As of February 2016, after 416 posts, and over six and a half years of blogging, I'm taking a break.
I've explained why here. There's plenty of past posts to read, though - hope you enjoy them !
Looking for a brilliant present for a young naturalist ? Buy my book ! Available from Amazon UK,
Amazon US and worldwide but buy from a local bookshop if you can.

Today is the day !


Today is one of the biggest days of my life so far, because today is the first day that my book is on sale ! It is a a year and four months to get this far, from the first time they approached me in September 2012, to the day when I finally signed off on the book (I had to sign a copy of every page to say I was happy !) which was almost exactly a year later. And it's ten months since I first revealed there was going to be a book.

It have been very fun working on the book I am really proud of it. It has taken a LOT of work by not just me but also Jo Bourne (my amazing editor), Fabio (the illustrator), Tim Cook (the publisher), Ellie (the art director), Paolo Viscardi (the fact checker) and Karen (the publicist). It has come a lot way from the very first meeting I had when Jo and Tim came up to Edinburgh, and Jo and I had our own scrapbooks of ideas.

Here's another meeting we had at the Octopus Publishing offices in London. That's all the page plan ideas in front of me. I am sitting strangely because that was back when my leg was broken.

I have been doing a lot of publicity on my book since then. It got a mention on BBC2 when I was up doing Winterwatch, and when I came back I did an interview with BBC Wildlife Magazine (my interview isn't in the current one, but the one after then). Tomorrow I am going to be on the MacAulay and Co show on BBC Radio Scotland. I'm on at 11.05am, and you can listen in online here, or catch up afterwards here (I think you might have to be in the UK)

A lot of people to thank

My book has a dedication at the start for everyone who has helped me with my bone collecting.

Paolo Viscardi is very intelligent and knowledgeable about bones. He writes one of the best bone blogs I know of.  I have been in touch with him for years and he has helped me ID bones. I finally got to meet him last summer when he gave me a tour of the Horniman Stores. When Jo said needed a consulting editor, he was the obvious choice.

Ben Garrod is about to become famous with his BBC4 series "Secrets of Bones" which starts later this month, but he has been helping me ID bones for ages, and he was a big help with Vulpy the fox skeleton ! He has helped me a lot and he is brilliant at rearticulating skeletons.

Mrs Powell is an extremely kind bone collector who has given me a lot of great bones that I wouldn't have found otherwise ! She and I have swapped skulls twice and I got a pig skull. It was great to meet her.

Ric Morris was a reader of my blog who came by one day when he was in Scotland to drop off a whole load of bones, including my seal skeleton! He is very enthusiastic on bones as he used to work in a museum when he was younger. 

Mr Evans came down from Inverness to give me the otter skeleton as well as some other skulls ! He is very kind and helpful.

I met Catherine Smith when I got a V.I.P tour of Perth museum, and then again when she was doing a workshop at the McManus Museum. She's helped with other stuff too, like the law about my golden eagle skull.

I have never met Ben Williams but he was kind enough to send me a great collection of bones from his old childhood, soon after I started blogging. 

When Chris Packham found out about me and wanted to come to my house to film me for Autunmwatch it was an enormous boost to my confidence. He has always been very helpful on Twitter, and a big inspiration for me. It was great to meet him in person last week and to tell him what that visit meant to me. This next photo was me showing him the dedication:

Professor Black came across my blog, then invited me to visit CAHID where I met Lucina.  She gave me a tour of all the bone rooms and then they showed me their dermostid beetles tanks. The beetles eat dead flesh and leave a nice clean bone or skull, and they helped me with Pharoah and my bat skeleton.

Early when I was blogging Michael Fox sent me a badger skull, an owl skull and a monkfish skull. He is a very generous and helpful man.

Sarah Potten sent me the kangaroo skull and she is sending me another kangaroo skeleton ! She has given me a lot of really cool skulls from Australia and she is a old friend of my dads.

Dad takes most of the pics and helping me with my website ! Without him, my website would not exist because he takes all the pics and does all the fancy stuff that I can't do

I wanted to thank Mum for not going nuts every time I bring a new skull in the house ! She has been very patient and helpful to me so I want to thank her specially 

I would also like to thank, Jo Bourne, Tim Cook, Karen and the publicity department at Tick Tock Publishers in London !

Finally, I'll have to think what to spend my book money on. I don't have any ideas yet....well, maybe one !

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Kath said...

Brilliant Jake! That so cool. I really admire your drive and ambition. You are my role model and when I hit fourty in two years time, I hope to be at least half as excellent and interesting as you! Dying to read your book.

Psydrache said...

Congratulation to your book release! I see forward to see it written in German (even I'm able to read English, it's easyer to read in my mother tongue).
Ah, and don't buy a Ferrari! What you need is a estate car, like a catafalque for your futute findings! ;D

Jake said...

Thank you very much !

Jake said...

Or this one !

Jack N said...

WOW! congratulations, not many people your (or my age) publish a book and yours looks great! I look forward to buying it.

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