Today A Guide to the North American Obeast (a two book set) officially headed to the printer, and I couldn’t be happier. It’s been a long but interesting process. One of the things writing these books (re)taught me is that truth is as strange as fiction. For book one (“Obeast: The Natural & Unnatural History”), I wrote a collection of scholarly articles about different aspects of obeast biology, history, conservation, etc. In researching topics, I repeatedly found that humans have done some very odd things to animals (and themselves) in the name of fashion: melting bear fat for hair pomade, extracting civet anal gland juice for perfume, keeping exotic animals as (sickly) novelty pets in castles, and on and on. It made for ready inspiration, I’ll tell you! Other interesting facts I learned and incorporated into book one: manatees mate with females on top (there are youtube videos); black bears attack mostly female humans, while brown bears attack mostly men; global warming is causing bears to wake up too early from hibernation and starve to death.
I’m told I’ll have copies in-hand in about three weeks, which means of course that it’s time for launch parties! Here in NC, this will coincide well with a show I’m opening at Flanders Gallery in downtown Raleigh. I don’t have dates yet, but certainly some kind of shindig is called for there (in addition to the opening reception on March 2). The book set will be available for purchase online through Publication Studio. When I have a link I will share it, promise!