Frankenstein Meets Santa - Published!

My goal was to publish "Frankenstein Meets Santa" on Halloween -- and we made it!  The book is now live on Amazon.  Buy it here:  FrankensteinMeetsSanta

Jeanne Bellis's cover is beautiful, Jan Harvey-Smith's illustrations are lovely, the text is typo-free (except for ONE typo -- see if you can find it!) -- all we need now is READERS!  When you read the book, I would be honored if you put a 5-star review on Amazon.  And let me know your thoughts:   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Merry Christmas!





Frankenstein Meets Santa

It's almost time to launch book #2!  The writing is done, the amazing illustrations by Jan Harvey-Smith are done, and graphic artist Jeanne Bellis (who did my first book cover) is almost done with the cover.  I've received some super great blurbs.  This one blew me away:

"M.J. picks up the story of Frankenstein where Mary Shelley left it -- the Creature disappearing into the arctic wasteland of the North Pole to die.  I'm happy to say it didn't end that way!  Instead of finding a place to destroy himself, the tragic Creature finds the one place he was always seeking -- a home.
Fortunately for the Creature (and us), the North Pole happens to be the home of that ultimate symbol of friendship and caring, Santa!  Only Santa Claus can redeem the Creature...and he does in M.J's delightful fable of acceptance and . . . well . . . love.  I am sure you will enjoy this fun Holiday "twist" on a classic tale of horror.  I sure did!”

- David Quicksall (playwright and director)
Adapted and directed the production of Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus
Book-It Repertory Theatre, Seattle, WA

About Jan Harvey-Smith -- she is the Master Scenic Artist at the Pacific Northwest Ballet.  She's been working on the new sets for the "Nutcracker" while getting the final illustrations done for the book.  What a woman!  Here's one of her illustrations.  Frankenstein helping Santa read letters from children.  

Santa & Frankenstein read letters from children

Hoping for a Halloween launch, but it may be the first week of November by the time all is ready to go on Amazon.  I've priced the book as low as I could go:  $7.99 for the paperback, probably $3.99 for the e-book.

People are already asking for autographed copies.  Right now, I'm not planning to do any signing events.  I might, though.  Meanwhile, I'm going to offer people a different kind of autograph.  If a reader sends me a self-addressed stamped envelope, I will send back an autographed sticker they can put in the book.  The address to mail an autograph request is:  

M.J. McDermott

Q13 FOX News

1813 Westlake Ave. N

Seattle, WA  98109

Also, I'm really hoping my "fans" can help me market the book by telling all of their Facebook friends (and regular friends and family!) to get the book.  It's the best stocking stuffer ever!

And, of course, I'd love to get reader comments!  Email me at:   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or post a comment on my Facebook page when you read the book!  

Happy Halloween & Merry Christmas!!!




Why I Love Speaking at Book Clubs



Since writing The Improv, I have had the pleasure of being the guest author at several book clubs. I knew it would be fun to speak at a book club meeting, but I have been delighted to find that the experience is rewarding way beyond “fun.”

The first time I was a guest at a book club was BEFORE my book was even published. Kathy’s book club read a draft of my book and I had the opportunity to hear comments and questions from readers that I could incorporate in the final version of the book. They had many constructive things to say, but mainly they were enthusiastic about the book and I gained confidence in its impending publication. In fact, I was encouraged to call myself an “author.”

And it was the first time that the “magic moment” happened. The “magic moment” has happened at every book club meeting I’ve attended and I feel privileged to be a part of it.

Here’s what happens . . .

I walk into the home of the book club host and introduce myself, as the women bustle about putting food together and making the room ready. (By the way, every book club I’ve been to except for one had only women members.)   Sometimes I know the members, or at least one of them, so I chat with that person or persons, feeling a little uncomfortable. People are friendly but a little formal. You know, polite chit chat, comments on what a cute necklace that is, or where did you get your haircut. Members arrive, put together a plate of food and a glass of wine or sparkling water. Chit chat turns to the food, how someone lost weight, started a new workout or diet or how they’re dealing with a food intolerance.

We all gather in the host’s living room and the meeting begins. I talk about my past, how I came to write The Improv, clarify some bits in the book that I made up. Then I start talking about how it felt at the time and how it felt to write the book. We talk about sexual abuse on college campuses. People share their feelings and experiences.

And somewhere in the flow of conversation, the “niceties” leave and we have what I would call a “real” conversation. This is the “magic moment,” when the conversation gets real. People share stories of abuse in their lives, their fears for their children or grandchildren, their disgust with abusers – the Catholic priests, the football program at Penn State, a creepy professor they stupidly dated in college.

Because The Improv is about acting, we discuss why I finally left acting and how few roles there are for women in film, TV or stage. I mention the research being done by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media --   We talk about how about 70-80% of the roles in TV and film go to men. And women’s roles are usually for young beautiful women who wear scant clothing. That the entertainment industry is driven by commerce and that films/TV shows/plays with male story lines make way more money than ones with female story lines.

I mention the Bechdel Test – which asks whether a work of fiction features at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man. I mention that the Geena Davis Institute found that only 17% of people in CROWD scenes are women. That we have an image of the world where women are only 17% of the population.

We talk about how there are “Chick Flicks” that men won’t be caught dead going to. And there’s no comparable name for films with men’s stories. They’re just called films. And women happily see all the superhero blockbusters out there, the mafia films, the police films, and the gross-out comedies.

When I spoke at the Elliott Bay Book Company and talked about this, someone mentioned that it’s the same in publishing. Even though women buy more books and read more, men’s stories are still valued more than women’s stories. There is “Chic Lit” and “Women’s Fiction,” and men rarely or never read these books. How many men do you know who have read Eat Pray Love? But there is nothing called “Men’s Fiction” or “Dude Lit.” It’s just called “Fiction.”

We usually end up talking and talking beyond my allotted time. And I feel blessed to be a part of the conversation.

(Photos above of Sharon's book club in Edmonds and Jo's book club in Ballard.)

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