Nature photography, political rants, and Martyman laughs from the ten-time award-winning author of "Cool Creatures, Hot Planet," "Endangered Edens," and the "Time Is Irreverent" series.

The extreme book cover photo shoot

Marty’s photo of the day #2940: This was the photo I used for the cover of the First Edition of Cool Creatures, Hot Planet: Exploring the Seven Continents. My wife, Deb, shot roughly 300 photos of me in the Amazon Rainforest, in hopes of getting something workable. Doing a photo shoot in the rainforest was difficult, because the heat and humidity had me sweating profusely. Also, we never quite knew where the tailless whip scorpions were going to go. Yes, that’s plural. We actually used two whip scorpions—the star and the understudy—and I often had two crawling on my face at once. I had to work hard to keep both eyes open. In this shot, I’m looking at a large set of fangs, practically brushing my eyeball.

After the First Edition printing of Cool Creatures, Hot Planet: Exploring the Seven Continents sold out, I changed the book cover to what you can now see at the top of my Facebook page. The reason was that the photo was scaring too many people at Barnes and Noble stores. Still, I don’t regret the extreme original cover for a second. It earned me a lot of attention and college students (who book me to perform the stage-show version of the book) loved it.

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