What is The Skeptic about?
Thomas Pierce is the world's leading skeptic – professor of astronomy, noted scientist, tireless debunker of paranormal claims. Not a man you'd want at your séance.
So it's understandable he's freaked out after seeing some UFOs. Trouble is, he's about to see Bigfoot. And the sightings are just beginning.
For a man whose entire worldview is based on convincing other people that supernatural creatures don't exist, he's got a serious problem on his hands.
His quest for answers sends him ricocheting across the globe: from a series of shocking incidents at Loch Ness, to a deadly clash with a fearsome gypsy in Romania who holds a bitter grudge against Thomas, and finally back to New York City, where he must tangle with paranormal creatures, escape from a psychiatric hospital, and evade the police in order to unravel the mystery.
Two factors complicate his journey. First, he's all alone. The woman in his life, a politician, is more concerned with her career than his welfare. Second, unresolved grief over the death of his first wife has made Thomas emotionally unstable.
In the end, what will Thomas discover? Are these sightings real? Drug-induced hallucinations? The result of a gypsy curse? Or something else entirely?
Where did the idea come from?
I got the idea for The Skeptic after finishing Carl Sagan's amazing book about the virtues of skepticism and critical thinking called The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark. It occurred to me that it's unfortunate that the people who report seeing paranormal occurrences are often deemed unreliable witnesses. What if someone with serious scientific credentials saw the Loch Ness Monster? What if Neil deGrasse Tyson came face to face with Bigfoot? What if Bill Nye saw the Loch Ness Monster?
What's the genre?
The Skeptic is a supernatural thriller with elements of supernatural romantic fantasy. In other words, it's a monster mystery with a ghostly love story at its core.
What's the movie mash-up?
In movie terms you could think of it as "Van Helsing" (a story about a monster hunter) meets "Ghost" (a story about a love that transcends death).
Of course, The Skeptic will lack the copious stink fumes that emanated from "Van Helsing." My apologies if you are one of the six people in America who liked "Van Helsing."
What sort of creatures appear in The Skeptic?
Creature roll call:
UFO (Thomas has a close encounter of the first kind.)
Bigfoot (This ain't your friendly neighborhood "Harry and the Hendersons" Bigfoot. This is Bigfoot on steroids – NBA tall, NFL big, scary as hell.)
Loch Ness Monster (Wouldn't be complete without Nessie.)
leprechauns (Thomas rumbles with these rowdy brawlers in a tavern.)
dragon (Thomas encounters this beastie at LaGuardia.)
bed monster (Thomas battles this total badass in a psychiatric hospital.)
plus many more, including the "ultimate imaginary creature" – an honest politician!
Loch Ness Monster illustration by Brent Droog
UFO illustration by mysterie-wetenschapsforum.nl
I was inspired to write The Skeptic after reading this brilliant book by Carl Sagan