From an article published in the Santa-Barbara News Press by Marilyn McMahon, December 11, 2013: Karen: It was love at first sight when I first saw Gemina, the famous crooked-neck Giraffe at the Santa Barbara Zoo, one day in 2007. Gemina came right up and enchanted me with her sweet demeanor. Despite her crooked neck, she was part of the herd and completely comfortable in her own skin. Gemina is my first nonfiction book. She appealed to me because when I write a story, I try to have an underlying message in my books without being preachy. To me, Gemina was an inspiration to children because she was comfortable with who she was even though she was different from the other giraffes.