by James Moser
Publication date: January 2nd 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Thriller, Young Adult
Mo is a shy teen just trying to survive high school. He has secretly fallen in love with a girl named Prophecy. Some people call her family a harmless hippie community. Others call them a cult. Desperate to keep their land, Prophecy’s family turns to the drug trade and tricks Mo into smuggling. Prophecy flees the compound. She agrees to testify but disappears. Mo is devastated. When he is called to trial, the Family threatens to reveal his own drug trafficking. Mo commits to speaking out, though doing so will destroy his future. Prophecy returns to help Mo kill the monster that her family has become.
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.”
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 favorite literary 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 hundreds of former students.
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, in Snohomish County. The main street is like Arlington (where I had my first teaching job). The log bridge is something I remember from a family trip to Yellowstone National Park, 1,000 miles away. People who have read Twilight will think Boulder Creek feels like Forks, which it does, 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.
What was your mission in writing this book?
To entertain adults and inspire young adults. Teenagers inspire the heck out of me, which is why I’ve been a high school teacher for so long. I wanted characters who transform themselves to overcome obstacles, which is what I watch them do, every day!
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???
How about interests? Hobbies?
Hitting refresh on Amazon’s sales ranking every 5 minutes. That’s been fun lately! Also, walking around with a silly smile on my face after our beloved Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl last weekend. You should have seen the people running around the streets of our neighborhood. It was CRAZY!!! Hanging with my eight year old son, Zachary, and my lovely wife, Laura. Reading and writing, of course. Learning to ski. Starting to suck less at it.
Yeah, I have a couple of things going on. I don’t think I’m done with young people and Bigfoot so I’ve been considering some kind of epic quest trilogy with those characters. The other thing I’ve been messing around with is a series of humorous essays (a la David Sedaris) about growing up, family, etc.
What’s been most exciting about the book, so far?
The fan reaction, both on my facebook page & e-mail. Got my first couple of fan e-mails the other day—both from teens who know each other in New Zealand, of all places. That’s where my literary revolution is going to start, people: Down Under!
The author works with high school students because young adults inspire him. As such, he wanted to write about teenagers transforming themselves to overcome obstacles, which is what he watches them do every day. This book's mission is to entertain adults while inspiring teens. The result is "Chasing Prophecy," a story about love, loss, redemption, and monsters.
Boo Radley is the author's all-time favorite literary character, which is how the Seattle-area legend of Bigfoot entered "Chasing Prophecy".
The author lives in Seattle with his beautiful wife and lively eight year old son. When he's not reading and writing, or talking about reading and writing, he's watching too much television and snacking on frozen treats from Trader Joe's. Man, those things are good.
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