Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Stalker

If I were ever going to stalk anyone - which I AM NOT - it would be Cynthia Rylant.

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 is telling me that my novel was "lovely." That is such a perfect Cynthia Rylant word: lovely.)

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.)


jama said...

I love this post, and Cynthia Rylant!! I adore her work, too, and she definitely inspired me to write. I'm intrigued by the letters she wrote -- do you know if she's left handed? (I like analyzing handwriting, and I'm sensing the energy coming from a leftie.)

Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Did you know that I'm in love with her too?? I want to write (and sell) books across genres, the way she does.

Sarah Miller said...

Nifty timing for this post -- I've just spent the day with Donna Jo Napoli, who is to me what Cynthia Rylant is to you.

Don't tell anybody, but the right kind of stalking can work! ;)

Grace Lin said...

speaking of stalking...I just gave you an "I heart your blog" award at the blue rose girls blog (!

Barbara O'Connor said...

Oh, cool....I'm being stalked!