Advance Copy: Backstories on books by NASW members

For this column, NASW book editor Lynne Lamberg asks NASW authors to tell how they came up with the idea for their book, developed a proposal, found an agent and publisher, funded and conducted research, and put the book together. She also asks what they wish they had known before they began working on their book, what they might do differently the next time, and what tips they can offer aspiring authors. She then edits the A part of that Q&A to produce the author reports you see here.

NASW members: Will your book be published soon? Visit to submit your report.

Publication of NASW members' reports in Advance Copy does not constitute NASW's endorsement of their books. NASW welcomes your comments and hopes this column stimulates productive discussions.

In Animal Wise: How We Know Animals Think and Feel, Virginia Morell explores the inner lives of wild and domesticated animals, and tells how animal behaviorists gain such knowledge. In February 2014, Morell’s book was chosen as a finalist in the science and technology category of this year's LA Times Book Award competition. It previously was named a Kirkus Reviews’ "Best Book of 2013" and an American Library Association "Notable Book for 2014."

Matthew Bettelheim teamed up with illustrator Nicole M. Wong to write a children’s book about the Lange’s metalmark butterfly, an endangered species found only in one California wildlife refuge. In 1999, the peak butterfly count in a single day totaled 2,342; in 2012, the daily count peaked at 32. Writing the book in verse proved challenging, Bettelheim says, as “not much rhymes with ‘metamorphosis.’”