by James Moser
Publication date: January 2nd 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Thriller, Young Adult
Mo is a teen boy just trying to survive high school in the mountain town of Boulder Creek, Washington. Boulder Creek is an isolated and mysterious place, proud of its reputation as the "Bigfoot Sighting Capital of the World." Mo falls in love with a girl named Prophecy who lives with a group that some call a commune and others call a cult. When she disappears, Mo must find the courage to face the monster that her family has become. This heartwarming coming of age story chronicles the adolescence of one boy who must transform himself to save the girl of his dreams.
How long have you been writing?
All my life, really. I’ve always kept a journal, written short stories, that kind of thing. Growing up, my mom drove us around in a lime green Pontiac station wagon with a broken radio. On long car trips, mom or my siblings would ask me to make up stories, to replace the radio. I’d look at the scenery and just start talking: “The dead body was found in the K-Mart parking lot.” And “The vampire looked for fresh blood in the Denny’s bathroom.” I wrote my first story in about 2nd grade. It was called “The Vampire that Lives in that Room with the Furnace In It.” I’d revise it, week to week, depending on which sibling was annoying me most. One week it might be called “Boy is Kathy Going to be Sorry She Told on Me Once the Vampire that Lives in that Room with the Furnace In It Gets Ahold of Her.”
How did you come up with this story?
I always wanted to build a story around someone or something like Boo Radley, my all-time fave character. I love how he dominates that book while remaining largely off-stage. I looked around the Seattle area and the closest thing I could think of was our local legend of Bigfoot. Once I had my own version of Nathan Arthur Radley in place, I started thinking a lot about monsters, especially monsters we make bigger in our imagination. I also thought about Boo living in society without being a part of it, which made me think of different separatist groups turned into cults. My young characters are based on bits and pieces of many former students of mine. The Bigfoot stuff is based on an encounter a couple of them swear they had in Oso (which by the way is the site of the horrific mud-slide that has been in the news). That part of the Mount Baker National Forest has the most Bigfoot sightings in the world.
Where is Boulder Creek, Washington?
Like everything else in the book, it’s based on bits and pieces of lots of things. There is no town called that. Boulder Creek is where my wife and I hiked for our first date, in the foothills of the north Cascade Mountains. The mountains in my book look like the ones around Darrington & Oso, in Snohomish County. The main street is like Arlington. The log bridge is something I remember from a family trip to Yellowstone National Park, 1,000 miles away. Twilight readers keep telling me that Boulder Creek feels like Forks, and they’re right, because that’s what every small town in Washington feels like. The Bethlehem compound is the Boy Scout camp I attended in northern Idaho, complete with the same wood carvings on the fireplace.
If you had to explain your book in one sentence, what would that sentence be?
Real monsters don’t always hide in the woods. Sometimes they turn out to be people we’ve known all our lives. OK that was two sentences, but not bad, right???
Reading and writing, of course. Hanging with my eight year old son, Zachary, and my lovely wife, Laura. Learning to ski. Thinking hard about getting on the treadmill, followed by not getting on the treadmill, followed by seeing what’s new on Netflix.
What have you been reading, lately?
The last couple years have been all about Sherman Alexie’s True Diary and the complete works of John Green. Jay Asher’s 13 Reasons + Future of Us. I’m a male writer with a male voice writing teen dude narrators, so those have been my go-to guys for this particular project. I think True Diary is the most important thing to happen in YA for a looooong time.
So I have to ask: Do you believe in Bigfoot?
Dunno. I’m not a wishy-washy guy but I just do not know. I guess for me the point is that I kind of like not knowing. I like the debates & I love how passionate people are about it one way or the other. It’s a different form of Faith, really, which is whatever you want it to be. Put it this way: I’ll be crushed if he’s ever proven or disproven. I like the uncertainty & what’s the point of living when there are no more monsters to chase? :)
Yeah, I’m outlining and researching a teen series set in Seattle with the local legend of Sasquatch as the key paranormal thread. People seem really interested in him + I live in this setting, where we happen to have the most sightings in the world + no one else is doing it, so it seems like a natural fit. I’m handing off drafts to editors and cover designers in December, 2014 and the first release will be in March, 2015.
What’s been most exciting about the book, so far?
Just having an audience is so fun. I’ve been getting random fan e-mails from the UK, Australia, one from China, the other day. Chatting about what I’m up to, and learning what readers like & dislike has just been so thrilling!
When he's not dazzling Goodreads members with his wit and charm, the author is typically reading, writing, or watching way too much TV while snacking on chocolate treats from Trader Joe's (and who can blame him--those things are GOOD, yo!).
The author wanted to write about teenagers transforming themselves to survive. The result is "Chasing Prophecy," a story about love, loss, redemption, and monsters. Boo Radley is the author's all-time favorite book character, which is how the Seattle-area legend of Bigfoot entered this story.
Moser holds a B.A. in bookish matters and a Master's in the same. He lives in Seattle with his wife and eight year old son.
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