This “Behind the Scenes” blog is part of a series examining my romance novels. In each blog, I’ll talk about why I wrote the book, share my thoughts on the plot and/or characters, and reveal what I loved most (or least) about writing the book. Warning: Blogs may contain spoilers.
Beauty & the Bigfoot is a contemporary paranormal romance—and it’s one of the most controversial books I’ve written. Why? Because the heroine, Tara, falls in love with a creature commonly known as Bigfoot. (In the book, Tara names him Joe.) The story blends sensual love scenes with a healthy dose of offbeat humor. Readers aren’t supposed to take the story seriously, because the characters don’t take the story seriously.
However, when the book came out, several reviewers were appalled at the premise and had an issue with the love scenes. (Yes, Tara and Bigfoot/Joe consummate their relationship—several times.) Some ebook retailers wouldn’t sell the book because it was classified as “erotica” and a few readers reported the book to sellers, calling it “bestiality” (among other things).
Yeah, this little story certainly caused some controversy. What’s interesting is that in addition to everything else, the book could also be categorized as… (Spoiler Alert!) a shapeshifter romance. I never saw shapeshifter romances featuring werewolves, werebears, werepanthers, etc. called out for bestiality or labeled morally reprehensible, but then again, I don’t read too many reviews.
Maybe the negative reviewers of my book just hated the idea of a woman falling in love with a “Bigfoot”—although that’s not exactly who—or what—Joe is. Or maybe they never bothered to read the whole book and never learned Joe’s true identity at the end… who knows?
But I’m happy to say most reviewers and readers LOVED the book. They called it “a hoot” and understood the premise, the humor, and read all the way to the end to discover the “twist” ending that truly makes this a love story.
When I got the idea for the story, I knew I had to write it with tongue-in-cheek humor, otherwise the story wouldn’t work. Nobody would take a Bigfoot romance seriously. So right from the start, I incorporated humor into as many scenes as possible. When the book opens, Tara doesn’t believe Bigfoot exists and thinks her Bigfoot-hunter father is crazy. But she soon learns that things aren’t always what they seem…
I loved creating the wacky scenes between Tara and her oddball father. They were a lot of fun to write, and I just kept up the strangeness as the story unfolded. I added in zany secondary characters (the mob of people, the sheriff) to add more conflict and take the story to another level.
As I wrote the romantic scenes, I knew there had to be a reason Tara is attracted to Joe, and a reason Joe is in love with Tara. I won’t give away the plot twist here, but I can say that Tara and Joe have a long history together, and they knew each other before the story started.
Believe it or not, this book required a lot of research. Since Tara’s father is a Bigfoot expert, I had to become a Bigfoot expert to write his scenes. I went to the library and read a lot of books about Bigfoot before I started writing. (Yes, the librarian thought I was crazy, so I know how Charlie felt!) All the things Charlie says about Bigfoot (the historical legends, the size of his footprints, the nests, his hair, the Patterson film) are accurate.
Beauty & the Bigfoot is one of my favorite contemporary romances. It’s certainly got an unusual plot, interesting characters, and blends wacky humor with a love story. Here’s the summary and few of those positive reviews…
BEAUTY & THE BIGFOOT
Can true love exist between the species?
Tara’s world is anything but normal. Her father is known as the resident crackpot—just because he’s on a personal mission to catch a Sasquatch. Despite all of the “Bigfoot evidence” cluttering their house, Tara never really believed in Bigfoot—until the day her father brought him home.
She affectionately names her father’s prized catch ‘Joe’ and discovers there’s something oddly familiar—and erotic—about him. With a media circus descending on her father’s ranch and a showdown brewing with the local sheriff, Tara risks her life to save Joe.
When Tara finally succumbs to her animalistic urges, she learns that Joe is not exactly who—or what—he seems. Joe is more than a Sasquatch… he’s her soul mate!
Order Beauty & the Bigfoot here:
All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/4Dog0Q
A few positive reviews…
“I could use a lot of words to describe Beauty & the Bigfoot, but if I had to narrow it down to just one word, it would be this: fun. I knew I was going to be in for a treat when I picked this novella up; there was just no way a story with a title such as this could take itself seriously. This story was a hoot and a half, and Ms. Wilkins has definitely been placed on my “authors to be watched” list because of it.” – Bobby, Reviewer, Bookwenches.com
“An erotic twist on the classic bigfoot tale! Beauty & the Bigfoot is a thoroughly entertaining read on a classic legend that I found enjoyable and sexy! Ms. Wilkins puts a twist on the Bigfoot myth that left me pleased with the ending. Beauty & the Bigfoot was a well thought out, erotic, and downright fun read to the end. If you are looking for an entertaining read, Ms. Wilkins delivers.” – Missy Brown, Reviewer, Paranormalromance.org
“4 Coffee Cups! I thought this story was going to take a weird and strange turn when I first started reading it… but I discovered it to be a regular love story with an odd twist. I enjoyed this book a lot. This is one story where you will laugh and sigh all in one reading.” – Kimberly, Reviewer, Coffee Time Romance & More
I hope you enjoyed this “Behind the Scenes” look at the making of this fun romance. I welcome questions and comments from readers and other authors. Contact me via the form on my site or on social media.
Kelli A. Wilkins
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 20+ romance novels, 7 non-fiction books, and 5 horror ebooks. Her romances span many genres and settings, and she likes to scare readers with her horror stories.
Her non-fiction tale, “The Dog That Wouldn’t Bark” recently appeared in the Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Hilarious, Heroic, Human Dog anthology.
She also released two horror shorts, More Than I Bargained For and Silent Sentinel in 2021.
In January 2021, Kelli published Journaling Every Week: 52 Topics to Get You Writing. This fun and innovative guide to journaling is filled with hundreds of thought-provoking prompts designed to get you writing about your feelings and emotions.
Visit her website/blog www.KelliWilkins.com for a full title list and to find all her social media links.