Patricia Coombs was born on July 23, 1926 in Los Angeles, California and during her school age years lived in Hawaii, Boston, New York, and San Francisco. She was always reading books and would hide in unusual places to avoid getting caught reading instead of playing. She attended DePauw University, Michigan State University, and received her bachelor's and master's degrees in English from the University of Washington. She also studied poetry at New York University.
In 1962, Coombs wrote and illustrated Dorrie's Magic, inspired by her two daughters and their Siamese cat named Dingbat. The book was highly praised by the New York Times Book Review, and Coombs went on to create the Dorrie the Little Witch series. She wrote twenty stories about Dorrie and her adventures as a little witch over the next 30 years, ending with Dorrie and the Haunted Schoolhouse in 1992.