Jeffery Viles brings bigfoot legend to life in imaginative, genre-bending romp “The Sasquatch Murder” Trip through the woods has wide-ranging consequences after creature’s accidental shooting


COLUMBIA, MO. – They could be out there, you must know, those heretofore unknown bipedal hominids commonly called sasquatch. Owing to a complete accident, youthful widower Jake Holly shoots and kills a female sasquatch and takes her back to town only to be charged by the local prosecuting attorney with murder, because the creature is so human-like. This imaginative, hard-to-classify and tightly woven tale explains up front, in a prologue that soars from the creation of the universe to the present day, just how these creatures came to be traipsing around in the big trees surrounding Mount St. Helens. With intricate details and bursts of literary language, Jeffery Viles offers a fast-moving narrative of events that shock the Pacific Northwest town of Aurora, Washington, then reverberate around the world and into the White House, thanks to the Internet. Hee-Haw’s tavern is ground zero for local oddballs and elbow benders to posture, talk Bigfoot, and offer their peculiar yarns in colorful idiom, while Jake and Jessica O’Reilly are falling in love despite an age difference that Jessica’s powerful father, the prosecutor, cannot abide. But when Sasquatch enters the picture, a tripwire is broken and every preconceived notion is instantly upside down.

After graduating from the University of Missouri, Jeffery Viles had stints at “Die Welt,” a world-wide and highly regarded German newspaper and the Columbia Daily Tribune. When he left journalism, he bought and built up a small petroleum distribution company, then became a hotel owner and restaurateur; went on to start a construction/design company which eventually segued into ownership of commercial real estate. Throughout all of his ventures, Jeff occasionally worked on short stories and eventually began to work on a novel in earnest, which turned into “The Sasquatch Murder (A Love Story).”




About the book


On a quiet but rainy horse ride through the big woods, youthful widower Jake Holly is surprised into accidentally shooting a female sasquatch. The prosecuting attorney in the small town of Aurora,Washington, is startled by the creature’s human-like appearance and charges Jake with  murder. The prosecutor also happens to be the father of Jake’s 15-years-younger girlfriend, Jessica. Despite the hurdles facing them, Jake and Jessica only grow closer as the concrete discovery of a sasquatch reverberates via the internet throughout the nation and the world.

 Jeffery Viles evokes the city of Aurora with small-town charm and memorable characters that you’ll feel you’ve known forever. He’ll make you question where you stand on creatures such as sasquatch, and pull you into a tale that’s not quite mystery, not quite love story and not quite science fiction, but some fantastical combination of the three.

“The Sasquatch Murder (a love story)”
Jeffery Viles | July 25, 2017 | Beaver’s Pond Press
Hardcover | 978-1592987696 | $19.95
e-book | 978-1592986750 | $7.99
Science fiction/fantasy


An Interview with Jeffrey Viles


What inspired you to write about sasquatch?
We humans have always been fascinated by mysterious monsters, from Grendel in “Beowulf,” one of the oldest examples of English literature, right down to “Frankenstein” and the “Wolfman.”  The notion of a novel unveiling sasquatch just wouldn’t go away.

What are your beliefs regarding the legendary creature? 
I’m truly a sasquatch agnostic.  But if it doesn’t exist, there are a lot of sightings by normal people and other credible evidence to explain away.

This book is a combination of several genres – did you plan it that way or did it just morph into that as you were writing? I didn’t give a single thought to genre while writing this novel.  I simply wanted to tell a good story that would sometimes employ literary language and make a good read.  Many people seem to think it succeeds.

Are any of the characters based on real people? Does Hee-Haw’s have a nonfictional counterpart?
Hee-Haw’s is a conglomeration of every good bar and pub I’ve enjoyed in America, Ireland, Great Britain and even Germany; the kind of place where you’ll find yourself chatting and joking with the locals within five minutes of arrival.  The characters are also composites of many colorful people I’ve known, and they often are embellished with my imagination.    

What makes the Pacific Northwest the perfect setting for this kind of story?
Many of the sasquatch sightings, oversized footprints, unexplainable tufts of hair, etc., take place in that quadrant of the country.  To quote page 87 of the novel:  “if such a thing is real, it should, it must, live among the Pacific Northwest’s impossibly grand forests.”

Do you think your background in journalism affected how you write?
Certainly.  You learn to write by writing.

If you were able to have a roundtable with three authors, who would you include and what would you ask them?
It’s very hard to boil it down to three.  I could easily name a dozen I especially admire. But to answer the question, maybe Ernest Hemingway, Gabriel García Márquez and Raymond Carver would make a good roundtable. I’d ask them everything I could think of, but especially the details of how they work day to day.

Who would play Jake, Jessica and Sasquatch if the book were turned into a movie?
Matthew McConaughey, Jeremy Renner or Edward Norton would all make a good Jake.  They are in their 40s. For the younger Jessica, I’d nominate Jennifer Lawrence. As sasquatch, you’d think of the crazy side of Jeff Bridges. But I imagine the movie folks would do a great sasquatch with CGI.

When you get in a writing funk, is there a certain book or author you read to get re-inspired? 
No. A glass or two of good Chardonnay and I’m ready to ramble.

The book’s ending is ambiguous – it could be a set up for another book, but it could just as easily let the story lie. Any chance we’ll see more from Jake and Jessica?
A couple of Amazon five-star reviewers have asked for that so I’d have to consider it.  But I’m more likely to complete something quite different.  I’m playing with that very different story right now.
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