Authors spend a year—sometimes two or three—nurturing their book. Then comes the moment when we finally have to let go and the book takes on a life of its own.
Step away from the computer, lady, and no one will get hurt.
Releasing a book is exciting and frightening both at the same time. There’s the rush of having a published book hit the stores. There’s the fear that no one will like it. Naturally, some people do and some people don’t.
But what about those folks who read your book and actually become angry?
Who am I talking about, exactly? In this case, I’m referring to a small group of butterfly collectors who feel I’ve attacked them. In turn, they’re attacking me. Apparently, I’ve hit a nerve.
Hey, I’m not saying all butterfly collecting is a crime or that all butterfly collectors are bad. But there are those who cross the line.
What line is that?
It’s the line between collecting legal butterflies versus collecting protected and endangered butterflies. Then there’s also the matter of just being plain greedy. There are instances where even legal butterflies have been over-collected. Honestly, how many samples of a legal butterfly does a collector really need?
“We’re only talking about butterflies,” one interviewer told me. “It’s not like these collectors are murdering anyone. So, what’s the harm?”
Perhaps that bit of logic should be turned on its head. There’s a definite class system when it comes to how species are valued. Replace butterflies with chimps, tigers, or elephants and the reaction would be one of pure horror.
After all, some collectors hanker for chimps while others want their very own elephant tusk, or how about knocking off a couple of black rhinos for their horns? That’s not killing anyone.
Oh, that’s different? Face it. Insects are on the low end of the totem pole.
So, why do butterflies matter?
Population biologist Paul Ehrlich has likened our ecosystem to an airplane in which we’re the passengers. What if someone decides to remove a rivet from the plane and then another and another? Eventually, the plane’s wings will fall off and we’ll all go down. Now replace those rivets with species. How many species have to be affected before our “plane” falls apart and our ecosystem crashes?
It seems as if we’re bound and determined to find out.
Meanwhile, I’ve launched my new book into the world. I just hope it flies as gracefully as a butterfly.