Well met Me Hearties! Welcome aboard the Whimsical Herald!
Though frosty winds doth blow we are headed into port to meet with popular YA author Ellen Fritz at the captain’s table. Her intriguing new release, ‘BOUND TO BIGFOOT’ is an original and engaging take on the Beauty and the Beast trope that is a part of the collective consciousness of readers everywhere.
A LOVE FORBIDDEN, YET DESPERATELY LONGED FOR
Losing her mother was a life changing event for 17-year-old Ali. But a chance sighting of a monster that was supposed to exist only in myth and lore would turn her reality upside down and place her on a trajectory toward danger, love, and a new ‘normal’ she could never have imagined...
“What issues are you talking about?” I stared at Mr. Jones and knew he had to see the anger in my eyes. It was burning its way right toward him.
“I can’t tell you the details, but there have been some, let’s say suspicions.”
He was trying to talk calmly and quietly. They lived out in those cabins, stayed away from most of the community except when they had to be involved for work, really kept to themselves. Just the kind of stuff that narrow-minded, intolerant people would think was suspicious. I had told Jake I was sure I loved him, but, at that moment, I really felt the commitment I was ready to make to him and his way of life. I loved him with my whole heart and couldn’t imagine being without him for even one day. My anger, the need to protect Jake from Mr. Jones’ stupid suspicions, and my need to defend the man I loved all flared at once.
“No!” I said with determination. “I won’t stop seeing Jake. There’s nothing you can do to keep me away from him.”
“Ali,” he said with his falsely calm voice. “There are things I can do. The judge will order you to stay away from Jake. I’ll get a protection order against him. If he comes anywhere near you, he can be arrested.”
“This is crazy, ” I practically whispered. “Why would you do that?”
“Because I believe it’s not safe for you to be around him and his family. If you see him again, I’ll go to the judge.”
What if Bigfoot are shifters? Living as humans most the time, as shifters they could change to Bigfoot when they wanted, needed, to hunt. That might explain why they’re so elusive.
Ali’s mother died just months before, she never knew her father, and she is placed with the Patton’s, a young but loving couple who were willing to take a nearly 18-year-old teenager into their home, and on their annual camping trip.
Curious and independent, Ali decides to explore and stumbles across a Bigfoot at Salt Fork State Park. The Bigfoot seems to stare right at her before a deer ran in front of him, causing the Bigfoot to chase and kill it.
But what had she really seen? Maybe it was a bear. Who would believe her anyway?
Then there was this big, incredibly good-looking guy at school the next day. He gazed at her and smiled—and for some reason made her remember how that Bigfoot had stared at her. This guy scared her too. He made her nervous with his sexy good looks and piercing eyes, and especially when he asked her out. No way was she ready for a guy like this. Should she stay away from him and be the shy, lonely girl she’d become since her mother’s death, or take a chance?
Jake’s family is worried. The human girl saw him. Will she tell and force them to leave? Jake needs to get close to her and find out what she saw so he can convince her she’s wrong. But can he deny the attraction he feels for her? While making sure his family is safe, can he also keep her safe, from himself?
1.’Bound to Bigfoot’ is based on an intriguing premise. How did you come up with the idea that Bigfoot might be a shifter?
I was watching a TV show about Bigfoot and they were saying that if they were real, we’d
have found bodies or an abandoned place where they lived or nested. For some reason,
it just came to me that they could be shape shifters and live as humans most of the time.
What if a human girl fell for a Bigfoot in human form? The rest of the story went from
2. What attracts you to write paranormal romance?
Mostly that I have always loved reading paranormal stories. I guess that comes
from my background as an English major and English teacher where I read all the
classic stories and mythologies. Besides, in the paranormal genre, anything can
3. When readers are introduced to Ali in the beginning of your novel she is struggling to find herway after the loss of her mother. How much did you draw on your background as an educator and counselor of young people to develop this character?
I draw on my experience with young people every time I write. The emotions and
thoughts I give Ali and other characters are very real, and I know young people
who have struggled through them after the loss of a parent.
4. There is danger, romance, and also humor in Ali and Jake’s story. Please share some of your favorite moments.
My favorite part is when Jake is dying, and Ali must go to him and give his Bigfoot the strength to heal and shift back to human. That is when she finally knows that she loves him and is meant to be with him forever. Other favorite moments are when Ali runs across Jake as Bigfoot in the forest. The first time, she runs away, but the second time, he “attacks” her and is told the truth about Bigfoot. Of course, I also love the ancillary characters of Robert and Danny. They were fun to write.
5. Devotion to family is a strong theme in ‘Bound to Bigfoot’. What qualities of Jake’s family
cause Ali to feel that she could belong in a Bigfoot Clan?
I think the most important qualities of Jake’s family are their support, understanding, and love for each other. That’s why I made them show such care for Jake’s Uncle Max. I emphasized that care through the situation with the “Loner”. A Bigfoot can’t survive alone.
6. How did you choose the location of your novel? Is it a region you are personally familiar with?
Oh, yes. Salt Fork State Park is a region right outside of Cambridge, Ohio, about forty miles from where I live. It’s beautiful, with hills and valleys covered with forest, a great lodge where Ali gets her job, and has always had stories of Bigfoot sightings.
They have the Ohio Bigfoot Convention every year, this year on May 5-6, and I’ll be there selling my book. Cliff Barackman, one of the stars of the TV show “Finding Bigfoot” will also be there. It’s a fun event, and I’m looking forward to it.
7. The love scenes between Jake and Ali are very sensual without being erotic. Were they
difficult to write?
Not really, but I had to keep reminding myself that, to Jake, their relationship was much more than attraction or desire. He knew they were meant to bond which is forever. Ali was thinking of them in human terms. Until she realized she was ready to commit for life, they couldn’t go any farther. That’s why I put in the part of him almost shifting while they were kissing. He was ready to bond.
8. What modern day actors can you imagine being cast for the film version of ‘Bound to
Wow! That’s a hard one! I looked some up and found Dean Geyer with his light eyes and strong face for Jake. Mainly Jake needs to be a big, hot guy who looks older than he is. There are so many who could play Ali, I couldn’t pick one. She needs to be beautiful without being glamorous.
9. Are you primarily a pantser or a plotter when you write? Do you write on a schedule or as
inspiration strikes you?
I tried to write on a schedule, but couldn’t do it. Sometimes the ideas just aren’t there every day. I also don’t outline very extensively. The general outline and how I want the story to go are in my head. One scene often leads to another. And, I’ll confess, I’ve often written while driving. Instead of listening to music or a book, I let my characters and situations develop in my head. Probably not a good thing while zipping along a freeway.
10. What’s the most important advice you have for aspiring authors from your own experience?
The most important advice is to start, even if the whole story isn’t clear, yet. I have a file of story ideas and beginnings on my computer. Some of them I’ve borrowed for other stories, some will live in that file forever. In fact, Bigfoot once started as a very different book. I took some of it for Bound to Bigfoot, but not much.
10. Tell us about upcoming projects? Do you have any more fairytale retellings in the future?
I always have more than one project going. One right now is a dystopia, and another is about time travel. A third is a chapter book for younger people that is not paranormal. I’m not sure which one I’ll finish next, but it will probably be the dystopia.
As we bid our guest Ellen Fritz a fond farewell, it is a sweet parting because we know we will see her again soon to discuss her many exciting projects. Until then it’s anchors aweigh for Captain and crew, and The Whimsical Herald is underway to a new and warmer destination!
In your service as always,
Mistress of Madness, on Tell-Tale Publishing’s The Whimsical Herald
Mistress of Madness
Well, do you have any idea why a raven is like a writing desk?
Lewis Carroll, in 1897, proposed this answer, "Because it can produce a few notes, though they are very flat; and it is 'never' put with the wrong end in front!" (raven, spelled backward, is nevar aka never...or as we like to say here at TT...never more!)