I first read Monster by Frank Peretti soon after it came out in 2011. I’m drawn to Peretti’s work like so many other readers because of his ability to weave in unique twists and intrigue. He takes us to the edge of being creeped out without becoming too overwhelming. This Present Darkness had been instrumental in opening my eyes to how real the spiritual world around us “could” be. That’s when I started to explore the Bible in more detail for answers surrounding angels and demons.
Growing up, I categorized Bigfoot as a tabloid figure used by the media for fun and money. My step-dad used to buy the National Inquirer and Bigfoot was a regular in the often-derogatory spotlight. At that time, I wasn’t aware an entire Bigfoot subculture existed (some still derogatory), but I was fascinated with the idea of an overly large monster roaming the wilds. I still am. I mean, what if…?
So, I picked up this larger than life book about a struggling couple who gain a new perspective on life after one of them is kidnapped by a “monster.” What I gained was a new perspective on the “idea” of Bigfoot. Can’t say it turned me into a total believer but at least I felt like I had permission to write about this creature in a dramatic yet family-friendly way. He wasn’t simply tabloid material anymore.
Realm Makers 2021
At this past Realm Makers writer’s conference, Frank Peretti was the keynote speaker. At 70, with a hugely successful career in writing fantasy and speculative fiction, he’s a wealth of knowledge and a gifted speaker/storyteller. What a treasure! During a Q & A, I asked what inspired him to write Monster. A legitimate questions because this book really is quite different from his others. He laughed and said:
I was inspired by Sasquatch. He’s kind of a big deal in Idaho (Peretti lives in this state), and what a great subject to write about.Frank peretti
Later, he told me his did most of his research on a reservation in Coeur d’Alene, interviewing the police about sightings and investigations. He said, “I don’t know if Sasquatch exists, but the Native Americans living there believe it.”
Bigfoot/Sasquatch is enough to inspire a complete story. Stories are about the people whom the monster affects (except in the movie Exists–check out my Bigfoot movie comparisons). Goals and conflict can be easily adapted to accommodate a forest-dwelling creature. I did this with my first novel, Hidden Truths, which is out there right now, roaming the publishing world. It’s about an unyielding eighteen-year-old who tracks Bigfoot to vindicate her dead mom but finds herself trapped between her dad’s secrets about the past and a greedy hunters willingness to trade those secrets for the Bigfoot location.
I’ll be forever intrigued by the phenomenon of Bigfoot. Has he become such an iconic figure because people so badly want him to exist or because he represents the perfect “monster?” Of course there’s more to it than that. That’s why Mel Cabre and I wrote a book about it. You can check out The Legend of Bigfoot: Leaving His Mark On the World here. It’s available where ever books are sold.
Thanks for reading and remember: “Sin is the monster we love to deny. It is crouching at the door and wants you, but you must overcome it.” –Frank Peretti (I hear him say this in a gravelly, storytelling voice).