Sara Gruen is the author of the award-winning #1 best-selling novel "Water for Elephants," as well as the best seller "Riding Lessons" and "Flying Changes." She shares her North Carolina home with her own version of a blended family: a husband, three children, four cats, two dogs, two horses, and a goat. In order to write this novel, Gruen studied linguistics and a system of lexigrams so she could communicate directly with the bonobos living at the Great Ape Trust in Des Moines, Iowa. She now considers them to be part of her extended family and, according to the bonobos, the feeling is mutual.