Interview with John S. McFarland

Today I'm joined by author John S. McFarland to chat about his latest book.

What genre do you write in and why?
Mainstream to tell a familiar story, horror to have fun and with Annette: A Big, Hairy Mom, I have discovered Young Reader literature, which is really fun.

Tell us about your latest book: 
A little boy lost in the woods is saved by a sasquatch mom suffering from empty-nest syndrome… Annette: A Big, Hairy Mom, is a richly illustrated, slightly ironic young reader novel in the best tradition of Roald Dahl. It is funny, poignant, wry and character-driven, as well as quickly-plotted and suspenseful.

Evan Nestor Bettancourt, is a small-for-his-age eight year old slow to realize he is not a little kid anymore. He is imaginative, curious, and warily fascinated by the monsters in his story books. He is also particularly selfish and spoiled. His father, a high school biology teacher in a mountain town in northern California, encourages his son to see the practical, scientific side of life, and not worry about the fanciful creatures which live in his imagination. On a family outing, Evan Nestor is lost in the woods, and just as he starts to wonder if he will ever see his parents again, he meets one of those creatures: Annette, a sasquatch mom curious about the odd ways of humans, and missing her own child who has grown up and gone off on his own.

Pursued by a sweets-loving cryptozoologist who wants to reveal Annette’s existence to the world, and a hungry mountain lion, the unlikely pair make their way to a spot where Annette knows Evan Nestor will be safely found by his own kind. What they learn about sharing, empathy, and each other along the way, prepares them for many adventures to come.

Who are your favorite authors?
I grew up reading Poe and classic horror and adventure stories from the past two centuries. H. G. Wells, Verne, Mary Shelley, Joseph Sheridan LeFanu, M. R. James. In mainstream literature, I enjoy Flannery O’Connor, James Joyce, F. Scott Fitzgerald and many others.

What advice do you have for other writers?
First and foremost, read. Read a wide variety of styles and genres and become something of an expert on some of them. Find a community of other writers. You need feedback and objective opinions.

What is the best thing about being a writer? 
For me the best thing is when readers appreciate and ‘get’ what you are doing, when you realize you have transported someone else to a world you have created.

Where can people find out about you and your writing? 

Who is your favorite character in your book and why? 
I love them all but I think my favorite is Wesley because he is so arrogant, rude and clueless and completely lacking in self-awareness.

Who designed your cover? 
The cover and illustrations were done by a very talented young illustrator named Brenna Vaughan.

Where can a reader purchase your book? 
From the website link above or from

What is your work in progress? The sequel to Annette is written. Heres a hint: the title is Annette: A Big, Hairy Grandma. New Babel Books will issue the sequel and a third book as well, if sales of this first one warrant. If we reach a 500 book threshold, they will proceed to the sequel.


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