Welcome to the MAN MADE BOY blog tour! I'm in the middle of reading this, and so far, it's lots of monsterly fun.
What's it about?
The son of Frankenstein's Monster and his Bride, 16-year-old Boy has lived his whole life in a secret enclave of monsters hidden beneath a Broadway theater, until he runs away from home after he unwittingly unleashes a sentient computer virus on the world. Together with the granddaughter(s) of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Boy embarks on a journey across the country to L.A. But Boy can only hide from his demons for so long
I'm pleased to welcome Jon to the blog today!
MY MONSTERS, MY PROTECTORS
I love monsters. The giant ones like Godzilla, King Kong, and more recently the kaiju in Pacific Rim. The people-sized ones like Dracula and the Werewolf. And even the miniature ones like the Gremlins and the strange little fairies in Don't Be Afraid of the Dark.
When I was a little boy, I'd while away lazy sunday afternoons at my father's house watching Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. At my mother's house, I remember begging her to let me stay up past my bedtime to watch the rest of The Creature From the Black Lagoon, which was being shown on regular broadcast television in 3D! Over the course of a summer, I wore down my grandmother's resolve and finally convinced her to buy me a massive Rhodan toy that had working wings. But my favorite toy was an MGM Monsters playset with Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster, the Wolfman, the Mummy, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and the Phantom of the Opera. The playset included a sarcophagus for either the Mummy or Dracula (they took shifts), a cage for the Wolfman, and a laboratory table to strap Frankenstein's Monster to. And they all had phosphorescent paint, so they glowed in the dark. It was a pretty sweet set. I frequently took them to bed with me. Because, I reasoned, they would protect me from the scary people.
Throughout my childhood, I was a frightened little boy. Not of monsters (obviously), but of real bad guys. Burglars, kidnappers, child molesters, strangers of all sorts. I'm not sure why I was so timid. Most likely a combination of my overactive imagination and a series of traumatic events that took place early on in my childhood. By the age of six, I knew bad things happened because I had experienced them first hand. The world was a violent and capricious place, full of unanticipated dangers that no parent or adult could protect you from. The world did not need monsters to be scary.
I would lay in bed at night with the covers tucked up to my nose, the darkness pressing in all around me. Both of my parents lived in crumbling old houses and the night sounds those buildings made were ominous. Many times I was certain that someone had broken in and was slowly creeping up the stairs to get me. On the really bad nights, when the dread was almost unbearable, I would bring my MGM monsters to bed with me. I would line them up on either side, their little glowing faces peeking out from under the covers. Won't that kidnapper be surprised to find a pack of monsters waiting for him!, I would think grimly as I watched the doorway for hours until I finally drifted off to sleep.
I can't remember exactly when it was I went from being afraid of the dark to preferring it. Probably around the time I started reading Anne Rice and listening to Ministry. One way to beat the dark is to become it. And I spent some time dressing like Lestat. This was before there was such a thing as "goth" or "cosplay", but I think both would have applied. That was when, in a place as unlikely as Sophomore high school english class, I discovered what would eventually become one of my all time favorite books: Frankenstein. Far from the dim-witted brute I knew from old black and white films, the original Monster was eloquent and tragic and utterly relatable.
That book and that character carried me through a great many trials during my teenage years. So I guess it made sense that when I decided I wanted to write a YA monster book, I was drawn back to that story. And once I got going, I couldn't stop at Frankenstein's Monster. I had to bring them all with me on that ride. Vampires, werewolves, the lot!
I didn't know it at the time, but as I started writing Man Made Boy, I was just beginning what would be one of the most difficult periods of my life so far. Writing this book was how I coped with it. And so once again the monsters came to my aid, as protectors and comforters. Once again, they got me through the long dark night.
MAN MADE BOY SYNOPSIS
Sixteen-year-old Boy's father is Frankenstein's monster and his mother is the Bride. A hacker and tech geek, Boy has lived his whole life in a secret enclave of monsters hidden beneath a Broadway theater, until he runs away from home. Now, the boy who's never set foot outside embarks on a madcap road trip with the granddaughters of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde that takes him deep into the heart of America. Along the way, Boy falls in love, comes to terms with his unusual family, and learns what it really means to be a monster--and a man.
ABOUT JON SKOVRON
Jon Skovron is the author of STRUTS & FRETS and MISFIT. Visit him at .