FOX TALK Author L.E. Carmichael Speaks to Me – Blog Tour & Giveaway

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About the Book

Title: Fox Talk

Author: L.E. Carmichael, PhD

Book Designer: Michael Penman

Illustrator: Jody Bronson

Photography: Brian Dust

Publication Date: August 8, 2013

Publisher: Ashby-BP Publishing

Pages: 62

Recommended Age: 8+

Summary

When you talk to a dog, does the dog talk back? Many people think so. But for a long time, scientists didn’t know how our furry friends learned to communicate with people. Luckily, Russian scientist Dmitri Belyaev had a plan. If he could tame wild red foxes, he could learn how dogs first came from wolves. By studying the way these foxes changed during domestication, the mystery of communication would be solved at a last. More than 50 years after the experiment began, Belyaev’s foxes have become so tame, you can have one as a pet! Packed with eye-popping photos and first-hand research, FOX TALK reveals the story of these amazing animals… and everything they’ve taught us about wolves, dogs, and communication.

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Q & A with L.E. Carmichael

Welcome Lindsey!

Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions.

Let’s pretend we are domesticated foxes and we are meeting for the first time.  What behaviors would we exhibit and what would the Fox REALLY say at a first encounter?
Well, assuming we’re happy about meeting each other, we’d crouch down on our front paws, wiggle our bottoms in the air, and pounce on each other, then take off running in a complex game of tag. We’d also be cackling – a noise that sounds a lot like monkey screeches!
Describe the most fascinating day you’ve experienced as a scientist.

Getting to watch and photograph domestic foxes for Fox Talk! I’d been reading about them for 13 years and it was such a thrill to be in their presence, both because they are so dog-like and yet oddly cat-like at the same time – foxes are not like any other animal.

Part of it, too, was that I did my entire PhD using tissue samples from wolves and foxes that had been legally harvested. Six years of study, and I never actually got to see my animals alive in the wild, doing what they do. I always regretted that, so working on this book was a gift in more ways than one.

Curious to know if you have any pets and if you do, do you keep a journal of their behavior?

I grew up with dogs, but now have two cats. They’re a better fit for my writing lifestyle – instead of distracting me with requests for walks, they sit on my lap and prevent me from getting out of my chair when I’m supposed to be working!  I don’t keep a journal, but like most proud parents I love to observe them and will tell people stories about them with only the smallest encouragement. 🙂

What animal’s behavior do you find the most fascinating and why?

Whichever one I’m looking at. Animals do some truly incredible things, and I’m always amazed by them. Think of crows who can solve problems and build their own tools, or butterflies that avoid predation by pretending to be owls, or those marine iguanas in the Galapagos – did you know they drink ocean water and expel the extra salt by spitting it out their noses?

What advice do you have for a young person considering a career in science?

Be curious. Ask questions and learn everything you can about any topic you’re interested in – you never know when things that don’t seem to be related will suddenly connect.

And recognize that science is not like it is on TV. In the real world, theres a lot less about “Eureka” and a lot more persistence and repetitive, careful, sometimes frustrating work. It’s not glamorous, but when you make a discovery – when you create knowledge about the world we never had before – that’s an amazing and rewarding thing.

Never lose your sense of wonder.

What are your thoughts on the possibility of Bigfoots or Loch Ness Monsters existing?

How awesome would that be?? I have to say, though, the evidence in their favour is pretty scant. Big animals have big needs (habitat, food etc.) and the effects of those needs are hard to overlook.  In recent years, labs have also tested DNA from hairs associated with credible sightings of Bigfoot and Yeti, and they came up bison and horse, which is another bad sign.

But the thing about science is that we can never prove with 100% certainty that something doesn’t exist – there’s always the chance that new evidence will come to light!

Tell us a random fact (not science related) about yourself. Go on, we want to be shocked and amazed!
My eyes were blue until I was three years old, at which point they turned green. Wait, that was pretty science-y, wasn’t it?  OK, how about this – when I was a kid, I was afraid to swim in hotel pools. Because of sharks. Oddly enough, the ocean didn’t bother me until I got much older!
 What is your next project?
It’s called Fuzzy Forensics: DNA Fingerprinting Gets Wild, and is for ages 10 and up. It’s about the science of DNA forensics and how we use it to solve crimes against wildlife, and the main story follows a case I worked on when I was a graduate student. It will also have cool examples of other cases, lots of “how stuff works” detail, and experiments for young forensic scientists to try at home. Coming August 2014!
Sounds like a great book for kids interested in science, Lindsey!
Lobo’s attempt to find the domesticated foxes a good home:
classified

Watch this cute fox in action!

Lindsey fills in the blanks(in red):
When I was young, I dreamed of becoming a writer.

writing

If I could have any animal as a pet, I would own a red panda, because they are the cutest creatures that have ever existed (also one of the most mysterious).

cute-red-panda2

If I could be any animal (living or extinct)  I would most want to be a duck-billed platypus, because they decided not to be reptiles OR mammals, when they could be the best of both!

Duckbill-Platypus-1

Two animals that may be interesting to breed together are a horse and a rhino to make a unicorn.

Unicorn_10

Watch the book trailer!


Early Buzz About the Book

“Fox Talk is an educational non-fiction title exploring the domestication of dogs by studying fox behaviour and communication. The information is presented with beautiful photographs, illustrations, bubbles/boxes of brief information, and descriptions of the research findings using age-appropriate language. I think this would be an excellent resource in elementary schools or for homeschoolers in particular and I highly recommend it.” ~ 5-Star Review, Mother Daughter Book Reviews

Purchase

Fox Talk by L.E. Carmichael

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Chapter/Indigo (Canada)

About The Author: L.E. Carmichael

L.E. Carmichael Author

L.E. Carmichael

Lindsey Carmichael never outgrew that stage of childhood when nothing’s more fun than amazing your friends (and correcting your teachers!) with your stockpile of weird and wonderful facts. Her sense of wonder came in handy during her career as a scientist, and in 2006, she received the Governor General’s Medal for her PhD thesis, Ecological Genetics of Northern Wolves and Arctic Foxes. Lindsey finds talking about science more fun than doing it, however, and now writes for kids, teens, and occasionally adults (a sense of wonder is essential for this, too). Lindsey publishes under the name L E Carmichael, and her work has appeared in Dig, Highlights for Children, Kiki, and Canadian Tales of the Fantastic. Her published science books cover everything from animal migration to hybrid cars. When not digging up obscure or wacky details for her next nonfiction project, Lindsey’s probably working on her young adult fantasy novel.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads

Ashby Publishers

Fox Talk Blog Tour Schedule (2014)

January 27

Mother Daughter Book Reviews (Launch)

Books Direct (Author Interview)

January 28

Victoria Simcox’s Blog (Guest Post)

Once Upon a Time (Review)

January 29

Baby Bookworms in Black Words – White Pages (Review)

Giveaway Breaking News for Indonesia (Book Spotlight)

January 30

Generation iKid (Guest Post)

BeachBoundBooks (Review)

January 31

Bound 4 Escape (Review)

No Doubt Learning (Review)

February 1

Cherry Mischievous (Guest Post)

We are the DinoFamily (Review)

February 2

Deal Sharing Aunt (Review)

February 3

Stitch Says (Author Interview)

February 4

Maude’s Web (Review)

February 5

Musings by Jay Faulkner (Guest Post)

Brooke Blogs (Review)

February 6

Books, Books The Magical Fruit (Review)

February 7

Kay LaLone I Love Books (Review)

Bailey’s Book Blog (Author Interview)

Mel’s Shelves (Review)

February 8

On the Go With Zeppi (Book Spotlight)

February 10

The Squishable Baby (Review)

Hershey Wishes and Kisses (Review)

February 11

Christy’s Houseful of Chaos (Review & Author Interview)

Lakshmi Gosyne (Book Excerpt)

February 12

Christy’s Cozy Corners (Review)

Dawn’s Disaster (Review & Guest Post)

February 13

Manic Mama of 2 (Review)

The Adventures of Lovable Lobo (Author Interview)

February 14

Domestic Randomness (Review)

The Dragyn’s Lair (Review)

February 15

Crystal’s Tiny Treasures (Review)

February 16

Heart of a Philanthropist (Review)

* Blog Tour Giveaway *

Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card (or PayPal cash) + a Skype visit to a school or library of the winner’s choice ($250 value).

Contest runs: January 27th to February 21, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open: Worldwide

How to enter: Please enter the rafflecopter HERE.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. The winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the publisher, Ashby-BP Publishing and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

MDBR Book Promotion Services

5 thoughts on “FOX TALK Author L.E. Carmichael Speaks to Me – Blog Tour & Giveaway

  1. Pingback: Blog Tour Launch & Giveaway: Fox Talk by L.E. Carmichael | Mother Daughter Book Reviews

  2. Um, I’m not sure you could make a unicorn out of a horse and a rhino – that just feels wrong! lol Great interview with Lindsey, Cathy. It struck me, as Lindsey discussed the dispeling of the myths related to yetis and Big Foots (Feet?), that as powerful as science is, it is amazing how much people will cling to certain beliefs even in the face of evidence proving otherwise. I wonder if there will ever be a total shift toward science or if mysticism will always be a part of human nature. I’m thinking the latter. Thanks for taking part in the Fox Talk Blog Tour.

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    • Because I’ll always be a kid at heart, I want to believe in all magical beings. The unicorns, the dragons, the Bigfoots, the Easter bunny, Santa, Leprechauns, Menehunes…………Please don’t burst my lil’ bubble. ; )Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to take part in the blog tour, Renee, and stopping by to comment.

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  3. Paw-rrific interview. So interesting about taming the wild foxes. There was one thing Lindsey said that had me laughing. He said, “They’re a better fit for my writing lifestyle – instead of distracting me with requests for walks, they sit on my lap and prevent me from getting out of my chair when I’m supposed to be working!”

    He can have my cats. They are aloof, as cats can be, until I start to work. Then they want to play, go outside (one walks on a leash), eat, or, most often, a treat NOW! They will jump up an walk across the computer and all other non-cat things. I need his cats. 🙂

    Fox Talk sounds amazing. I will check into this one for sure. Thanks Cathy.

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    • I really like this book and not just because it’s about adorable critters. Ms. Carmichael did a nice job and I look forward to her next book.
      Who ever said that cats were less demanding than dogs? They certainly aren’t in my den!

      Like

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