David George Gordon is the author of Explore A Shark and 19 other books about wildlife and wild places. Over the years, he’s written about everything from slugs and snails to the Sasquatch (aka Bigfoot) and from cockroaches to gray whales. His most popular title is The Eat-a-Bug Cookbook, published by Ten Speed Press. The subjects of his books may be offbeat but they are entirely factual—and fascinating.
To his peers, David is known as the Godfather of insect cuisine. In his role as The Bug Chef, he’s shared his exotic cuisine with visitors to the Smithsonian Institution, Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences, Singapore Food Festival, Yale University, The Explorers Club and Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museums in Hollywood, San Francisco and Times Square. He lives in Seattle with his wife Karen and Wilbur, their pet tarantula spider.
I've always been in love with nature, and that has led me to want to share the love with young people. It's one thing to be enamored with bald eagles or orcas, but if you can inspire others to be excited about slugs and snails, cockroaches or tarantula spiders-- now THAT's a challenge.
As a student, I was always told to write like I speak-- in other words, in my own voice. Surprisingly, that's not as easy as one might think. There's a great temptation to try to sound like all those experts we hear on the radio or watch on TV. I have to remind myself to keep it straightforward and simple and not get caught in the trap of trying to make everything too wordy and overly complicated.
After I've finished writing a section, I like to read it aloud to whomever's around. If it sounds like I'm just "telling it like it is," not too fancy or anything, then I consider it a huge success.
I like to write late at night or early in the morning, when evrybody else in my household is asleep. Those are the best times for me to hear my inner voice-- the one I use when I'm writing (or rewriting) my stuff. If I wait too long in the day, I'll have other people's voices stuck in my head and that can get in the way of my creativity.
I'm a big fan of E.B. White-- especially Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little. Both of those books are great read-aloud titles. I can't wait 'til my grandchildren (ages 3 and 5) are old enough to enjoy White's writing with me.