‘I became convinced Bigfoots do exist’: Actor’s discovery leads to children’s book

Roderick O'Grady is an actor by trade but felt the need to get this book out of his system. 

Roderick O'Grady is an actor by trade but has written a children's book - Credit: Roderick O'Grady

His book is about a child’s search for a Bigfoot but a Kensal Rise actor had his own unexpected journey in becoming an author.

Kensal Rise-based Roderick O'Grady returned to drama 20 years after giving it up when, in 2018, his company sold up. It was then he was in a television advert where the woman playing his wife - who he’d in fact acted with in the 1990s - turned out to now be a children’s book writing agent. 

After initially dismissing her half serious offer of representation, Roderick ‘travelled down a rabbit hole on YouTube’ after becoming fascinated by Bigfoots - a purported ape-like creature said to roam the North American mountains. 

Suddenly he had an idea and began writing. 

“It was a fascinating notion that what is considered folklore or legend could possibly be true,” he said. 

“When I first started the book I was doubtful they existed in real life. But by the time I had written a draft and started the second, my view had changed. I had done so much research and seen DNA reporting, that I now believe they exist.”

Bigfoot Mountain cover and synopsis

Bigfoot Mountain cover and synopsis - Credit: Roderick O'Grady

What convinced Roderick was the “modern day video analysis” of a 1967 Patterson-Gimlin film which appears to show a female Bigfoot, also known as a Sasquatch. “It would be really hard to fake,” Roderick said, adding that Native Americans had their own names for ‘the big hairy creature from the woods’. 

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Roderick wanted to write a story that was authentic in its subject and well-researched. But he also wanted to create something that was unsentimental and provoke an appreciation for the natural world. 

Aimed at ‘middle grade’ readers (nine to 12 years-old) Bigfoot Mountain covers themes of family, friendship, and dealing with grief. Set in North America, it tracks the story of 12-year-old Minnie and her stepfather who discover large footprints near their North American home. 
The story picks up with the pair coming to terms with the loss of Minnie’s mother, but Roderick says, “It’s not a sad book, it’s a happy book.”  

“I want it to help adults consider the impact we have on the environment and to reignite a childlike awareness of nature and the simple joys in life.

“And also, because of the Sasquatch element, it can invite readers to be open to possibilities and truths out there.”

Bigfoot Mountain by Roderick O'Grady is out now. For orders and more information, visit: www.roderickogrady.com