Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Bigfoot Erotica

The “Rise” of Bigfoot Erotica

Sometimes you wake up in the morning and discover that half the people you know have sent you messages about Bigfoot erotica. When it happens, you know it’s going to be that kind of day. 

This morning I woke to learn that Bigfoot erotica has become “the next big thing” (ewah) and it’s all over the news. Turns out, some guy named Denver Riggleman is running for Congress, and his Democratic opponent has accused him of being an aficionado of Bigfoot erotica. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, as they say. But apparently there is something wrong with that in the minds of some voters if you’re running for Congress. Which is strange, because Bigfoot porn is the least harmful thing politicians have done in recent memory.

My novel Bigfoot CSI is a funny YA story that does have a romantic subplot between a 16-year-old girl and—wait for it—a Bigfoot! Not erotica (it’s appropriate for teens), but there is romantic physical contact between the pair. Full disclosure: The Bigfoot in question is a hybrid—his mother is a wild animal living in the forest; his dad is a forest ranger.

The story about would-be Congressman Riggleman got me curious, so I did some research and learned that there are lots of very popular (and lucrative) stories floating around out there about humans carrying on with Bigfoot. If I had known, maybe I should have written the story about the lady Bigfoot and her forest ranger boyfriend instead of a funny story about her teenage son and a high school girl.

The popularity of Bigfoot erotica shouldn’t come as a surprise. It’s the next logical step after romances between humans and vampires, werewolves, zombies, aliens, Greek gods, and who knows what else. Why not Bigfoot? Can’t a giant, hairy forest-dweller get a little love?

Pick up your copy of Bigfoot CSI and enjoy a little Bigfoot romance for yourself. No, it's not erotica--it's better because if you get caught reading the book at work or school or at your cousin's baptism, it won't be hideously embarrassing. It won't even cost anything because from Thursday, August 2 through Saturday, August 4 (Pacific Time), the ebook edition of Bigfoot CSI will be free on Amazon.com. Read it, love it, review it, and tell everyone you know!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Government Work

The TV show Ghosted is fantastic! Every time I watch it, I can count on at least one good laugh. It’s not just about ghosts, either. It’s kind of a Men in Black or Agents of SHIELD or X-Files kind of situation where there are lots strange creatures that the guys in a secret supernatural government office have to hunt down and keep under control. 
Image result for ghostedWhile the show itself is a blast, the show’s premise is worrisome. In another life, I worked in a little-known and exceedingly dull corner of the federal government. As a former employee of the massive, lumbering bureaucratic labyrinth that is the U.S. government, I know we shouldn’t put something important like managing ghosts, demons, and other assorted unexplained phenomena in the shaky hands of public servants. What if they mess it up? What if they trap ghosts, then accidentally release them, like that dope in the first Ghostbusters movie? What if they put aside their important work so they can take extra long lunches on Fridays (or Mondays of Thursdays)? What if their training is less than outstanding, as it was in my case?
When I was first hired to shuffle papers in a gray-walled pile of bricks on Chicago’s near north side, we had to go through an unnecessarily long training process. As if that would somehow help make us efficient at our jobs or something. There was one particular woman who was responsible for training a large class of new hires over the course of three months. Much of what she did was spend an inordinate amount of time explaining how to route pieces of paper from one corner of our organization to another. The only thing more painfully boring than teaching it was listening to her teach it.
The boredom was only broken up by occasional moments of fingernails-on-the-blackboard irritation because this trainer always said the word “viva” when she meant “via.” Always. And she insisted on using “viva” in every third sentence that came out of her mouth. She’d say something like, “This sheet of white paper is supposed to go to the Accounting Department, but it has to get there viva the supervisor’s office.” She meant via, of course, because she was saying the boring white paper gets to accounting by way of the supervisor.
Every single time she said it, the guy sitting next to me would start singing Elvis’s classic hit Viva Las Vegas under his breath. Every. Single. Time. In retrospect, I don’t know which was more annoying: The trainer who didn’t understand that different words had different meanings or the guy next to me with his Elvis impression. Oh, wait, yes I do know. It was definitely the trainer because a) she was getting paid more to be a cretin without language skills and b) if she knew the proper word, the guy next to me wouldn’t have had any excuse to sing.
Anyway, the point is these are the kinds of people who work for the federal government. Do you want them in charge of keeping you safe from things that go bump in the night? Can they be trusted to run Area 51? Would they even know how to find Area 51 without going viva the accounting manager’s desk? In other words, if the idea behind shows like Ghosted is to be believed, you’d better make friends with the creatures under your bed, because the government might not be able to protect you.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Summer Sea Serpents

Summer Sea Serpents

Bigfoot is one of my favorite topics because he’s the subject of my novel Bigfoot CSI, but he’s not the only cryptid in town. Cryptids are creatures that science doesn’t recognize because scientists can’t get their hands on a specimen to slaughter it and cut it up, or lock it in a cage to become the subject of painful, unnecessary experiments. Cryptids are the focus of Cryptozoology, a field of study considered a “pseudoscience” because it doesn’t have any unfortunate specimens to inflict the scientific method upon. Cryptids include Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster, Chupacabra, Jersey Devil, and a long list of other such creatures which might or might not exist, but which are clever enough to avoid human laboratories.

The Loch Ness Monster is an exciting cryptid that has been luring the curious to Scotland for decades. There are those who claim it’s a plesiosaur, which is a long-necked sea-dwelling animal that became extinct 65 million years ago. Since Loch Ness is connected to the ocean, the theory that Nessy is a sea dinosaur makes sense to its supporters. While the Loch Ness Monster is the most famous of the sea-dwelling cryptids, it’s by no means the only one.

Lake Champlain in New York State, Vermont, and Quebec, Canada has its own maybe-plesiosaur. Nicknamed “Champ” after the lake where it lives, this creature has been seen and photographed for decades. There are even sound recordings that are similar to the vocalizations of Beluga whales, although no Belugas live in Lake Champlain.

The Southeast coast of Georgia has its own plesiosaur-like cryptid called Altamaha-ha (or Alty). This creature has been spotted in the Altamaha River, which empties into the Atlantic Ocean. Tales about Alty date back to the Native American Muscogee people who inhabited the area. In March, 2018, the body of a strange creature washed up on the Georgia coast near the mouth of the Altamaha River. Its long neck and flippers were reminiscent of the plesiosaur and the Alty sightings. Someone got a picture, but somehow the creature’s body was not recovered, so it couldn’t be studied to figure out what exactly this thing was. 

What I find particularly interesting about this creature on the Georgia coast is its similarity to the story in Bigfoot CSI. In my novel, there's a girl who has to destroy the bodies of dead Bigfoot creatures so they can't be found by humans. She and others like her are called "scrubs." Her function is vital because if humans knew Bigfoot (and other cryptids) existed, then they would devote more time and effort to tracking the creatures. 

It's fun to imagine that some real-life scrub tracked down the body of this sea serpent and destroyed it before it could be retrieved and studied. Maybe my next cryptid novel should focus on Alty or Champ or the Loch Ness Monster. Writing the book would be a good excuse for a nice vacation at the beach.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Why Bigfoot hides

“If Bigfoot really exists, why does he stay hidden? Why not show himself?” a friend asked me recently. We were discussing the premise of my new novel Bigfoot CSI, which is about a teenage girl whose job is to destroy the bodies of dead Bigfoot so they won’t be discovered by humans.

My response to the question was simply that interaction with humans tends to go badly for animals of all sorts. Even creatures like gorillas that look like hairy humans get shot, locked in cages, and experimented on. What sensible Bigfoot would want to sign up for that? My friend didn’t think I was giving humans enough credit and disagreed with my negative assessment of how we treat the creatures we share the Earth with.

A few days after the conversation, I saw this article about a loose African warthog was spotted running around Port St. Lucie, Florida. Apparently, a warthog—which had probably belonged to a local resident because it was friendly—was roaming the area. It took some time, but wildlife officials finally caught it. It’s unclear why that was necessary. It was living in Florida, for goodness’ sake! It’s warm enough for a warthog to survive, there are already alligators and massive snakes, and if you’ve ever been to Key West. you know that an African warthog isn’t the strangest mammal they’ve got down there. 
Image result for African warthog image

Once they caught the poor pig, they promptly killed it. “Euthanize” is the word used in one article. That word suggests putting a creature out of its misery for humane reasons. There was no reason to believe this pig was in any misery. He acted tame and friendly. The wildlife officials claimed to be concerned about disease transmission since they didn’t know where he had come from. If they didn’t want to have him running the streets, then why not put him in a zoo? Or turn him over to ICE so they could deport him back to Africa? He was Pumba from the Lion King! How can you murder Pumba?

This incident was the perfect support for my argument that interaction with humans is never a good thing for wild creatures. Why would Bigfoot refuse to show himself? Because wildlife officials could pretend they’re worried about diseases he might have, so it would be safer to just kill him. Then they would study his body, which is what another article reported they did with the poor warthog.
That warthog wasn’t bothering anyone, just blending in with the other wild, hairy, naked things in Florida, yet he had to be killed and cut open to satisfy some scientists’ curiosity. Tragic. 

You stay hidden, Bigfoot! And be careful in Florida because you’re probably not the biggest, hairiest, weirdest thing in the Sunshine State.