Growing up in West Virginia, Cynthia Rylant, author of the "Henry and Mudge" series of books, was too busy playing tin-can alley and cops and robbers to be creative.
Today, her recreation includes walking her dogs, Martha Jane and Leia; going to afternoon movies, where she eats lots of chocolate and popcorn; and watching cartoons. This free time is necessary for a writer, she feels, because it allows time for relaxation and the chance to think of interesting ideas.
Now living in Oregon with her son, Nate, and a bundle of pets, Rylant loves writing books with illustrations and sending them to family and friends. Many of her Henry and Mudge books have been inspired by the adventures of her son and her dogs.
"Every person is able to add beauty, whether by growing flowers, or singing, or cooking luscious meals, or raising sweet pets," says Rylant. "Every part of life can be art."