From the ‘Weird Things I Discover’ Department…

In the course of doing research for a new book I dug up this factoid:

The American Tarantula Society has enough members to warrant an annual conference and publication of a magazine!

gooty_tarantula_metallic_tarantula_or_peacock_tarantula_poecilotheria_metallica
That would be a Gooty tarantula (Image by Soren Rafn, from the Wiki Commons). Lovely colour on that hairy creature, don’t you think?

I’m not actually writing a book about arachnids, though that might be quite cool… This research is for my latest Footprints title with Orca Book Publishers. The series looks at all the things we need to thrive on this planet and this book in particular looks at the many ways we forge bonds with others. By creating communities large and small, we look after one another when we are young and vulnerable or ill or old or displaced, we share responsibilities for education and health care and, sometimes, we get together because we share an interest or passion. Like, say, you love tarantulas and want to spend time with your peeps – you might want to join the American Tarantula Society so you can enjoy chatting about all things spidery…

phoneutria_nigriventer-tarantula
I quite like spiders, but if I glanced down and saw one of these on my arm, I suspect I might make a shriek-scream-wail-like noise… And that would probably get me banned from the annual conference of the American Tarantula Society. (Photo from the Wiki commons Joao P. Burini)

Research for this book has led me down some interesting side roads – from the Burning Man festival to prison nurseries to ecovillages to office Halloween parties. Stay tuned… I’m just finishing up the first draft so there will be many changes and additions between now and publication in 2018, but wow – what a cool project!

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