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  • Writer's pictureMatt Sidney

Behind the Beak: The Decision To Make Tyler A Pterodactyl

So why is Tyler a Pterodactyl?

There are two ways I can answer this - there is a logical and thought out component, and then there is the other, non-logical/out there component. And we will dive into both!

The first reason as to why I made Tyler a Pterodactyl is sort of based on Pterodactyls themselves, right? I mean they're prehistoric creatures that once roamed the skies! They were these long beaked, massive wing-having REPTILES. Which is crazy because in today's times, if you were to see a winged Crocodile/Python/Komodo Dragon you'd be amazed (and also quite possibly mortified). Another reason was that I loved the idea of endless adventure and exploration and I thought that a pterodactyl truly symbolizes this sense of freedom and adventure that land and water animals did not have. I knew that our hero would be going on an adventure (potentially more in future books!) and wanted to make sure that there was no limiting any imagination either in this origin story, or in any future stories as well.

Secondly, for the more emotional component of the choice, I chose a pterodactyl because it sort of embodied everything that I was not when I was growing up. And what I mean by that is I have always been afraid of heights. I have always thought it would be so cool if I could fly, because then there would be nothing to be afraid of - limitless possibilites and imagination. I also knew I wanted to pick a pterodactyl because I really wanted to drive home the notion that Tyler was VERY different from his family. While I don't outright say in the story Tyler is adopted, it is very much implied and I was hoping to spark meaningful and engaging conversations from this. I have always felt different, especially physically, from my family and so I really wanted to drive that message through to the character as Tyler loosely shadows my own journey growing up, feeling a bit not like the others.

Lastly, for those that remember Beanie Babies (apologies to those who don't) - I used to have a Beanie Baby pterodactyl when I was younger and would play with it and go on all sorts of adventures. We'd soar through canyons together and we'd help other dinosaurs in need along the way and in writing this book I was able to revisit some of those fond memories as a child and it reinforced the character choice for Tyler.

This concludes our first segment of "Behind the Beak." Check in on the blog regularly as I will uncover more fun facts about the development of Tyler the Pterodactyl!

Soaring off for Now! - Matt Sidney, Chief Pterodactyl Officer


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