About Me

I’m a life-long lover of the nature, including not just the beautiful but also the creepy, the dark, and the downright distressing. I love all living things, but my work is not for the sentimental. . . or the squeamish.

My first book was The Red Hourglass: Lives of the Predators. In it, I told about my adventures with black widow spiders, rattlesnakes, and other notable animals I knew from my upbringing in the Oklahoma Panhandle. Parts of that book appeared in Harper’s and in The Best American Essays.

My next project was an interrogation of the physical realities of death. I tracked down mummies, visited anatomy labs, and wrote about things that made people very uncomfortable. Some of those stories appeared in The New Yorker, Popular Science, and other magazines. I often found myself wishing for more-than-magazine room to tell those tales. Now, with this blog, I have that room. I call them Death Stories.

Then came The Book of Deadly Animals (previously known as Deadly Kingdom), in which I told about all the animals likely to kill or maim people. Some of those stories appeared in Discover, Granta, and other magazines. 

That book brought me an invitation to work with National Geographic on Shark Attacks: Inside the Mind of the Ocean's Most Terrifying Predator (National Geographic Shorts).

Most recently, I've been writing horror stories like Sugar


Show more