Please Write More Books About Cryptids
Writing inspiration from creatures who may or may not exist (but definitely exist)
I am not an expert cryptozoologist and I will not claim to be one. I’m simply a person with a vested, professional interest in mysterious, supernatural creatures that may or may not exist; creatures like Bigfoot, Mothman, the Jersey Devil, etc. These beings are the stuff of legend, but apparently that’s not enough for the literary community. It’s easy to find books about “sexy” supernatural creatures like vampires and witches, but it seems that authors are too good to look down from their ivory towers and into their local woods, where the Flatwoods monster is probably rolling around in its big metal suit, hissing at children and emitting a noxious gas. I’m sick of all the fanfare going to the popular crowd of unexplainable beings; here are some book ideas that would celebrate the outcasts and weirdos who actually deserve celebration.
Mothman is a seven-foot-fall humanoid with wings, glowing red eyes, and the ability to fly over 100 mph. I think they deserve some love, so I suggest a graphic novel where a teenaged Mothman lives in the woods next to a skatepark and falls in love with a skater girl named Light who frequents the park at night. When she notices glowing red eyes watching her from the woods, she surprises Mothman by inviting them to skate with her. As Mothman falls harder for Light, they must overcome their fear of her world in order to be with her.
Bigfoot: The Silent Woods
Bigfoot loves hanging out in the woods of the Pacific Northwest and avoiding detection. In Bigfoot’s book, he grew up alone in the woods, never knowing a life outside of isolation. But when he finds a girl wandering in the woods, mute and lost, he tries to take care of her. Over time, Bigfoot discovers that the girl ran into the woods after her father died, her grief so extreme it rendered her speechless. Bigfoot and the girl use an invented sign-language to communicate, and help each other heal from their different types of loneliness.
Jersey Devil: Daughter Devil
The Jersey Devil is generally believed to be a sort of horse-dragon crossover, although accounts vary. It can fly and breathe fire, and its origins date back to the 1700s. The Jersey Devil’s book would be a historical fiction novel beginning with the Jersey Devil’s birth as the cursed thirteenth child of a witch. The book traces the Devil (named 13) as she grows up in with her abusive, magical mother in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. After her mother threatens her life, 13 escapes. She happens upon a tough woman living alone near the edge of the Barrens who gives 13 something she didn’t know existed—unconditional love.
Flatwoods Monster: The Town
When a family moves to a small town in West Virginia, they immediately notice something strange is happening. There’s no phone service, electronics rarely work, and town-wide blackouts and earthquakes are common. The people of the town say they just live in a technology dead zone, but the family is suspicious. One night, their son Justin stays out late and notices none of the townspeople are in their houses. He smells something odd coming from the church basement, and there he finds the townspeople gathered around a ten-foot-tall robotic monster. Will the family escape this cult, or fall victim to the Flatwoods’ hissing call?
Loch Ness Monster: Eventide
A group of teenagers walking around Loch Ness late one night gets a shock when they notice a beady eye watching them from the water. When the eye becomes a head and long neck, the teenagers realize they’re looking at the famous Loch Ness monster, but before they can react, they hear Nessie’s voice in their heads. She needs their help to solve a mystery, and they have to travel through time with her in order to do it. As the friends begin helping Nessie, they must unravel a mystery that goes back hundreds of years, and hits closer to home than any of them expected.
Two-Toed Tom: A Fortune-Teller’s Guide to Reptiles
A lesser-known cryptid hailing from the Florida-Alabama border, Two-Toed Tom is a 30-foot-long demonic alligator known for attacking both animals and people. In southern Alabama, a woman named Bea runs a psychic business out of her trailer. What her clients don’t know, however, is that Bea’s powers are real. While practicing her magic one night, Bea accidentally summons a demon in the form of an alligator who offers to grant her wishes. Bea begins making wishes before realizing the consequences: for each wish made, Tom will devour someone in town. Now, Bea must defeat Tom before he becomes too powerful.
Teakettler: The Teakettlers
In a small cottage in the middle of the woods, Esther lives unhappily. The cottage felt full when Esther’s wife was alive, but now that she’s gone the garden has wilted, the paint is peeling, and most of the lights are burnt out. Esther is bored, lonely, and considering ending her life—until she hears a funny whistling noise outside her kitchen window. In the wilted garden are three little dogs that look like corgis, but they whistle like tea kettles, walk backwards, and blow steam out of their mouths. While Esther is originally suspicious, she soon comes to love the teakettlers and, over time, the pups help her get her life back.