Xlibris Publishing introduces Gregory S. Paulson and Eric R. Eaton, authors of Insects Did It First.
Who are the authors “behind” the book?
ERE (Eric R. Eaton) – I am lead author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, and have contributed to several other books previously. I have also been published in Birds & Blooms, Ranger Rick, Missouri Conservationist, Orion, and Timeline (former journal of the Ohio Historical Society), among other popular magazines. My article on assassin bugs (“Stealth Hunters”) won the first place award for Wonderful West Virginia magazine in the Magazine Wildlife Article category from the Association for Conservation Information in 2014. Additionally, I write the blogs Bug Eric and Sense of Misplaced, as well as contribute to the Insectlopedia blog. I volunteer insect identifications for several online venues from social media groups to websites. As a former volunteer at AllExperts I was named one of the top fifty experts in all categories in 2009. I live in Colorado Springs, Colorado with my wife, Heidi.
GSP (Gregory S. Paulson) – I have a pretty reasonable resume for someone that spent a career at a University with a teaching priority and no PhD program. I have about 35 refereed pubs, an equal number of popular articles, several book chapters, two books (counting ours) and several exhibitions of my photography at museums and other venues. My SU webpage has links to my CV, images, and books (I need to update ours): http://webspace.ship.edu/gspaul/
Do you have any particular literary influences that have helped you develop in your genre, subject and style?
ERE – I have always been most inspired by scientific scholars who are able to write for a general audience. Specifically, Howard E. Evans, Thomas Eisner, Lewis Thomas, May Berenbaum, and Rob Dunn come to mind. Robert Michael Pyle is a personal friend and mentor.
What inspired you to write your book, and how long did it take you to finish it?
GSP – I was Roger’s [Akre] grad student and got caught up in the Insect First “game” trying to find new items to add to his list. Since he would occasionally give talks that were well received I finally asked him if he ever considered writing a book. He had the list, he had a bunch of Paul’s [Catts] cartoons, why not? He liked the idea and asked me to help compile it. Back then all the cartoons and images had to be photographed using special film, the film needed to be developed, printed in the darkroom and mounted appropriately for the publisher. I did all that while Roger worked on the text and Paul finished up cartoons. By the time the book was finally put together and published I had graduated and was an adjunct faculty member in the Biology Dept.
ERE – I loved the first edition of book, by Greg Paulson, Dr. Akre, and Dr. E. Paul Catts; so, when Greg approached me to help revise and update the text, I was honored to do so. Still, I procrastinated, and so it took about two years to write. It was honestly a bit intimidating to put myself in the shoes of these giants of entomology.
What is the one message you would like to convey to your readers?
ERE – Human beings have been, and continue to be, conditioned to assume that every insect is a source of annoyance and disdain, if not a certifiable pest demanding eradication. The truth is that insects are indispensable to human existence and our continued progress in social evolution and scientific progress. Our singular message is that insects are of positive importance to our daily lives.
Are you working on a sequel to your book?
ERE – As this is the second edition of the book, a sequel in the strictest sense is not appropriate. However, we reserve the right to update it as newer human inventions reflect ancient insect innovations.
Are there any events, marketing ideas or promotions planned for your book?
ERE – We are in the most embryonic planning stages for events and signings, but stay tuned.
What was your favorite part of your publishing experience, overall and with Xlibris?
ERE – Taking a finished project to the public in the form of a book is immensely gratifying. Since my participation as a writer of books has taken the form of co-authorship, I cannot speak to working with directly with a publisher. My co-authors were the ones with the contracts. It is too early in the game to speak of our experience with Xlibris in particular.
Finally, what advice would you give to aspiring authors?
ERE – I would caution aspiring authors not to emulate any other author or writer in any way. Not in style, not in work habits. The only things a beginning writer has going for them are uniqueness and professionalism. Present only your best work to agents and publishers. Seek multiple friends and professionals for input and editorial critique. Do not compromise your own vision, though. Recognize that rejection is an overwhelming aspect of the profession and do not be discouraged.
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