MF: What was your original inspiration for the Phantom Bigfoot series?
SO: Me and my big feet always getting in my big mouth and our Burmese cat. Oh boy is she naughty or what which perfectly describes Phantom Bigfoot?
MF: These stories are some of the funniest I’ve read in a long time. Is it as much fun to write as it is to read?
SO: I was the court jester in school always in trouble for practical jokes and I guess I never really grew out of it so I turned those mad days into Phantom Bigfoot’s adventures. It’s very therapeutic writing stupid stuff that readers enjoy and bringing a smile to them makes my writing that much more satisfying.
MF: Just because a story is preposterous along the lines of National Lampoon or a Mel Brook’s film doesn’t mean it’s poorly written. Your writing style is strong and well-developed which contributes greatly to the story, particularly the vivid descriptions. What else have you written or is this your first foray into fiction?
SO: Thank you Marcha for your kind words. In between my Phantom Bigfoot Series 1-3 I found the time to step into my dark side and write my Luna Series – a two part Gothic vampire romance set in an asylum in France 1925.
MF: Is Big Beaver, the location of your story, based on a real place or entirely a figment of your imagination?
SO: It’s a collection of memories from old westerns, The Waltons and a few horror movies thrown in for good measure. Whether Wyatt Earp actually stayed in Big Beaver is a matter for the historians to decide.
MF: You mentioned to me previously in a chat that much of Phantom Bigfoot’s language is based on your cat, such as the word “smet,” which expresses frustration. Tell us a little about your Burmese cat.
SO: She asked me not to mention her name, she’s a little on the shy side. What’s that, oh yeah, she asked me to tell you all she is a purrfect little princess and never bites the hand that feeds her. Right, as if! I have the scars to prove otherwise. Smet is the noise she makes when she’s really pissed and spits through her nose.
MF: It takes a special talent to write ribald humor. Without skillful descriptions it’s no more than crude and often vulgar but you somehow bring it to an art form. Do you consider yourself funny in real life?
SO: I always try to see the funny side of life which often gets me into trouble. Phantom Bigfoot abides. Once while on holiday, I fell off a 5 bar gate and landed in a dung heap. Unable to wash the muck off I proceeded into a pub and sat down for lunch much to the disgust of other patrons.
MF: Do friends or relatives give you a bad time about the content of your writing or is it what they’d expect from you?
SO: They think I’m all the way bonkers and come to expect that which you have read.
MF: I love Lou and get more laughs out of Walt, the “sewage extraction expert,” than anyone. Who is your favorite character?
SO: Duane is basically me toned down a bit for family viewing. Okay this is gross but true – I was the kid most likely to get beaten up in school due to my lack of height and would have my sarnies eaten by bullies – that’s sandwiches for the uninitiated. Having gotten quite fed up with this daily ritual I played the coolest joke ever and said bullies were rushed to hospital to have their stomachs pumped after eating what they thought were my sausage sandwiches. Need I say more, heehehehhehh!
MF: Are any of your characters based on real people? Or can’t you say?
SO: Well Duane is me, but there is a little of everyone I know from my home town, nuances, character traits, weird habits, even from people I don’t know like whatshisname across the street.
MF: Is there any chance that you may return to Big Beaver in the future or do you intend to let all the werebigfoot characters rest in peace?
SO: Big loaded question – my fans would be most upset if I didn’t continue – so I will next year with 3 more novellas describing Phantom Bigfoot’s adventures in foreign lands.
MF: Do you plan to write anything serious in the future or stick to humor?
SO: My next two books are both comedies, a romantic comedy about alien abduction and a horror comedy set in Cornwall and my own town of Llantwit Major, which is very old and full of ghosty stuff. However, I do have a completed horror novel that retells WWII from two German brothers’ POV, and once edited could be on the shelves early next year.
MF: Do you have any works in progress (WIPs)? Would you like to tell us something about them?
SO: “Hot in Bigelow” is a romantic comedy about stranded aliens who must find the most intelligent man on Earth to get them back home, problem is Bigelow is full of morons. “Murder Most Deadly” is a scary but funny horror following Bianca’s exploits as she murders her way to wealth, but has to contend with the deceased wanting revenge. Set in beautiful Cornwall and Llantwit Major S Wales.
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PHANTOM BIGFOOT SERIES