John McFarland, Author of “Annette: A Big, Hairy Mom”

momHi Pat. My new novel is my first for Young Readers. It is about Bigfoot and is called “Annette: A Big, Hairy Mom.” It is currently available from New Babel Books, from Amazon. My website is http://annettethemom.com

Welcome, John. What is your book about?

The novel is a richly illustrated story of a spoiled second grader who gets lost in the woods and is rescued by a lonely, middle-aged Sasquatch mom who is suffering from empty nest syndrome. The tale is based on an alleged true story and follows the adventures of the unlikely pair as Annette devises a plan to get the boy safely back to his parents while avoiding a hungry mountain lion, hunters, and a sweets-loving cryptozoologist who wants to capture Annette.

What inspired you to write this particular story?

I have been interested in Bigfoot since I was about ten, when I saw an article about them is a magazine I found in my grandmother’s magazine rack. I met my illustrator in 2010 after my first novel was published, and I wanted to think of something I could write that she could illustrate. Bigfoot seemed like a perfect fit.

When were you first published?

I was first published nationally in the early 1980’s in The Twilight Zone Magazine. Later I appeared in National Lampoon and in the anthology A Treasury of American Horror Stories, along with Stephen King and H.P. Lovecraft.

What do you like to read?

I enjoy classic horror like the great 19th century masterpieces. Also mainstream work like Flannery O’Connor, James Joyce and William Faulkner.

What one book, written by someone else, do you wish you’d written?

I would say Frankenstein. A great Romantic and metaphysical work, not only on horror, but on mankinds connection to science and nature and the penalty for abrogating responsibility.

Who gave you the best writing advice you ever received?

Isaac Asimov. I corresponded with him when I was a teen. I lamented that my best ideas kept popping up as movies and other peoples stories. He said original ideas are overrated and nearly impossible to come by. Take the idea and make it your own, he said.

Have you written any other books?

Yes, my historical horror novel The Black Garden appeared in 2010 to universally positive reviews. I have several other unfinished novels in the works.

Do your characters ever take on a life of their own?

Most definitely. I am amazed at how organic a process writing is, how it constantly surprizes me and things develop in my stories I didnt forsee.

Who did your cover?

The cover for Annette: A Big, Hairy Mom was done by my illustrator, Brenna Vaughan, who has illustrated many other children’s books.

Where can people learn more about your books?

On my website, http://annettethemom.com, and on my author page on Amazon and Goodreads.