The Big Idea: Josh Rountree

What is the legend in The Legend of Charlie Fish? Is it about a man? Is it about a myth? Is it about something in-between? Author Josh Rountree is here to answer everything about this tale of the old west, with a twist in its tail.


Here’s my dark secret about The Legend of Charlie Fish.

It’s a monster book, but the story’s not really about a monster.

It might have started out that way, but things change, you know? My big idea was to take one of my favorite monster types, the gill-man, and place him in an old west setting. Think, Creature from the Black Lagoon meets True Grit, and you’ll get what I was shooting for.

I figured the place where my gill-man, the eponymous Charlie Fish, would feel right at home, would be the island city of Galveston. And what if he arrived there in the middle of the sweltering summer of 1900, just as the deadliest hurricane to ever emerge from the Gulf of Mexico was bearing down on the Texas coast? A storm so terrible that ever since, people just call it The Great Storm. Yeah, that would work. Already I could envision Charlie terrorizing the town, taking comfort in the storm, helping the wind and water reduce the city to ruin. Charlie Fish would make a fine monster…

The Legend of Charlie Fish: Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Bookshop|Powell’s

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