'TWAS - The Roleplaying Game Before Christmas

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Tie-in Tuesday: Dinosaur Day

According to Twitter, today is Dinosaur Day. My working days are filled with dinosaurs at the moment, as I'm nearing the end of writing the first draft of NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters!

But of course it's not the first book I've written that features the terrible lizards. There's Terrible Lizards for one. There are also dinosaurs in the Fighting Fantasy gamebook Bloodbones, and the Pax Britannia novels Unnatural History and Leviathan Rising.

Like many 5 and 6 year-olds, I was obsessed by dinosaurs. I would spend hours tracing the dinosaurs in the colouring book I had, and I loved films like The Land That Time Forgot, Valley of the Gwangi, and One Million Years BC, shown on TV during the afternoon at weekends. When I was a little older, by father and I would make Airfix kits of dinosaurs together, and I have very fond memories of travelling up to London on the train with him, specifically to visit The Natural History Museum and its dinosaur collection. I even remember an English lesson, early on in Secondary School, in which we studied an extract from Ray Bradbury's A Sound of Thunder, focusing on the arrival of a T-Rex.

All of this clearly had an impact on my growing up, and I still have a passion and fascination for prehistoric life today. Last year family Green visited New York and I dragged everyone to the American Museum of Natural History, just so that I could see the dinosaur exhibits, which did not disappoint! And because it had an impact on me growing up, it has also impacted upon my writing.

But I have never explored dinosaur life in so much detail as I have in NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters! For a start, the book includes over 30 different dinosaurs, marine reptiles, flying reptiles and other prehistoric creatures. But one of the fun things about writing the book has been coming up with new names for dinosaurs, because most of the characters in the story wouldn't have known what the nascent fossil hunters had called these primeval beasts.

I'm keen for the book to be finished and out there in readers' hands for various reasons, but one of them is to see if people can work out which dinosaur is which. Maybe I'll reveal the answers next Dinosaur Day.

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