Virginia Arthur
Virginia Arthur asked Virginia Arthur:

Ok, let's discuss the cover:

Virginia Arthur Per getting a rash of it about the cover of my book, much of it from people that know me, let's just get this out in the open, discuss it, and move on. Please. It's what's in between the covers that I...uh oh...of the BOOK, damn it!! Gawd!

Field biologists get hired to do "construction monitoring." This is a regulatory requirement of many public agencies. It requires the developer to hire biological monitors to make sure sensitive resources are protected during construction. If the monitor is not a pansy-ass and does his/her job, it does help reduce environmental impacts particularly to wetlands and riparian areas; but for endangered species, it can feel ludicrous. Your job is to avert your eyes as the habitat is destroyed yet try to "save" any individuals that show up.

How do construction workers feel about being "monitored", 99.9% of them men? I'll let you contemplate this.

Years ago, I was monitoring a construction site with three other monitors, one of which was a stunning, buxom, intelligent, and strong woman I will call "Vanessa." She was also a damn good field biologist. She got full compliance from the construction guys meaning they stayed out of every area she stipulated they stay out of (and no smart ass comments here. I'm talking no backhoes in the creek and stuff like this. Focus, please).

She did her job professionally, without flashing her 'buxoms' around while at the same time, she was a very feminine woman. It was impressive.

The first draft cover of my book was of a skinny, bespectacled nerdy girl with binoculars that very conveniently fit the absolutely inaccurate stereotype of the "girl" field scientist/naturalist (i.e. what I look like). It was very convenient when I settled on this version of Ellie except I didn't. Instead, I remembered Vanessa--her beauty, her power, and intelligence. I absolutely refused to make Ellie into the stereotype. Why can't a woman field scientist be beautiful, sexy, and strong because you know what? They can be and they are. Sorry.

So enough already about the cover. Just read the damn book.

Thank you.


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