One of the nicest things about getting books published is that you meet a lot of nice people who share your interests. Or at least you hear from them, via email or (in the old days) letters. “Fossil Collecting in the Mid-Atlantic States” came out in the days of snail mail, and one of the early readers to get in touch with me was Don Miller. He told me that my book helped revive his passion for fossils, which he enjoyed sharing with his daughter.
Well, Don Miller has gone on to become one of the most prominent members of the fossil collecting community – as the co-author of “Discovering Fossils,” which I illustrated, the author of a fascinating series of CDs about fossils, a dealer in fossils, and the founder and coordinator of the foremost online forum about fossils and fossil collecting, Fossiladdiction Forum.
Don also had the idea of publishing a series of guidebooks to different kinds of fossils, inspired by my illustrations for “Discovering Fossils.” He commissioned me to write and illustrate the first (and only) entry – “Trilobites: Common Trilobites of North America“, which was published in 1999.
Approximately 1500 copies of the trilobite book have been sold to date. It’s inexpensive and includes an introductory section and 41 illustrated descriptions of representative species. The drawings are in pen and ink and very detailed – I don’t know where I got the patience to draw all those tiny little dots for shading!