From the Mind to the Page


By Ricardo Sanchez, author of BIGFOOT BLUES

Bigfoot Blues was not supposed to be the sequel to Elvis Sightings. I had a totally different book in mind that leaned heavily on the work of Agatha Christie (I’m a huge fan.) I spent countless hours reading every manor house mystery story I could find doing research. I wrote out all the rules of the genre and then spent a good month plotting out the story, complete with red herrings, an heiress and false accusations. But I was noodling around one day and asked myself, “Who would be harder to find than Elvis?” The answer, Bigfoot, kind of slapped me in the face and ten minutes later I had an outline for Bigfoot Blues that is pretty close to where the book ended up.

I’ve been writing professionally for almost twenty years now, and when I talk to non-writers, the conversation almost always comes to the creative process, which, I’m sad to say, is still a bit of a mystery to me. As an example, a friend who read an early draft of Bigfoot Blues asked me how the hell I could come up with the idea that a woman would ever elope with Bigfoot. And that somebody else would want to hire a P.I. to find her. And that there might be a town full of women who have hooked up with Sasquatch. My very unsatisfying answer was “What other kind of case would Floyd get hired for?”

I don’t know if it is true for all writers, but in the back of my head, the worlds of my stories exist in a sort of parallel universe. And in the one inhabited by the Elvis Sightings books, it’s only natural that there are collectors of cryptotaxidermy, brides of Bigfoot and reporters convinced that everything is a conspiracy.

The process of writing, for me, is a lot like the process of reading. When I’m doing it, I’m completely lost to the real world. I have no sense of time. And I’m dying to find out what happens next. Even though I the plot, I don’t actually know how I’m going to write it or what my characters are going to say. And I don’t know what changes to the plot I’m going to make thanks to the magic of serendipity. But that’s what makes writing fun.

The same friend who asked me about the plot to Bigfoot Blues said he could never come up with a whole world populated with characters who felt like real people. But I challenged him on that. It’s true not everybody can be a great writer (and I’m not necessarily claiming I’m one) but I firmly believe there is a writer in everyone, whether it’s just telling a good joke or coming up with a bedtime story for your kid. If you enjoy the world of the Elvis Sightings Mysteries, steal it. Tell a story with Goliath, or your own Lifestyle Elvis. Or just come up with a bizarre mystery for Floyd to solve. I’d love to read what you come up with.

Ricardo is a writer, toy buff, and lifelong comic book fan. In addition to writing Elvis Sightings and its sequel, Bigfoot Blues, for Carina Press, Ricardo has written for DC Comics, including Batman, Teen Titans Go!, Resident Evil and Line of Defense. His Kickstarter, A Hero’s Death, is coming out later this year, as is his illustrated book of zombie poetry. When he’s not writing, Ricardo drives old muscle cars and collects Halloween decorations for his home in California.

CARINA_0515_9781426899850_BigfootBluesShe eloped with Bigfoot. Or maybe Bigfoot kidnapped her. Either way, I’ve been hired to uncover the truth behind Cindy Funk’s disappearance. Me? I’m Floyd, and I’m a PI living my life as Elvis would have wanted. Not just in sequined jumpsuits. With character.

Cindy’s trail leads me to River City, Oregon—aka the Mythical Creature Capital of the World—where I catch Case #2. This one from an eccentric billionaire who’s lost a priceless piece of “art.” Enter one dead body and I end up deputized to solve Case #3, tracking down a man-eating mountain lion. Or maybe it’s a chupacabra. Or just an ordinary murderer. Hard to say.

I’ve handled my fair share of crazy, but River City’s secrets have me spooked. With an influx of tourists arriving for the town’s annual Elvis tribute contest—what are the chances?—I’ve got to save the girl, solve the rich guy’s problem and leash that chupacabra before a second body is discovered. It might just be mine.

Read more about Floyd’s adventures in Elvis Sightings, available now!

81,000 words

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