Today is Hagfish Day, which was not set up by my publisher to help promote my book, but was started by the people at WhaleTimes.org and is now in its fourth year. They started it to celebrate ‘the beauty of the ugly’ and to entertain and inform people about the ugliest, strangest and most disgusting creatures in the ocean.
Naturally, How to Snog a Hagfish!: Disgusting Things in the Sea is the perfect accompaniment for the occasion. And naturally, none of the creatures featured in it are ugly, strange or disgusting (well, not much) once you get to know them. That includes the lobster with the pee gun, the fish that explodes when brought up into the air and the hermaphroditic flatworm with two penises that decides who will carry its offspring by duelling them (with its two penises).
Anyway, here’s a video of a hagfish tying itself in a knot and running that knot along its body as it excretes copious quantities of slime to escape a foolish human’s hand:
The book has recently been released as an ebook, which is currently cheaper on Amazon than the print edition. Don’t know how well the pictures appear on a Kindle, but they look better than in the print edition on the iPad.
Earlier this year I also authorised the charity Listening Books to record an audiobook version of the book. Listening Books supplies audiobooks on CD, as a download or streaming free of charge to adults and children in the UK who have an illness or disability (from having learning difficulties to being physically unable to hold open a book) that would make it difficult for them to otherwise read. They very kindly sent me a couple of copies of the recording by actor Paul Vates, which I very much enjoyed. It’s a great charity and I am happy to enthuse about them!