Monday, October 17, 2016

FROM THE GRAVE by Cynthia Reeg

We've all heard that it's not easy being green, but for young monster Frank Gordon, it's blue that's got him in a tough spot. Frank is a "Misfit Monster" in his home of Uggerland. His skin is blue instead of green and he enjoys combing his hair and keeping tidy. Not very monstrous. He's not alone though, his best friend Oliver is a mummy who can't keep his wrappings on, and there's a whole crew of kids who don't fit the monster mold in one way or another. It's not until there's an edict to get rid of all the misfit monsters that things really heat up and Frank and his friends have to find a way to prove that they are all "monster enough".

Cynthia Reeg's book is chock full of imagination and her inventive language colors Frank's world in a vivid way. Readers will love the awkward, true-hearted protagonist and his friends, and root for them fiercely as they try to prove themselves. The story has serious messages about bullying, and how to find a path to being true to yourself even when it seems like the whole world is against you.

Today I have the opportunity to chat with Cynthia about her work!

Author Cynthia Reeg

MGM: There's an exciting mix of otherworldly creatures in your book. Have you always been fascinated with monsters?

CR: Actually, I was a total scaredy cat as a kid. I'd cover my eyes when the monster appeared on the movie screen and then have bad nightmares for weeks. But I think every kid is fascinated with monsters. They represent our deepest fears and when we face up to them, we are the heroes. Here’s a link to an article on the importance of horror stories for children. When I wrote FROM THE GRAVE, I became Master of the Monsters--for the ones in my book at least.

MGM: How did the idea of "Monster Misfits" develop? What inspired you to write Frank's story?

CR: I think we all feel a bit of a misfit at certain points in our lives. Certainly some are bullied more than others because they don’t seem to fit in. Using monsters as both the tormentors and the underdogs seemed like an intriguing and entertaining way to approach this subject. Initially I planned to write the story as a much shorter chapter book, but Frank and his cohorts quickly convinced me that their tale encompassed much more. And of course, they were right! I’m thrilled that FROM THE GRAVE with its underlying theme of acceptance and anti-bullying premieres during National Bullying Prevention Month.  


MGM: How will you be celebrating this Halloween?

CR: On Halloween I’ll be handing out candy to neighborhood kids and enjoying the costumes and jokes. St. Louis is one of the few cities in the U.S. where kids come prepared with a joke before receiving their treat. Stan & Dan, the goofy gargoyle twins from the book, would love Halloween here! I have a HUGE collection of Halloween jokes on my website just in case anyone needs one.

That is so cool! I'll definitely check that out! What has been the most exciting part of your publication journey so far?

CR: The most exciting (and scary as well) part is sharing my story with the world. So far the reviews have been awesome. I just participated in an author event last weekend and shared a few clips from my book. A retired reading teacher in the audience came up to me afterwards and told me, “I wish I’d had your book to share with my students when I was teaching. They would have loved it.” That totally made my day. All I say is, “Monster ON!!!”

Thank you for spending some time with us today, Cynthia! Monster on!!

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