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Webster Fun Facts

Though Webster is a work of fiction and many details sprang from my wild imagination, I tried to incorporate realistic touches as much as possible to enhance the atmosphere of the story. For example. . .

Most of the studies performed at CSAM are based on real experiments described in the book A Brief History of Vice: How Bad Behavior Built Civilization by Robert Evans.

In the text of his book, Reid refers to a famous photograph of Smithy taken by Ben Martin, a real-life photographer whose work appeared in Life magazine. At one time, Martin was married to "Dark Shadows" actress Kathryn Leigh Scott.

Jim Jones really did have a pet chimpanzee who died at the Jonestown compound along with Jones's human followers. While writing my Smithy duology, I happened to be reading The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and People's Temple by Jeff Gunn, and was surprised to learn about Mr. Muggs. I felt I had to include him in my book.

Taniesha's memoir, All the Rats Were White (And Some Even Wore Lab Coats): On Racism and Sexism in the Sciences Today, was inspired by Robert V. Guthrie's book Even the Rat Was White: A Historical View of Psychology, which discusses both the accomplishments of pioneering Black psychologists and racism in the field. I thought the title was awesome, so I swiped it.

The fictitious children's book about Smithy, Ghostly Animals: Ten Truly Haunting Tales by Bryce Crosby and Ellen Zola, is based on a book from my childhood called Haunted Animas: True Ghost Stories by Allan Zullo. Zullo often teamed up with Bruce Nash to write books for young readers about haunted kids, haunted baby-sitters, haunted athletes, UFO kids, and more. Each book recounted allegedly true events in narrative prose. Like the works of Daniel Cohen, they influenced my love of all things supernatural.

Smithy becomes the subject of two real-life television series that explored the unexplained:  In Search of... and Unsolved Mysteries. The actual episode of Unsolved Mysteries broadcast on January 2, 1997 features a story about a special chimpanzee. The In Search of... episode that aired on January 17, 1982 is called "The Missing Link."

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