Saturday, we came home from bald eagle watching to find a package on the porch. We were expecting a book for the teen’s birthday but this was way too heavy. It turned out to be not one book but four – my author’s copies, 2 each, of Evolution of Reptiles and Evolution of Mammals.
When my editor contacted me to see if I wanted to write for this series, for me it wasn’t a question of if. Instead it was a question of how many will you let me do. Behind me in the photo are some of our many fossils.
Way back when the teen was in first grade or so, he took a geology and fossils class at the community college he is now attending. Every other kid walked out of class one day carrying a fossil the size of a coaster. Maybe the size of a saucer. Not my kid. He came out lugging this fossil (top right). That’s a cookbook stand that it is sitting on. It is about a foot across. When Jr came out carrying this, the professor was right behind him. “He could pick something smaller if this one’s not okay.” That was his first real fossil.
Then they went on a hunt through a creek bed. He managed to fall, soaking himself and coating himself in mud, shoulders to ankles. But he came out of it with two fossils. He took the class again and found two more. All in all, he has an ammonite, a trilobite (both bottom left), a mastodon tooth and part of a turtle shell (both bottom right).
Me? I used to go fossil hunting with my dad and grandad. I have a wine glass full of crinoids fossils.
And I needed this love of the topic because these were two really hard books to write. So much new information has been found since I was in college. Not that I’m complaining. Working on these books gave me a great opportunity to update my own knowledge.
Now I’m off to finish working on a proposal for a wildlife series. These two books will help show the editor my enthusiasm for the project.