Guest Post: Mary Lindsey, author of Shattered Souls

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Today we have Mary Lindsey, author of Shattered Souls joining us as part of a Teen Book Scene tour! For a schedule of all posts on this tour can be found here.  I’ll be doing a review of the book in December. Warning: This post involves (and has pictures of) large insects.

My Unusual “Pets”

Animals have always been a central part of my life. Growing up, we had a bizarre menagerie of animals that amazed and inspired me. My love of nature has carried into my adulthood and people who know me find it a quirky, fun part of being my friend.

One of the strange things about me is that I own dozens (perhaps hundreds) of Madagascar Hissing cockroaches.

Yes. Cockroaches.

I didn’t set out to own roaches, in fact, they used to creep me out. In the past, when I saw indigenous cockroaches (which are large down here in the South…and they fly), I would run shrieking from the room–sometimes even the building.

Now? Not so much. I’ve developed an appreciation for roaches, and maybe an immunity to their yuck factor.  Well, that’s not entirely true. If they fly, I’m gone. *shudder*

I came about being a roach mommy by accident and quite innocently. It was not a choice. They were foisted on me and I didn’t have the heart to kill them. So, now I’m stuck with them. LOTS of them.

They serve a purpose, though. I give classroom presentations with them. Sometimes just about the unique features of this type of insect. (They are one of the only insects to give live birth in the world and they also have a different way of making noises and other cool stuff). I also give conservation and biodiversity presentations using them to make kids aware of the importance of our responsibility as caretakers of the planet. You’d be amazed how well they listen when you are holding a 3-inch cockroach as if it were your friend.

Plus, they make great party features (I’m only half joking). When my kids were little, I threw a Harry Potter party. The kids had rotations through a class day at Hogwarts. Courses included, among other things, Potions (no roaches):

And Care of Magical Creatures, which featured a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach race. Not kidding. The teams got points based on how far their roach got in an allotted amount of time. Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches don’t fly and they are slow moving, so it wasn’t as exciting as you would think. Still, roach races? How cool is that?

Below is one of the contestants. My husband is holding this male, which is much smaller than the females. (You can tell the gender of mature roaches of this kind by the prominence of the protrusions or “horns” on the thorax).

So, now that you are totally freaked out, I’m going to close with the same quote I use in my school presentations about conservation. After I’ve explained the necessity in our world for animals like the cockroach (How many other types of animals would suffer or cease to exist if something even this icky were to become extinct from neglect or negligence?) I tell them I have grown to love these roaches. Because,

“In the end we will conserve only what we love.
We will love only what we understand.
We will understand only what we are taught.” ~Baba Dioum

 My own thought? Teach them well. There’s a lot more riding on this than a cockroach.

Thanks so much for having me on your blog today, Anne! 

And thank you for joining us! The Hogwarts party sounds pretty awesome, but I will admit I am now itchy all over from looking at that roach picture *shivers*! Look for Shattered Souls wherever you buy your books, and keep an eye out for my review, coming soon!

Leave a Reply

4 Responses to “Guest Post: Mary Lindsey, author of Shattered Souls”

  1. Ruth McNally Barshaw says:

    This was fascinating! And, yes, itchy.

  2. Mocha ? Latte(Cupcake and a Latte) says:

    Wonderful! Though…roaches creep me out >.< *shivers*

    Wendy from A Cupcake and a Latte: YA Reviews

  3. Mocha ? Latte(Cupcake and a Latte) says:

    Wonderful! Though…roaches creep me out >.< *shivers*

    Wendy from A Cupcake and a Latte: YA Reviews

  4. Rain Laaman says:

    Wow. I would not get so easily attached to roaches, I think.

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