Spotlight on…Liz Koehler-Pentacoff

By Katie Sheehan

Koehler Author Photo“Where’s the Bubbler?” asked Liz Koehler-Pentacoff as she stepped off of the airplane for the first time in California. The airport employee pointed her in the direction of the restroom.

“No,” she reiterated, “the BUBBLER!”

The poor employee then mentioned that there was a fountain in front of the airport and Liz said again, “You know…the thing you drink from?”

“Oh…you mean the drinking fountain!” said the confused employee.

“Yes,” replied Liz, “The BUBBLER.”

Perhaps Milwaukee, Wisconsin is the only city in the world where water continuously bubbles up from every drinking fountain in the city. In beautiful stone fountains, in every park, and on every street corner the water bubbles and gurgles and is never turned off, hence the name, bubbler. When you grow up in the Great Lakes region like Liz did you don’t realize that water is so abundant. You don’t realize until you move to California that the lush, rolling, green hills of summer in Wisconsin is the complete opposite of the dry, brown, dusty hills of summer in California. Sometime during those lush, green Wisconsin summers a little girl decided that she wanted to be a writer.

And a writer she became. Liz moved to California to attend college. She majored in children’s theater and elementary education at California State University Fresno. After graduation, she taught at the elementary and middle school levels and directed plays through a children’s theater group.

Liz was Byline Magazine’s “Writing for Children” columnist for eight years. She has sold more than 350 of her articles published in a variety of periodicals including Writer’s Digest, Parents Magazine, and the San Francisco Examiner.

She taught through California State University of Hayward’s East Bay Extension for ten years, as well as University of California Santa Cruz Extension. Liz presents author assemblies and classroom writing workshops at elementary and middle schools. She is chairwoman of the California Writers Club Young Writers Contest and Workshops for middle school students, a county-wide program for youth.

Liz admits to having many passions. Her passions are divided three ways and sometimes all three come together to create the perfect project. She loves teaching children how to write creatively, she loves writing children’s books and she loves dogs. All of which coalesce beautifully in her newest book, “Jackson and Bud’s Bumpy Ride.” An engaging tale (tail?) based on the true story of Horatio Jackson and his dog’s drive across America in 1903. To see a video trailer of the book click here.

To find out more about Liz and her myriad of projects and books you can visit her blog. Liz resides in the East Bay and includes in her literary lifestyle her husband, a civil engineer, son, Christopher, and beloved Yorkie, Zoie.