GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -- Blushing shyly, and with a smile that appears early and often, Sarah Gruen seems to be enjoying the celebrity that comes along with a best-seller that is being converted into a major motion picture starring Hollywood heavyweights Robert Pattinson and Reece Witherspoon.

As Gruen waits patiently in the hallway prior to being interviewed on television, people passing by look and ask themselves who is this lady who has a steady stream of fans holding out well-worn copies of Gruen's book 'Water For Elephants,' for an autograph.

Gruen speaks in measured sentences with an economy on text yet the smile never quite leaves the corner of her mouth. As she speaks you begin to understand where Gruen's colorful characters come from though the author professes that not even she is quite sure about the thought process that produces those fictional lives.

Gruen is articulate and somewhat soft-spoken though she laughs easily most often after making a self deprecating remark. But, if anyone can laugh it is Sarah Gruen.

Four years after the release of 'Water For Elephants' comes her next novel, 'Ape House.' Once again a central story line involves an animal or more correctly this time it's a collection of Bonobos Apes. But from there, any connection between 'Ape House' and 'Water For Elephants' is distant at best.

Oh yes, except for the prediction here that Sarah Gruen will soon have another best-seller on her hands.

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