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Friday, January 10, 2014

Interview with Dinosaur George Blasing Part Two

My first post of 2014. Either I've been lazy or I was saving the first post for something good. Let's go with the second one and say Happy New Year!

Some exciting things have happened since last we spoke with our friend Dinosaur George.

The biggest of those is the debut of Dinosaur George Media and its first publication:

Dinosaur George and the Paleonauts
Episode One: Raptor Island



This exciting middle-grade reader is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.
Order your exclusive autographed copy directly from Dinosaur George at this link:

With that out of the way, on to what you've been waiting for! This is part two of the highly popular interview with Dinosaur George Blasing - the man, myth and legend. (read part one HERE)

MM: Welcome back to the sequel! Last time, we talked about our young reader picture book, Ask DG (which you can get in Paperback or Kindle). This time, we are going to discuss the new middle-grade chapter book series: Dinosaur George and the Paleonauts. Readers can find out more about the book by reading the synopsis at the end of this interview. What I want to know is do you have anything specific you want to say to your readers in your writing and speaking events?

DG: The most important thing I can tell you is that you should read as many books about paleontology as possible. We all have favorite books, but if you just read the same book over and over, you’ll only learn what is in that book. If you read a lot of different books, then you’ll be much more knowledgeable about the study of prehistoric life. And the more you read, the more you learn. And that is what makes science so much fun!

MM: That's one of the things I like about Paleonauts. It is a great adventure story with plenty of your trademark humor, but also it is educational. There is even a section at the back of the book called "Paleofacts" which gives interesting details about the dinosaurs in the story. And trust me, they are not your common Hollywood dinos. It takes someone with a real knowledge and passion for the subject to incorporate unique and accurate details like these. I understand that the concept for this story has been on your "To Do" list for five years or more. You've had plenty of time to think about the story. In creating your adventure, what do you think makes a good story?

DG: To me, a good story is one that makes you never want to put the book down. I love stories that make you excited, happy, or sometimes a little scared. But most importantly, a good story must have a hero who is kind, and treats people with respect. I like stories that have bad guys, or villains, as long as they get what they deserve in the end. I also think a story has to have some humor. When you read something that makes you laugh out loud, THAT is a good story!

MM: I absolutely agree. A truly good story should elicit a range of emotions, not simply tension or humor. I am particularly pleased with our results on Paleonauts. We managed to create a fun adventure, put the characters in a little danger and even some comic relief. I think a lot of young people will have a hard time putting this one down. Part of the pleasure for me working with you is that we share a lot of common values. It seemed to come easy for us to put those morals and lessons into the story without standing on a soap box (except for right now). I think most of our values are instilled on us when we are young. I don't think we have to go quite all the way back to the Mesozoic, but can you tell us about your life growing up? For example, did they have electricity? Ha, ha, ha!

DG: Too funny! Yes, we had electricity in the 19...[coughs - rest of year is inaudible]. I was born at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. But we moved when I was very young, so I don’t remember very much about it. We lived in a small city in Maryland and I can remember going to the Smithsonian Institute all the time. But we moved to a farm near the city of Hondo Texas and I started the 2nd grade there. Almost all of my childhood memories were growing up on the farm. We had cows, chickens, pigs, horses, goats, geese, sheep, turkeys, and many other animals. We even had a pet owl, raccoon and opossum at one time. I had a very fun and wonderful childhood. I spent hundreds of hours looking for Indian artifacts, studying the animals, fishing and, of course, hunting for fossils.

MM: It sounds like your time on the farm had a big influence on the man you have become. Judging from your social media presence, it appears that your family was a major part of that and you seem to be very close. What do they think of your work?

DG: My parents, and brothers and sisters are very supportive of what I do. I know they are proud of how I’ve dedicated my life to teaching children. Because I travel a lot, I don’t get to see my family as often as I wish I could. But when I do see them, they all want to know where I have traveled, and what new discoveries I have made. It’s kind of funny to hear them call me “Dinosaur George” instead of just “George”.

MM: Look at all the space we've filled up already. It seems when we get together, we never run out of things to say. With so much hot air between, we should enter a hot air balloon race! I want to end this section of the interview with a thought and a question. One of our goals with the Paleonauts series is to make paleo-education fun for our readers. One can hope and dream that our story can be life-changing, but my question is: what are some books that were life-changing for you?

DG: There are two books that have had a very big impact on my life. One of them was titled Dinosaurs and more Dinosaurs. It was written in 1965 and it was the first dinosaur book I ever read. I can remember how much I wished the pages would come to life so that I could see a living dinosaur. I checked that book out at our school library so many times, I almost had it memorized. The second book that really changed my life was called Dinosaur Heresies. It was written by one of my favorite paleontologist Dr. Robert Bakker. This book changed the way I looked at dinosaurs. When I was young I thought dinosaurs were nothing more than giant lizards. But “Dinosaur Heresies” demonstrated that dinosaurs were more like birds, and were much faster and smarter than we thought.

There is still plenty more from Dinosaur George.
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About the book: 
Dinosaur George’s uncle is missing! 

Professor Stone was the world’s leading paleontologist. At least, until the day he disappeared. Now George is searching for him. 
No one knows where Professor Stone is, but that’s not the only problem. They don’t know when he is either. Thanks to Dr. Morgan’s invention, the professor is lost in time. 
To save his uncle, George joins a team of scientists and explorers. Armed with hi-tech gadgets, they will travel 65 million years into the past. Only history knows what they will discover. 

Will George be the first human to see a living dinosaur? 

Will he find his uncle before it’s too late? 

Episode One: Raptor Island takes George to the Late Cretaceous of Southern Asia. It’s his first real chance to try out his amazing equipment and hopefully find a clue to Professor Stone’s whereabouts. But something is waiting on the island. 

In a story packed with humor and excitement, experience the past like never before. Learn about dinosaurs and all of the latest theories of their existence. Don’t miss the PaleoFacts at the end of each episode with all the dino-details.

In the next post, we will have some more information on the Paleonauts artist, Gabe Bush.

Until then, find us on Facebook:



      

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