Thursday, December 8, 2011


The research for my new book has lead me first to pre-Columbian civilizations of South America, meaning civilizations that existed before 1492, like the Maya, Aztecs and the Inca.  (Remember those from elementary school?)  My first stop on the tour is llamas.

We've been waiting for you, Meg.

Llamas.  Somehow, I always knew it’d end like this.
You see, in 1st grade my class went on a field trip to a local game farm to see the animals.  At that time I was afraid of cats and dogs and would cling to my mother’s leg whenever we were near them.  At the farm, the animals were behind fences, so I was all right.  I had a good time walking around with a small group from my class with my mom as chaperone.
Then we went into the petting area.

The petting area consisted of baby animals, who where smaller and couldn’t hurt us.  Their diet must have consisted entirely of handouts from school children because as soon as we went through the gate they crowded around us like zombies looking for brains.

I went berserk and jumped up on top of a bench, crying and screaming as the animals kept bleating at my feet.
I was a bit preoccupied to notice what specific animals were begging me for food,  but one of my classmates insists that it was a baby llama that did me in.  In high school we had French together and he ever learned how to say “llama” in French just so he could tease me and look like he was still working.
So I wasn’t surprised when I realized I’d have to be researching llamas for my book.  I knew we had unfinished business.

It turns out though, that llamas are pretty cool.  You can’t ride them but they’re a lot more hearty and agile than horses. They even hum.
That’s why next week I’m going to tell you 10 cool facts about llamas, and why you should choose them over horses when writing your next fantasy novel.

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