Backpacking With Dinosaurs is about outsiders. I think we all feel that way as teens. Growing up mixed white and Hispanic, I often felt that bias. I remember the pain of being labeled “too brown to be white” and “too white to be brown.” Being an overweight kid with glasses didn’t help me, either. In my new book, I wanted to dig into that “outsider” feeling. I also wanted to write about standing up for yourself and how hard it can be. It is something you have to learn to do, especially if you’re not “in.” Some do it better than others, but I think eventually anyone who has been castigated as an outsider must develop the skill to speak up for themselves. As a good friend of mine likes to say, “If I don’t love me, who will?”
This is my Stephen King book, my “Carrie” meets “It” in the woods book. And oh, yes, it is about dinosaurs. Velociraptors, T-Rexes, and Triceratops, oh my! But you know me. Like my Zombie Dog series, I didn’t want to use an animal, even an extinct one, unless I could make the creature realistic. As much as this is a book about human relationships, some of my favorite scenes show dinosaurs interacting with modern-day animals. I presented these interactions because I’m very intrigued by how modern ecosystems would be impacted by the addition of dinosaurs. How would a buffalo react to a velociraptor? Would a wolf attack a velociraptor as prey or would they see it as a new predator? These relationships, and what they imply about human relationships, is why I wrote this book. After all, there may be monsters lurking in the woods, but there have always been more terrible creatures. Backpacking With Dinosaurs is available on Amazon.