Marty’s photo of the day #4620: For my final picture of the year, I’m posting the untouched photo for the cover of the First Edition of my first book, Cool Creatures, Hot Planet: Exploring the Seven Continents. That’s a tailless whip scorpion on my face, and my wife, Deb, shot the photo in the Amazon Rainforest of Peru. At the time, I couldn’t have anticipated all the life changes this photo would bring me!

Not only did Cool Creatures, Hot Planet win six national awards, but Around the World in 90 Minutes, the live show based on the book that I perform in the colleges, has become the highest grossing slide-show of all-time. That photo got me a ton of college gigs in the early years.

Deb has played a part in all seven of my books to-date, and she’s also playing a part in my eighth book, Barry and Beth. Even though she’s in the midst of working on her third weaving book, last week she took the time out to read the manuscript for “Barry and Beth” and provided valuable feedback.

She also helped me come up with the basic plot for Barry and Beth two summers ago, while we had drinks on the porch. Without giving too much away, Barry and Beth are a geriatric couple who ditch their retirement home and go on a hilarious vigilante crime spree across America. I expect to have the manuscript finished within the next two months, and then it’s just waiting on a publisher. I’m proud of Cool Creatures, Hot Planet, but I’ll be quite surprised if Barry and Beth doesn’t become my most successful book to date.