Cynthia Rylant is the prolific author of over 100 children’s books. When asked about her writing process, she simply believes it is a gift, the gift of language, she’s been blessed with…
“I really can’t explain it. When I first started writing, you know, I tried picture books. And, you know, I soon discovered that when I write, it’s a bit of a flash. It’s all of a sudden and kind of inspiration. And that’s true for all of the picture books. The poetry books, I’ll write a book of poetry in a day, and I’ll be done with it.”
In a “moment” an idea for a poem or book comes to her, which she sets to writing. If a short piece, the storytelling process may take only a day to complete.
The following is an excerpt from her November 10, 2013 interview with NPR host Arun Rath, “How Cynthia Rylant Discovered The Poetry Of Storytelling”:
NPR -Cynthia Rylant is a renowned author who has written for all age groups and been honored with both Caldecott and Newbery prizes for her work.
Her latest book, God Got a Dog, is a collection of poems that only took her one day to write.
“One poem … just came out of the blue, and I sat down and I wrote it. And then after I finished writing it, I got an idea for another God poem, and so I wrote that one. And so it started in the morning and then by the end of the day, I was finished writing the book,” she tells All Things Considered host Arun Rath.
Driven by these bursts of inspiration, Rylant says her talent was “bestowed” rather than learned, and shares how her modest and isolated childhood shaped her work.
Here is the audio recording in full (6 mins 38 secs): NPR’s Arun Rath Interviews Cynthia Rylant.