Editor’s Note: When someone writes about a kid being lost in an ancient landscape and having repeated close encounters with the dinosaur kind, you just have to wonder what inspired him. So we asked Tim Myers, author of If You Give a T-Rex a Bone, just that. Here’s what he says.
One of the best things about being a writer is how I can put parts of my own life into my books–even one like If You Give a T-Rex a Bone, which takes place 65 million years before I was born!
So maybe you’re wondering, “Wow! Have you seen dangerous animals in the wild, like in the book?”
Once I was walking along a Rocky Mountain trail when I heard a sound. Kind of a ticka-ticka-ticka from some wild grass, not 10 inches from my left foot. Something about it was familiar. In fact I’d only heard it previously on TV. Still, I suddenly remembered what it might be–and jumped back. When I looked closer, I saw I was right. It was a rattlesnake, coiled up, its head lifted. And if a rattlesnake is upset enough to shake its tail at you–then you got too close!
I’ve also seen huge animals in the wild. For example, I was in a LandRover in Kenya once, with a herd of immense elephants about 40 feet away. It was amazing. And I’ve watched humpback whales breaching way out beyond San Francisco Bay.
But best of all–and scariest–was being charged by a rhino. Again, I was in Kenya. The driver of our LandRover thought it would be fun to get close to the rhino. But it was a mother rhino, with her baby–and she came straight for us. We pulled away. But then the driver turned around and approached her again!
The second time was even more intense. The LandRover stalled on some high ground, with mother and baby still charging right toward us from behind!
But they were only bluffing, because they soon peeled off and went elsewhere.
As you can see, my book has part of my life in it–only on a more awesome and dinosaurish scale!