For one thing, I adore her writing.
I consider her the person who inspired me to find my own writing voice.
She is notoriously introverted, which fascinates me.
I have spent unhealthy amounts of time trying to find out information about her.
Here are some things I know:
She used to have a white dog named Martha Jane who liked pizza.
She once had a cat named Blueberry.
She worked in the children's department of the Cabell County Public Library in Huntington, West Virginia when she was 23.
She has a son named Nate, who was born "in the oranges and reds of the fall."
For many years, her "sweetheart" was Dav Pilkey.
She likes to go to the movies in the afternoon.
There are 8 boxes of cool stuff of hers in the special collections department at the Kent State University Library, including "an interesting written dialogue between a TV movie producer seeking the rights to Missing May and a reluctant Rylant."
I love that: "...a reluctant Rylant."
(A side note: That library has a cool online feature where you can "talk" to a research librarian in real time. They are amazing and very helpful.)
This is part of the letter she got from ALA when she won the Newbery:
And, I'm saving the best part for last.
She has written me two letters:
(She is recommending a book called I Am One of You Forever by Fred Chappell and anything by James Agee.)
She signed the first letter "Cynthia" - but she signed the second letter "Cyndi."
See how close we've become?
(Note to Cyndi: I promise I will not stalk you. Call me. Let's do lunch.)