my own learning as I become a pharmacist myself. The children’s book, though, in addition to the illustrating, took about a year and a half."

Zearley self-published her books through Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). She is also featured in one more publication titled Controversies in Pharmacology: Volume III. "I know I have the inspiration and potential for future publications, but only the future will tell what I may do with it!" she concluded. 

In her spare time, the ambitious college student enjoys listening to music, spending time with friends and loved ones, shopping, and finding pleasure in the little things.

Zearley's books can be purchased through

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