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Monday, August 10, 2015

Zombies, Scooby-Doo and El Chupacabra (Bigfoot Blues by Ricardo Sanchez) + giveaway

Zombies, Scooby-Doo and El Chupacabra

Word on the street is some folks around here like zombies. I like zombies (by which I mean I hate them of course, as they are foul smelling, human noshing vermin, but I like watching/reading/playing/writing zombies.) But I’m not here to talk about zombies – yet. I want to talk about my passion for El Chupacabra and the monster of the week.

I grew up with Scooby-Doo, Creature Feature, Kolchack: The Night Stalker, Elvira and Hammer House of Horror. For Halloween I was, in sequence, Dracula, Frankenstein and the Phantom of the Opera. I have the whole crew of Mego Universal Monsters in a case. But as much as I love monsters, I almost never get to write them, even when I’m doing my own projects.

My first novel, Elvis Sightings, was a cozy mystery. I’d planned to follow it up with a zombie novel (see, I do love/hate zombies!) but the publisher asked me for a sequel so I had to put off putrescent shambling and have another go with Floyd, the main character of Elvis Sightings. Floyd is both a detective and a Lifestyle Elvis – he lives his life the way he thinks Elvis would want him to. “What would Elvis do?” in other words. In the first book, he goes to a small town in Wyoming and discovers a cold war era plot that involves a bunch of “dead” celebrities, Danish wannabe Viking immigrants, retired circus performers and maybe Elvis. And a bearded lady love interest.

The setting and mystery of the first book was so absurd (but still believable!) that I could basically have Floyd investigate anything. When I started working on the sequel, I was also pitching some Scooby-Doo stories (someday I will write that dog!) and had spent several weeks thinking about monstrous mysteries, so I decided Floyd should have a monster of the week adventure. But to make it as zany as Elvis Sightings, I threw in not one, but two monsters – Bigfoot and a chupacabra – and a group of women who call themselves Brides of Bigfoot, since every story needs a bit of romance in it.
The challenge with writing familiar monsters, though, is making them feel new again. Kolchack did it phenomenally well. So did the first season of the X-Files. My approach was to inject both critters with a heavy dose of humor. My chupa is simultaneously frightening and funny because Goliath, a 3½ foot combative little man who is normally a terror in his own right, turns to jello at the very mention of the chupa. Turns out little people are their favorite snack. Who knew. And my Bigfoot is quite the Lothario, romancing as many of the townswomen as he can get his hairy hands on. The approach I used works (I think) because I’ve taken two pretty played out creatures and looked at them from an unusual perspective. And if you go back to Scooby-Doo, that’s part of what made their mysteries so much fun too. Whether it was
Miner 49er or The Creeper, Scooby monsters were all well known villain types from countless B movies that had come before, but they’re fun to see again in a Scooby episode because no hero ever dealt with an electrical monster by alternately chasing and being chased by it. Scooby monsters weren’t that important, it was how the gang was going to uniquely respond to the monster that made the show fun. It’s basically the same approach that succeeded for Kokchack and Mulder and Scully. Their reactions entertained us, not the creature.

So in Bigfoot Blues, the sequel, Bigfoot and the chupa largely stay in the shadows, their handiwork seen but themselves only glimpsed now and then while the focus of the story stays on how the characters deal with their fear and anxiety. In the case of Goliath, that usually means a punch to Floyd’s groin or running for the hills. Sure, it’s low blow humor, but I can guarantee you haven’t read it before.

Now that Bigfoot Blues is out, I’ve turned my attention back to zombies. I’m in the process of re-writing Odd Jobs for the Undead, a novel about a high functioning zombie named Gordon. He’s a lot like you and me. He longs for the basics: A roof over his head. A full belly. And someone to love. All very hard to obtain when you don’t have a social security card, can’t get a real job and reek of decomp. The manuscript is still too early to share, but I understand that haikus are welcome at I Smell Sheep, and it turns out I’ve also been working on a book of zombie themed poetry. So, as a reward (or possibly punishment) for reading this far, here’s some of my work.

The barricades fall
Zombie hordes in the bolt hole
Last bullet chambered

Chirps of spring nestlings
Undead watch over rusty swings
Primrose jewels dance

And lastly I’ll leave you with a type of poem called a Kenning. Kennings are an old Norse form of riddle poem. Through a series of paired noun/verb descriptors, you describe an object, revealing what it is at the end.





And if you like your zombie poems a little dirtier, find me online and I’ll point you to some absolutely filthy zombie limericks.

Bigfoot Blues (An Elvis Sightings Mystery #2)
by Ricardo Sanchez
Publisher: Carina Press
Pages: 251
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Format: Kindle
She eloped with Bigfoot. Or maybe Bigfoot kidnapped her. Either way, I’ve been hired to uncover the truth behind Cindy Funk’s disappearance. Me? I’m Floyd, and I’m a PI living my life as Elvis would have wanted. Not just in sequined jumpsuits. With character.

Cindy’s trail leads me to River City, Oregon—aka the Mythical Creature Capital of the World—where I catch Case #2. This one from an eccentric billionaire who’s lost a priceless piece of “art.” Enter one dead body and I end up deputized to solve Case #3, tracking down a man-eating mountain lion. Or maybe it’s a chupacabra. Or just an ordinary murderer. Hard to say.

I’ve handled my fair share of crazy, but River City’s secrets have me spooked. With an influx of tourists arriving for the town’s annual Elvis tribute contest—what are the chances?—I’ve got to save the girl, solve the rich guy’s problem and leash that chupacabra before a second body is discovered. It might just be mine.

Read more about Floyd’s adventures in Elvis Sightings, available now!

About the Author:
Ricardo Sanchez is a writer, toy buff, and lifelong comic book fan.

Elvis Sightings, the first novel in his Elvis Sightings Mysteries series, was released in September , 2014. Bigfoot Blues, the follow up, was released in May, 2015.

Ricardo has written several books for DC Comics, including Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, Teen Titans Go! and Resident Evil among many others. His original project, A Hero’s Death, was a successful Kickstarter released in May, 2015.

In addition to writing, Ricardo is an Emmy award winning video and animation producer. When he’s not writing, Ricardo maintains a vintage toy blog, drives 70′s muscle cars, and shops year round for Halloween decorations for his home in California.

Rick is a big comic book nerd! He went to SDCC 2015 and is giving away a tote bag, 240 page program and some Teen Titans keycards. 
And a signed hardback copy of his Kickstarter graphic novel "A Hero's Death" based on his short story. The short was about a male hero, but he changed it to a female hero for the graphic novel.
It is a beautiful story to see and read.
The Hero died 20 years ago but her death still haunts a young reporter. “A Hero’s Death” is a story about our collective need for hope, optimism – and heroes.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I like both types of mysteries, but I prefer mysteries with humor. It makes the story even more entertaining and enjoyable to read.

  2. I guess I like mysteries that are more serious

    tiramisu392 (at)

  3. Even though I enjoy both types of mysteries, I prefer mysteries with a little humor.

  4. I enjoy both. Guess it depends on my mood. Sometimes I really appreciate the humor in a serious story/situation.

  5. I love serious and funny ones. Can't I have both in one? LOL I adored this book. Laughed a lot and just had a good old time.

  6. I do love cozy mysteries, especially those with some paranormal elements, but this sounds too over the top for me. Which means perfect for a friend :)