Elliot Von Doppler and his friend Leslie think nothing ever happens in Bickleburgh, except inside the gleaming headquarters of DENKi-3000—the world’s eighth-largest electronics factory.
Beneath the glass towers and glittering skywalks, there’s a rambling old mansion from which all the company’s amazing inventions spring forth. And no one except Uncle Archie knows what’s behind the second-to-last door at the end of the hall.
Until Elliot and Leslie are invited to take a glimpse inside.
They find stooped, troll-like creatures with jutting jaws and broken teeth. Tiny winged things that sparkle as they fly. And huge, hulking, hairy nonhumans (with horns). It is unlike anything they’ve ever seen.
But when Chuck Brickweather threatens to shut down the DENKi-3000 factory if a new product isn’t presented soon, the creatures know they are in danger. And when Uncle Archie vanishes, it’s up to Elliot, Leslie, and every one of the unusual, er, “employees” to create an invention so astonishing it will save the Creature Department.
Amie: Welcome to the Files, Robert! Your book is so fun – kind of like a grown up Monster’s Inc! Which makes me wonder… if you could be any creature in the world, what would it be?
Robert: This question is much too easy. In the future, please ask a more difficult one. For example: Do human beings possess free will? Or perhaps: Does thought require language? This question, however, is a piece of cake. I would be a Snub-Snouted Danger Moose. The weight of their antlers puts pressure on the part of their brains governing fear—so they don’t feel any. That’s why they’re such daredevils. I think I would make a excellent daredevil (if I were a Snub-Snouted Danger Moose).
Amie: Well I was going to say Cookie Monster, then I could eat all the cookies I wanted and no one could say anything about it! When I was little there were scary little creatures that crawled out from under the bed when I was asleep. I swear they nibbled on my fingers and left boogers in my eyes. What monster lurked under your bed as a child?
Robert: A fuzzy purple one with yellow horns. His name was Rudy McQuillen and I still see him now and again, when he comes up to London. These days he works in the payroll office at Dover City Council.
Amie: Yellow horns? Too bad it wasn’t just one – then it could be a unicorn and they’re not scary at all! What is a monsters’ favorite food?
Robert: Another easy one! Don’t you already know this? You should. Could be a matter of life and death. The answer is children, of course. Although in a pinch a hungry monster will settle for Bundt cake.
Amie: My worst fear has come true. It’s a miracle I survived my childhood! I wish someone had warned me when I was little…maybe with a book…about monsters…Where were you Robert?? Where were you when I was seven and scared of those monsters? *Clears throat* Ahem. I mean, why did you chose to write for middle-grade readers?
Robert: They’re the only ones who laugh at my Bundt cake jokes.
Amie: Probably true. Just kidding. I laughed. A little. Okay, but seriously, I have one very important last question, so pay attention. Boogers or vomit? Vanilla pudding or green jello? Tootsie rolls or skittles?
Robert: Boogers or vomit? Now that’s more like it. Now this is a difficult question. A true conundrum! Let me think. Okay, well, hmmm…while boogers represent a effective and time-honoured way of clearing the nasal passages, vomiting is just so rare! It’s like a special occasion! Come to think of it, why isn’t it a special occasion? If it were up to me, I’d change the second Tuesday of every month to “Spewsday.” We would all gather around the Great Community Bucket, join hands and barf our hearts out! (But not literally, of course. That would be silly.) Yes, definitely vomit.
Vanilla pudding or green jello? Yick. Neither. Let’s face it: Vanilla pudding looks like a bowl of popped zits. Who would eat that? And green jello? Green jello obviously fell from space disguised as a gelatinous dessert in order to lull us into a false sense of security before rising up to take over the world in an extremely wobbly revolution. My advice: Stay away. Death to Green Jello!
Tootsie rolls or Skittles? I prefer Maltesers.
Amie: Well, there you have it, folks! Maltesers. They are the answer to the age-old question – “What do you use to clean your windows?” You heard it here first! Malted balls to the rescue 🙂
Want to win a copy of The Creature Department? Celebrate spewsday? Clean your windows with malted balls? Then just fill out the rafflecopter form below and you’re sure to have a fuzzy purple cheeto-stealing Snub-Snouted Danger Moose with yellow horns visit you in your sleep. Perhaps his name is even Rudy McQuillen.
Weston’s second novel was the hardboiled fairy-tale Dust City, which was nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Young Adult Mystery. Prince Puggly of Spud and the Kingdom of Spiff published in February 2013.
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Amie Borst is the co-author of Cinderskella. She guarantees there are no monsters by the name of Rudy in her book. But there is a skeleton named Cindy. Find her on Facebook and her blog.