Tag Archives: This Monstrous Thing

in which three book things are happening

Hello my friends.

It’s been a while.

That’s because I have been otherwise occupied by the fact that MY FIRST BOOK COMES OUT IN 27 DAYS1!

So let me quickly catch you up on some of the things that you should know about in relation to this whole “book comes out in 27 days” things, because, I’m so sorry loyal blog readers who have words, but this is ALL I CAN THINK ABOUT RIGHT NOW.

Firstly, if you are gearing up for reading THIS MONSTROUS THING but worried you might not fully appreciate it because you haven’t read FRANKENSTEIN2, there’s a video for that! One time, during a Boston snowpocalypse snow storm, I got really caffeinated and made a five minute synopsis of Frankenstein that I promise is the fastest you will ever hear another human being speak. Also it’s shorter than SparkNotes. Your’e welcome.

Secondly, on Friday, EpicReads will be revealing the BOOK TRAILER for THIS MONSTROUS THING! Remember when we filmed this? And it was freezing? And there was fake blood and a mechanical arm?

Well it’s nearly time, friends, when it will be revealed to the wide world.

Alive Dead Trailer

Steel thyself for Friday at noon. The monsters are coming.

Third of all, I got my first finished hard cover copy of the book! I swooned and cried and still grin nonsensically when I think of the fact that it is sitting in my apartment, a real thing and not just a dream. It just gets realer and realer!

CM4tDSwXAAADpym

27 DAYS! This book thing is starting to look like it’s actually going to happen.

  1. Heavy breathing.
  2. No judgement, but what is wrong with you?!
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in which the winners of This Monstrous Coloring Contest are announced

Gather round my friends cause we’re gonna announce the winners of This Monstrous Coloring Contest!

First and foremost, thank you so much to everyone who entered! I am thrilled, amazed, flattered, etc. that so many of you broke out your coloring supplies for me, Victor, and the foclicking Creature. The decision was brutal–there truly was not an unexceptional entry in the bunch. My panel of judges and I were considering making up special awards for each of you. You can view all the astounding entries on the dedicated Pinterest board here!

My panel of guest judges (which included an actual artist, an actual engineer, and an actual judge for the Utah State Fair, so she has previous experience) and I had a beast of a time choosing. In true Romantic fashion, we tore our hair with anguish. We collapsed onto our fainting couches from the strain. The smelling salts had to be fetched. But we, unanimously, decided upon a winner.

And now, without further ado. The winners.

But know you are all winners in my heart.

Our two runners up, who will be receiving This Monstrous Thing swag and a copy of the Color Your Own Graphic Novel Frankenstein, are….

enby

Enby Enjorals, in an entry we nicknamed “Psychedelic Seussian Frankenstein” 

Gwen Katz

Gwen Katz, in an entry we nicknamed “Frankenbowie” 

And the grand prize winner, who will be receiving an ARC of This Monstrous Thing (signed), a copy of Frankenstein (not signed), a copy of the Color Your Own Graphic Novel Frankenstein, and extensive swag is….

Ellie

Ellie M, in an entry we nicknamed “No, I must dance!”-enstein.  

Thank you to everyone who entered! I really can’t say that enough. If you entered, I would love to send you postcards and bookmarks as a sign of my eternal appreciation. If this is a thing that interests you, please email me your mailing address at themackenzilee[at]gmail

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in which the THIS MONSTROUS COLORING CONTEST is announced

A few weeks ago, I made an acquisition.

color your own

The Color Your Own Graphic Novel version of Frankenstein, adapted and illustrated by John Green. No, not that John Green. Though that would be awesome.

I must do something awesome with this, I thought. And then I looked at the stack of This Monstrous Thing ARCs on my desk.

And an evil plan began to take shape in my mind.

Friends, This Monstrous Thing drops in almost exactly two months. And I still have some advanced copies that I’d like to giveaway. Want to win one of these advanced copies? Now you can!

Announcing the THIS MONSTROUS COLORING CONTEST!

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Pick one (or both, if you’re ambitious) of the images from the Frankenstein graphic novel. You can find scans of them below, or on Pinterest, or on Twitter.
  2. Color them. With your markers. Or crayons. Or fingerpaints. Or on the computer. Extra points for creativity and TMT references and Frankenstein references and glitter and coloring outside the lines.
  3. Get your colored entry to me by August 1. You can do this many ways–Twitter, send it to me on Pinterest, Facebook, email it to me (themackenzilee(at)gmail(dot)com). Scan it, take a picture with your phone, take a picture of you with it, send it via owl–whatever floats your boat. If you mail me your hard copies, that would probably make my life and I will hang them on my wall.
  4. Wait anxiously for me and my panel of anonymous judges (probably myself and the MT) to make our selection of the winners.

The winner of the coloring contest will receive…

  • An ARC of THIS MONSTROUS THING, signed by the author. I have an in.
  • A copy of the Color Your Own Graphic Novel Frankenstein
  • A copy of Frankenstein. Not signed by the author. Sorry.
  • THIS MONSTROUS THING swag
  • I will probably color a picture for you. Or draw you something. Whatever. It will be awesome.

Two runners up will receive….

  • A copy of the Color Your Own Graphic Novel Frankenstein
  • THIS MONSTROUS THING swag

ALL ENTRANTS will receive swag from THIS MONSTROUS THING.

Here are the two images you can choose from. All images copyright 2010 by Dover Publications, image credit to John Green. No, not that John Green. Click for a larger version.

#1: Victor and the Creature in the lab as Victor beholds the accomplishment of his toils:

coloring contest-1-HQ

#2:(Sincerely my favorite thing anyone has ever drawn ever) The Creature frolicking through nature: 

Coloring contest 2 HQ

So that’s all you have to do–color! And you might win yourself some free books.

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in which I get up to shenanigans around the internet

I have not been great at blogging lately. I have been writing a lot of other things which makes it hard to want to write in my free time. What little of it there is. That’s the other thing, I don’t have a lot of free time.

But if you have missed this blog and wonder what I’ve been up to lately, here are some other places you can find me around the internet….

Until next time. I’ll be back soon.

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in which the reviews come in

The reviews for THIS MONSTROUS THING are starting to come in.

And guys, they’re awesome!

Kirkus Reviews says it’s “More than just a Gothic romance novel; the settings give a nice international feel. The old and new…are woven together in language and theme creating a solid tale that explores what it means to be human. Part homage to a sci-fi original, part re-imagining, plenty of teen torment and trouble—an absorbing read.”

Publisher’s Weekly calls it an “accomplished first novel” (a phrase I’m probably going to get tattooed on my forehead) and describes the characters as “suitably tormented, in accordance with Romantic tradition.” Meaning that now I have a new life goal, which is to live every day like a suitably tormented Romantic hero.

Pop the champagne, don’t forget to enter to win a copy here, and read the full reviews here and here!

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in which I go to BEA

Next week a thing is happening called BEA.

It is big. It is bookish. And I will be there!

And you might be there too! And I want us to be friends!

I will not be at BEA in an author capacity–I’m going as part of my day job–HOWEVER this doesn’t mean I wouldn’t LOVE to meet you and talk about author things. Or not author things. Mostly I love talking about Star Wars and sweaters and Mary Shelley best of all. But also we can talk about THIS MONSTROUS THING. If you want.

So if you are going to be at BEA and want to get in on the monstrousness, here’s a few ways you can:

  • If at some point you happen to stop by booth 3246, I might be there selling other people’s books…but I would love to talk to you about mine1
  • There should be galleys of THIS MONSTROUS THING at the Harper booth at some point probably, and if you get one and come find me I will sign it for you/write you a secret code inside of it and also give you exclusive cool monstrous Frankenstein-y swag!
  • If you don’t get a galley but still come find me, I will give you swag and probably a hug. Though maybe not because sometimes hugs make me uncomfortable
  • I am going to try to be at the blogger-author meet up happening on the 28th at 3 pm. And maybe at some other things too. But that’s all I know of right now. If there are other partying and shenanigan things I should be at, tell me!

So come say hi! I am anxious but excited about BEA (anxcited, a word I’ve found myself using over and over again during my debut year) so please make me less anx and more cited by coming and saying hello.

  1. You will know me by my ferociously red hair, my round glasses, and the eccentrically patterned textiles I will likely be wearing.
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in which This Monstrous Thing gets blurbs

*doesn’t blog in long time*

*then blogs twice in one week*

*Mackenzi makes no sense*

Except I have some news! It is small news, but it is exciting news, so that makes it feel big.

As you well know, because I went on about it at length, advanced copies of THIS MONSTROUS THING are out in the world. Which means people are reading my book! That remains a strange and extraordinary thing.

And an even better thing…some people who are reading it are liking it! Including some very cool authors that I admire very much.

And even better than that? Some of those very cool authors have agreed to say nice things about it publicly, which we can then print on the book to trick people who like their books into read mine! Huzzah!

So THIS MONSTROUS THING officially has some very cool blurbs from extraordinarily cool authors! My head is still exploding a little. So if I have not convinced you to read my book, perhaps one of them can…

“A compelling and brave retelling of the original science fiction novel. A secret history, a love story, something both old and new.”

-Scott Westerfeld, author of Zeroes, Uglies, and Leviathan

“Mackenzi Lee’s This Monstrous Thing is simply beautiful.  It pulses with electricity, mystery, and heart and brings to life one of my all-time favorite tales with an unexpected twist.”

-Danielle Paige, New York Times bestselling author of Dorothy Must Die and The Wicked Will Rise

“A richly imagined tale of two brothers and a dark science that twists everything I thought I knew about FRANKENSTEIN. A monstrously good read!”

-Megan Shepherd, author of The Madman’s Daughter series

So if I hadn’t already convinced you to buy yourself a copy of THIS MONSTROUS THING, perhaps Scott, Danielle, and Megan have. (Shameless plug–you can preorder it from Porter Square Books! And I will sign it! And probably draw you a picture or write you a secret coded note in it!)

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in which my parents market my book

Something you should know about my dad: he’s a quiet guy. He generally keeps himself to himself, never raises his voice about anything, whether in excitement or outrage, and just stays generally in the background. My mom has a bit of a reputation for striking up conversations with strangers, but my dad sort of has to be lured with peanut M&Ms into having a conversation.

Smash cut to…

The other night my parents are at the opera. At intermission, they are standing in the lobby, milling through the crowd of other opera goers, all of whom are minding their own business, reading their playbills, speaking in low, sophisticated voices. Probably someone was wearing a monocle.

Then, with no warning, my dad announces, to no one in particular but also everyone around him, “I’m reading the best book right now.”

A few people glance at him. Including my mother, who is surprised, because my dad never talks to strangers. Let alone announces himself to a crowded room of strangers.

“It’s called THIS MONSTROUS THING,” he says, even louder. “I can’t put it down. It’s the best book I’ve ever read.”

It should be noted, he has yet to actually read said novel.

“It’s by new up and coming author Mackenzi Lee,” he continues. Then, just for good measure, throws in, “I hear she’s Harper Lee’s granddaughter.”

That lie apparently got a few people interested. Other opera goers were starting to peer at him through their monocles.

“Harper Lee didn’t have children,” my mom says.

“Oh,” my dad says.

Then my mom adds, “So this Mackenzi Lee must be Harper Lee’s grandniece1.”

My parents, ladies and gentlemen. Guerrilla marketers2.

 

  1. Just to be clear, since there’s been a lot of legal talk surrounding Harper Lee lately, this is not true and I don’t make this claim. My parents are bold-faced liars.
  2. My mom also made her own Pinterest board for my book. Hoping to get some exposure. To all her ten followers. It’s a great compliment to her gourd board. She’s very much enamored with gourds3.
  3. I also feel the need to note that last night on Skype, my mom asked me how many pages are in my novel YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN. Why didn’t I think of that title?
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The Road Thus Far: ARCs!

I had very noble intentions yesterday to clean my apartment. Every piece of clothing I own needs to be washed, our floors are crusted with salt and mud after weeks of tracking in snow, and all the plants in the window have gone to plant heaven. And since I have been so steadfastly avoiding writing my current manuscript, cleaning seemed the perfect way to spend a Tuesday night.

But then a thing showed up in my mailbox. It was book-shaped and had my name on it. And all my plans went out the window.

Guys, my first ARC1 came! It is not a finished book, but it is cut and bound and has my cover and a spine and my words inside of it and my picture outside of it and it smells like a book and pages turn and GUH BOOK.

So instead of doing anything I meant to, I spent the entire night snuggling my ARC, and flipping through it, and giggling with happiness, and clutching it to my heart, and moving it around the apartment and flailing over the way it looked in different places.

My apartment did not get cleaned. But my book and I had many adventures together.

We practiced sitting on a shelf, which will one day be its full time occupation.

photo(6)It met some of the neighbors2.

photo(7)“These are going to be your new best friends, book,” I told it.

photo(5)Look at this beautiful book sandwich!

photo(4)Seriously I just carried it everywhere with me, even to completely nonsensical places where there was clearly no application for it.

photo(3)I actually did do a load of laundry, and, without meaning to, carried the ARC into the laundry room with me. I didn’t realize I had done it until I was trying to figure out how to juggle an armful of sheets and the most precious thing in my possession over a tub of water.

Yeah, my book and I did laundry together.

photo(2)And then, because excessive joy is thoroughly exhausting, book and I went to sleep. And I woke to discover it was not just a beautiful dream3.

photo(1)Guys, I am a super weirdo. If that wasn’t already clear, stuffed Appa in that bottom picture probably cemented it.

But my book is almost a real book. It is now a real thing that I can hold in my hands and I refuse to be cool or normal or coy about that fact or pretend this ARC is not the most amazing thing ever or that it is not overwhelming and staggering and humbling to watch your dreams come true. There is a peculiar sort of magic in seeing something I created in the same form as other things that have had such a tremendous and powerful impact on me.

photo

I am excruciatingly bad at taking selfies but also too shy to ask my roommate to take a picture of me with my book.

My book is a real book. Who’d have thought it?

 

  1. An Advanced Reader’s Copy, for those of you who don’t know that term. Advanced reader’s copies are NOT finished books—they are cheap, flimsy paperbacks, often still with errors and another round of edits before the finished book is printed—but they are what gets handed out to reviewers, bloggers, bookstores, librarians, etc. to get people excited about your book before it comes out. They are not sold. This is not a finished copy of the book. No, your finished copy won’t be in paperback like this one or have that “Uncorrected Proof” red stamp in the corner and on the spine. No, you can’t have one. No, your preorder won’t arrive tomorrow. No, it isn’t fair. LIFE ISN’T FAIR.
  2. And I squeed because MY BOOK is as real of a book as Frankenstein!
  3. But don’t worry—I’ve only had an actual book in my possession for twelve hours and I’ve already had a stress dream about holding a book signing that no one came to.
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in which my book cover is revealed

Yesterday, my book cover and synopsis were released into the world slash internet. So as you can imagine I can think of little else.

The cover looks like this: ThisMonstrousThing hc c. finalJPG Pardon me while I make a high-pitched keening sound of joy.

Because really, isn’t it just great? I could go on for days about it, but for now, let me tell you the top ten things I love about my book cover:

  1. Dat clock tower. *shivers of happy*
  2. I love that it could conceivably be a cover for Frankenstein. If you changed the title and author obviously. The tagline can stay.
  3. I love how it’s a little black and white and that lightning is a nice callback to the classic Boris Karloff Frankenstein. You know, the version most people think of when they think of Frankenstein. Unless you are thinking of this Frankenstein.
  4. So this is a book about two brothers. BUT WHICH BROTHER IS THAT ON THE COVER!? Is it the doctor brother, or the creature brother? AND WHICH OF THEM IS THE MONSTROUS THING? Ambiguity FTW.
  5. I freaking love the tagline and how it’s placed between the title, even though my mom keeps being a pest and calling it “This Alive Monstrous Dead Thing Alive Again” like it is one whole title. Moms. Sheesh.
  6. IT HAS MY NAME ON IT OMG A BOOK IS GOING TO HAVE MY NAME ON IT
  7. It’s so spooky and rainy and atmospheric and Gothic and this book is all of those things.
  8. The European architecture in the back! Did I mention this book takes place in Switzerland? Because that looks like Switzerland to me.
  9. That red sky is loooovely.
  10. IT IS THE COVER OF MY BOOK *faints*

With the cover was also released the official synopsis and it is truly excellent and I am so excited to share with people more than just “steampunk Frankenstein”. BUT I know it’s a lot of words. I don’t blame you if you don’t read it. If you found yourself thinking, “I’d really like to know what this book is about, but don’t want to go to the trouble of actually reading all those words about it!”

Don’t worry–I saw you coming, and did an illustrated version just for you. Fair warning, I am embarrassingly bad artist. Maybe that will entice you even more to check out my illustrated synopsis.

So click here to see the illustrated synopsis of This Monstrous Thing! It is pretty excellent, if I do say so myself. And also the result of a lot of boredom during a lot of snow days.

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