Genre: MG Contemporary
Word Count: 53,000
My Main Character would use sun or snow to battler their biggest obstacle:
My main character, Tim Ellis, would find snow the most helpful. It’s great for making fake Sasquatch footprints. On the other hand, it also makes it harder for the person faking the prints to hide their own. Hot, dry weather isn’t as good, the ground gets too hard and dusty for the plywood cutouts to sink into the dirt deeply enough to make a lasting print. Snow would also make it easier to spot a brown-furred Sasquatch sneaking up on him, unless it’s got snow caked all over it from making snow angels. Don’t laugh, it could happen.
On his way home one night, thirteen-year-old Tim Ellis records video of MoMo, a Bigfoot-like creature that terrorized Riverton forty years ago. He posts the video on social media and it immediately goes viral.
Tim discovers later he didn’t really see MoMo, but a hoax put on by his older brother and the mayor’s son in hopes of reviving the town. He agrees to join the plot in order to help save their mother’s job and to prevent his brother from being caught. A social media fueled feeding frenzy starts, with reporters and heavily armed Bigfoot hunters swarming the town. Things get even crazier when a reality TV show devoted to the search for Sasquatch announces plans for a live broadcast from Riverton’s Monster Hill the following weekend. Despite police efforts to keep trespassers away, the area of the sightings becomes a danger zone, crawling with trigger-happy hunters seeking to be the one to kill the creature.
To the boys’ surprise, the television crew and the police each discover evidence that there might be a real monster in town. On the night of the broadcast, an argument results in the two older boys trespassing on Monster Hill. Tim must find a way to prevent them from getting shot, or even worse, becoming MoMo chow, while keeping their hoax a secret. Exposure of their plot could lead to jail time for the older boys, and subject the entire town to ridicule because they were fooled by the fake creature.
#MoMoLives is loosely based on actual events that happened in my own hometown when I was eleven years old.
Riverton Times Editorial, July 23 201-
Forty years ago, the city of Riverton exploded onto the national scene with reports of a shaggy, foul-smelling beast that became famous around North America as the Missouri Monster, better known by the nickname MoMo.
The monster brought something in addition to media attention: tourist dollars. Hunters from as far away as Washington State came to town with the goal of capturing or killing the creature. Those visitors pumped serious cash into Riverton's economy during the stagnant 1970s. Back then, no one could have anticipated that internet shopping and other factors would result in downtown Riverton becoming a virtual ghost town four decades later.
Today, there are only a few thriving local businesses left, and at Monday's City Council meeting, the owner of The Harvard Cafe reported he might close Riverton's best-loved restaurant too if business doesn’t pick up soon.
Forty years ago, MoMo jump-started Riverton’s economy. We need another miracle now to prevent our town from drying up and blowing away.
Why can't you ever find a monster when you need one?
Note to self: Avoid reading the Times from now on. It’s too depressing.
I put the paper on the coffee table, my hand trembling. Mom works the dinner shift at Harvard Café, but she never said her job was in danger. I wish I were old enough to get a job after school to help out, but there’s no way Mom will go for that. She’d probably tell me not to worry. I can’t help it.