Laurie Knowlton was born in Cleveland, Ohio. The spring of her fifth grade
year, her parents bought a campground, an event that would shape her life. She
fondly remembers summers helping her parents out at the R-Farm Lake Club,
"a clean family-oriented place." It was there she says she had her
first job, learned the importance of good people skills, and fell in love with
the country. Her parents owned the property until she was in high school.
Mrs. Knowlton had been interested in writing early on. She even applied for a
position at American Greeting Cards before she decided to become a teacher and
attend college at Hillsdale College. It was there she met her husband-to-be (in
the first week of school, by the way), but they were not to be married until her
Mrs. Knowlton and her husband moved to Battle Creek, Michigan, and then
relocated to Detroit, where their first daughter, Charlotte, was born. They then
moved to Houston, Texas, and loving "the Texas culture, the warmth of the
people, and the beauty of the land," they remained for seven years.
On a trip back home to Ohio, Laurie decided to visit her parents' ranch for
old time's sake. What she found was a dilapidated version of the idyllic camp
she remembered. Vines sadly draped many of the buildings; it had gone wild.
Upset at the state of her childhood home, Laurie decided to ask about its
owners. She was pleasantly surprised to find that the property was for sale. She
talked her husband and family into moving back to the ranch, and one month
later, they were happily back at the farm for good.
She named the ranch Roots 'n Wings, because she feels that those are the
two most important things that you can give your children. Roots 'n Wings
Ranch is "presently used as a writer's retreat, a summer daycamp for
kids, a conference center, and a great place to raise her kids."
It was while in Texas that Laurie got the idea for Why Cowboys Sleep
with Their Boots On, watching a cowboy being interviewed about his
attire. Fascinated, she jotted down the book's beginnings on a diaper box.
Busy with instructing daycamps and with her writing, Laurie is also a
spokesperson and demonstrator for Elmer's GluColors, a division of Borden,
Inc. She recently completed a project book designed to guide children through
fun, creative activities using Elmer's GluColors and will be making
appearances to explain how to create interesting crafts using the glue. And of
course, she'll be promoting her books to boot.