Hi, folks! You may remember the last time A.J. was here, when we talked about Eagle’s Blood and nature and falcons. This time, A.J. is talking about the inspiration behind his upcoming (March 24th!) release, Grizzly Discovery, and since he’s more interesting than I am, let’s just turn the post over to him. 🙂
by A.J. Marcus
With my second Mountain Spirit Mystery, Grizzly Discovery, I thought it was a good time to write about my inspiration for writing the book…bears. Not the muscular hairy guys that star in the book, but the huge animals that roam the mountains where I live. Although I haven’t had a lot of bear encounters while hiking or hunting in the mountains, I’m always on the lookout for them. Although none of us saw them, I did get blamed the last time the bears broke into the shed and threw garbage all over the place…long story but I was exonerated by a bent latch and deep claw marks in the door.
I’ve got friends, a couple of whom work for the Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife. Around here it’s hard to go long without hearing something about what the bears have done. Many of those stories have been incorporated into my books. Officially the last grizzly bear in Colorado was poisoned by a government trapper in 1952, then another last grizzly was killed in 1979. With the amount of forest and open space in Colorado, the odds are there’re still a number of grizzlies in the state. A lot of folks talk about the grizzlies they see, they’re just careful not to talk to officials about them, so there are no official records. Also a lot of the officials don’t like to make a fuss because if they do, then they have to do something about it…like we see in Grizzly Discovery. Thanks to the internet, there are groups around, like the Colorado Grizzly Coalition that are out and gathering information about sightings.
More common in Colorado, are the black bears, which actually come in a wide variety of colors. Ironically, I’ve seen more black bears in the city limits of Colorado Springs than I have in the mountains to the west. Bears love garbage. Bears love picnics…Yogi, please stay out of my lunch. I honestly think that most of the bad encounters that happen between bears and humans are due to human stupidity. We were watching bears, from a safe distance, in one of the city parks one day when some guys in fatigues, probably from the nearby military base, came up and asked if we thought they might be able to pet the bears…a momma and two little ones. We urged them not to, they got bored and drove off. If my friends and I hadn’t been there, not sure how that would’ve ended. Unfortunately when those sorts of things happen they end badly for the bears.
As we explore in Grizzly Discovery there is a major black market trade in bear parts, particularly to the Far East for their traditional medicine. Poaching is a real problem anywhere there are bears or other wildlife that people believe can provide cures that modern medicine can’t. The problem with this is that a lot of the time no scientific evidence existsto support the idea. I’m sorry, the bear needs its gallbladder more than you do…and don’t even get me started on tiger penis soup. One of the many reasons I enjoy writing this series of books is I LOVE WILDLIFE. I think the animals we share the world with have as much, and in a lot of cases more, right to continue living as the humans do. I’m hoping that my readers get some of my love of nature through my words.
Grizzly Discovery will be available March 24 2015 from DSP Publications
Grizzly Discovery Blurb: Landon Weir and Brock Summers are happily settling into their life as a couple, easily balancing Landon’s work as an animal rehabber with Brock’s career as a Colorado Parks and Wildlife Officer. When they find a bear shot and skinned, they set out to discover who’s behind the heinous act.
Events force Brock to come out to his boss, causing him and Landon to rethink how public they want to make their relationship. As more bear sightings – and more carcasses – show up in the area, Brock is attacked by a black bear he’s trying to release back into the wild, but his injuries don’t prevent him from helping Landon and their friends with the investigation. Despite leads being thin on the ground, the two men try to uncover the poachers before more bears are killed. But when the evidence points them in an unexpected direction, Teller County’s bear population may not be all the killers have in their sights.
Pre-order Grizzly Discovery HERE!
About the Author: A.J. has been writing to pass the time since high school. The stories he wrote helped him deal with life. A few years ago, he started sharing those stories with friends who enjoyed them and he has started sending his works out into the world to share with other people. He lives in the mountains with his extremely supportive lover. They have a lot of critters, including dogs, cats, birds, horses, and rabbits. When not writing, A.J. spends a lot of time hiking, tail riding or just driving in the mountains. Nature provides a lot of inspiration for his work, and keeps him writing. He is also an avid photographer and falconer, don’t get him started talking about his birds because he won’t stop for a while.