No Trick-or-Treating? No way!
Izzy & Nick aren’t going to let COVID-19 stop them! They have to obey very strict rules & wear masks. But they’re going to get their Halloween candy no matter what.
But Halloween night gets weird – fast! Izzy & Nick follow some costumed kids into Dead Fred’s apartment where they’re accidentally sucked into Monstra-City. Smashing down onto a bumpy-wet floor, they look up to discover they’re surrounded by monsters. When Izzy & Nick are hired to host the Halloween Spookapalooza, Izzy’s thrilled & never wants to leave. But Nick just wants to survive the night & get back home to Mom, Dad, & his cat, Peepers.
-Will Izzy convince Nick to stay in Monstra-City?
-Will Nick find a way home before midnight?
-Or…will they be instantly eaten by WereRats?
Read Monster, May I? and find out!
Targeted Age Group:: 4-18
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I'm a Special FX monster-maker/puppeteer (Ghostbusters' Stay-Puft man/Beetlejuice's snake) who watched a lot of monster movies when hanging out with my FX pals. I love the goofy-silly, gross & gooey monsters best & those make-you-laugh foam monsters inspired me to write this book. I tweaked the setting of this (long-term project) book to fit this year's COVID-19 Halloween – because we all need more fun (& a little distraction) right now.
This book was also inspired by fun days spent creating last-minute Halloween costumes – both as a kid and helping kids with their costumes now. Costuming kids is pretty much my favorite thing in the world – the slap-dash, make-it-work creativity of Halloween is my happy place. My book starts with the main character in that happy place.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I always wanted kids. Unfortunately, I wasn't lucky enough to have any. So "the kids I might have had" are my children – or as close as I'll get – and they're extremely active little guys, bouncing around in my brain.
Like me & my brother, they have some sibling issues with being *extremely* different from one another. But they manage to get along, even when I send them on adventures involving monsters who think they'd be tasty to eat! 🙂
“Mom, what is that?”
“It’s your first Halloween treat! Well, go on. Take one!”
We step back. Until tonight, I never knew what goo smelled like. If only I could go back in time and never smell this smell.
“Yum. That looks great.” I lie.
Mom smiles. There’s lipstick on her teeth. Her Bride of Frankenstein wig is smushed against the ceiling. And her shoes are all wrong. But at least she’s trying.
I inspect the treats. “Mom, what are these called? What’s in them? Did you bake them? Or does that gooey stuff…?”
Dad interrupts me. “Izzy, vememver our vule abouth askthing too many questhionth.” Huh? I think Dad needs a smaller pair of vampire fangs.
“Nick, do you haf somfhing to thay to yur mothver?”
Nick rolls his eyes. “Uh, thanks Mom.”
“You’re very welcome. Now remember…shhhhhhhh.” Mom looks over her shoulder like she’s a secret agent or something. “This is Grandma’s special recipe. When you’re older, I’ll give it to you. Only you can never, ever tell anyone the ingredients — no matter how much they beg.”
“Like that’s going to be a problem,” Nick mumbles.
I reach out to grab one of the gooey gobs. I pull it. I twist it. I pull, twist, twist, pull. The gob bloops out a slippery, farty sound. And now it’s in my hand.
Nick stares at the brown-orange goo. It’s dripping down from the plate like drool. I give Nick a look, a look that says “Be nice and take one — or you’ll regret it!” He shuts his eyes and reaches out until his hand hits goo. He pulls. He twists. He twists and pulls. And there’s that horrible sound again.
Nick scrunches up his face. His clown nose pops off and tumbles down onto the goo-gob in his hand. Mom hands me two Trick-or-Treat buckets. They’re not jack-o’-lanterns or anything cool. They’re sand pails from that time we went to the beach. They have starfish on the sides. “Look! Your Dad rigged these long poles onto your candy buckets so the neighbors can’t get too close!”
“Ohhhh.” That gives me an idea. “You know what
I should do? Instead of this long pole, I can make a witch’s broomstick! And then I can wrap the sand pail in some black fabric or something. Pleeeease, can I have a few more minutes —”
Nick starts imitating my voice. “And…then I can make a magic potion with smoke and sparks shooting out of my sand pail! My costume has to be per-fect.” He’s such a butt sometimes.
Nick changes back to his normal butt-voice. “Hey Mom, do you have my COVID mask?”
“Right here, you cute little ghostie-guy!” Mom’s a little hyper tonight. She pulls a COVID mask down over Nick’s ghost-clown sheet-face.
“Wait, Mom. Can you help me put my clown nose on the outside — over the mask?”
But Mom doesn’t hear him. She’s too busy saying “Now, don’t be greedy. Only one piece of candy from each apartment.”
“Mom, that’s ridiculous!” I shout as she pulls a COVID mask over my head. “Wait! You’re messing up my make-up, Mom! And I don’t need to wear a mask. It’ll ruin my —”
Mom stops me talking by giving me one of her looks.
I try again. “You know, I bet my witch nose will work like a COVID mask. See how small the nostrils are?”
“Young lady, you and I both know that nose is not approved for screening out the virus. You’re wearing this mask.”
And no, it’s not some cool black mask that matches my outfit. It’s bright yellow…with baby ducks on it.
“You look great!” Mom pushes us out the door.
“Remembeh! You know the ruleth. Onlee tvick or tveat
on thith floor. Evreebothee in the thirth floar aparthmentzs knoths you’re comink and will be wearink maskths. But keep yuh disthance – alwayths sixth feet!”
“Right!” agrees Mom. “And this is really important: you can’t have any of your candy for four days. Absolutely NO candy eating tonight. Now, go — have fun!” Mom laughs “Eee-hee-hee-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!”
“And ve vack vy nine.”
Dad closes the door. A terrifying howl splits the air.
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