As an illustrator, Tamara Schmitz is well known to the many elementary-grade fans of Laurie Friedman's Mallory chapter books. Tamara grew up one of six children in the small town of Carey, Ohio. She graduated from the Columbus College of Art and Design, and spent her early career as an art director in advertising, teaching art, and illustrating greeting cards. Schmitz addresses a topic close to her own heart in her original self-illustrated picture book Standing on My Own Two Feet: A Child's Affirmation of Love in the Midst of Divorce. Sitting at her desk for too many hours, however, drives Tamara crazy. So in her free time she works on getting her third degree black belt in Taekwondo. Tamara resides in Cincinnati with her husband, two children, and stepson.