A YA Novel of Cryptozoological Fiction
Painted on the bluffs near the town of Alton, Illinois is the mural of the Piasa, which according to early Native American residents meant ‘the bird that devoured men.’ The dragon-like depiction overlooks what the Ojibwe Tribe called misi-ziibi...the Mississippi River.
Following an auto accident that claims her entire family, Sara Williams, a 16-year-old Chicago teenager, finds herself left with an aunt in the Great River town. Her cousin, Pamela Sweet, an Alton police officer, tries to help her cope with her physical and mental scars from the disaster.
Sara discovers the area is plagued by the disappearance of many outdoor pets and small animals. People are reporting various strange creatures in and around the river.
Mike Kellogg, a Chicago museum cryptozoologist, takes on Sara as his assistant and together with Pamela, they search for an answer to the question, Did the Piasa once actually exist? Sara blossoms into a crafty assistant who discovers that fate has a plan for her and . . .the legend may be more fact than fiction.
The third edition of Piasa is now available. Newly edited with the cover pictured here.
The Native American legend:
In 1673, while voyaging down the Mississippi River, French explorers Marquette and Joliet, came across the painting of a strange creature up on the bluffs, high above the river near the area of Alton, Illinois. The beast, a conglomeration of bird, animal, reptile and fish characteristics, was sketched in Marquette’s diary. The native American tribe who lived there, the Illini, told them they had no idea who painted it; in fact, it had always been there. The Illini called the creature the Piasa, which in their language meant, “the bird that devoured men.” While the original painting was later destroyed by early settlers, the town has continued to paint an image of the Piasa on the bluffs along the river down to the present day. There have been all kinds of theories as to who painted the original and why, but the truth is: no one really knows.
Piasa was self- published in 2010. It was re-released as a second-edition after being re-edited and was published as a Kindle e-book in April 2017. It Has now been professionally edited.