Book: Terror Bird

Science Marches On…

Posted by on Oct 22, 2014 in Ancient Animals, Book: Terror Bird, Early Reader | 0 comments

IMG…but books stand still.

One of the hardships of a nonfiction author’s life is the way you can scramble to get the most updated information for your book, only to have those ding-dangity scientists discover brand new facts that throw everything out of whack right after your book hits the shelves.

It’s a particular problem with dinosaurs. Kids, of course, love to know about the most extreme dinosaurs (biggest! longest! smallest! tallest!). Just as you have firmly declared that so-and-so-asaurus is the biggest, somebody will come up with a newer, bigger find. Sometimes you wish they’d just knock off all the discovery for a year or two. On the other hand, sometimes you need them to hurry it up. Remember when Pluto was in the process of becoming not a planet after all? I was in the middle of writing a nonfiction book on outer space. Deadline was approaching. Scientists could not make up their minds. I was sitting there tapping my fingers on my desk, thinking, “Come on, guys, either it’s in or it’s out, but make up your minds! I’ve got to get this to my editor!”

Now, just after Terror Bird has been published, people are starting to wonder if these marvelous and outlandish birds were VEGETARIANS. No! What will happen to the marvelous illustration of the terror bird chomping up a teeny horse? And can a plant-eater be called a terror bird anyway? I’m pretty sure my editor would not have taken the book if it had been called Extremely Large Seed-Nibbling Bird.

Well, these particular scientists are studying a European species of terror bird, not my South American beauties, so let’s hope that the ones in my book can remain predators at least until the publisher runs out of stock.

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