Writing “Silk and Venom”

I am the world’s biggest scaredy cat about spiders!

My husband Christopher Knight did the thrilling photography for this book as we accompanied world renowned arachnologist Greta Binford on her search for dangerous spiders. Our journey began in Portland Oregon where Greta is a professor of biology at Lewis and Clark College. But we traveled all the way to the Dominican Republic where we searched for the venomous Brown recluse spider and its relatives.

This book was long in the making. Almost four years and all my friends, and especially my husband, were amazed when I decided to do this book, because I am the world’s biggest scaredy cat about such things. I don’t exactly have a passion for poison. But I found Greta and her passion for spiders so interesting I knew this would make a fascinating story.

Brown recluse spiders don’t exactly strike one as killers. They are rather unassuming looking, not at all aggressive and only bite really if they are attacked—like if you step on one or sit on it, or disturb it. They are actually quite shy. So I concluded that in many ways they are “misunderstood”. I actually became quite empathetic with Brown recluses. So guess what this led me to write? Another spider book, a fiction one where as an author I could indulge my feelings and move beyond the scientific facts. The Deadlies is a fantasy series and the first book, Felix Takes The Stage, came out last June. It is about a very nice family of well-mannered spiders who just happen to be incredibly toxic. They would never hurt a soul, but the humans they live near simply don’t understand them. They are super MISUNDERSTOOD. The second of the series Spiders on the Case will come out in June. 

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