joe McGee

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22 Feb 2020

Making Monsters!

I write a lot about monsters. I have books with zombies, aliens, Bigfoot, vampires, werewolves, swamp creatures, Frankenstein, and many more. I have more books coming out soon with even more monsters...but one thing I  really like to do is create my own monsters. Have you ever created your own monsters? Monsters don’t have to be scary. You can make your own original creatures that help people, if you want. But if you want them to be scary, well....you can do that too. Either way making creatures and monsters is a whole lot of fun! 

Here are some tips for you to create your own monster:

1) Where does it live? Think of the place your creature calls home. That will tell you a lot about it! Does it live underground? If it does, maybe it can see really well in the dark. Does it live in the swamp? Maybe it can swim and hop on the land. Whichever place it calls home will help you think of things it can do.

2) And while you’re thinking of where it lives, think of normal animals and critters who live there. This is sometimes a good place to start. Take something normal and make it crazy! Let’s think of our swamp monster. Toads live in swamps. What if you took a toad...and made it the size of an elephant? And gave it octopus tentacles!? And maybe some cool spikes like a porcupine? 

3) What does it do? What does it want? Monsters and creatures don’t just have to run around being scary for no reason. Maybe your toad creature just eats moss and isn’t dangerous to people. And....the people who live near the swamp ride the giant toads through the swamp to get from one place to the other. In order to be friendly with them, they feed them swamp moss. 

4) Give your monster a name and draw a cool picture of it! 

What would you call the giant toad creature? Describe your own monster! Tell me about your cool creatures in the comments below! 

If you’d like to send me a drawing of your monster, ask a parent or guardian to send it to:

Joe McGee

P.O. Box 221

Old Fields, WV

 26845


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1 Feb 2020

Making maps is fun!

When I was a kid I loved exploring the woods, and fields, and creeks in my backyard. Okay, I still do. So, it doesn’t matter whether you are a kid or not, lol. And one of my favorite things to do was to make maps of the lands I explored. I’d grab a big piece of paper, or a napkin, or an old paper bag, anything I could get my hands on, and map out the cool things in my newly explored land. Often, I’d name them, giving them new life in the worlds of my imagination. That tall tree with the knots that looked like eyes became “The Wisdom Tree”. The fallen log across the creek became “The perilous bridge”. I even mapped out my house, pretending it was a spaceship and making each room something new. It was fun, it was creative, and it shaped the world into a magical place. 


I still do that today! We just moved into a house with a lot of woods and we’ve built trails through it. My niece and I made a map of the trails, adding in all of the things we’d named and drawing in cool pictures. There’s “Wizard Stone” and “Reading Rock” and “The Fairy House” and “Toad Hall,” just to mention a few. 


I also do this as an author. I created the original map that you see in the beginning of the Junior Monster Scouts books and my illustrator made it look even cooler (because he’s awesome). That map helped me see what the world looked like for those monsters, and villagers, and Baron Von Grump. I have a cool new series (that I’ll be announcing soon) that takes place in a small town and I’ve created a map of the entire town. It was so much fun! 


So, I’d like to encourage you to create your own maps! Get a piece of paper, some markers or colored pencils, and start with your own backyard. Is the fence a towering wall that separates your kingdom from another? Is the sandbox an endless desert? Is that stump where a tall tree used to be a place where gnomes meet to swap hats every third Wednesday of the month? Do goblins live under the shed? Have fun! Be creative! Make the world YOURS. 

I’d love to hear about the maps you’ve created. Comment below! 

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