Chronicles of the Monster Detective Agency - INITIATIONS

Chronicles of the Monster Detective Agency - INITIATIONS


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Will Allen may be one of the smartest boys in the 6th grade, but all his cleverness is of little use when monsters infest his room! Fortunately, a mysterious business card summons the Great Monster Detective, Bigelow Hawkins, who teaches Will how to conquer monsters. But when Bigelow recruits Will to join the cause and become a monster detective himself, can Will rise to the occasion and save himself and his friends from a horror beyond their wildest imaginings?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780978951276
Publisher: Rogue Bear Press
Publication date: 03/15/2015
Series: Chronicles of the Monster Detective Agency Series , #1
Pages: 232
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile: 670L (what's this?)
Age Range: 8 - 15 Years

About the Author

Jason Edwards is an educator, storyteller, and producer of educational enrichment programs with over 30 years of experience developing innovative ways to entertain, instruct, and inspire children. Even his Chronicles of the Monster Detective Agency book series is designed to be slyly educational, providing progressively challenging reading levels, and topics that confront many difficult and timely issues in a non-threatening manner. Jason’s books have been honored with the Mom’s Choice Award for Family Friendly Media, and his Monster Hunt Library Skills-building Adventure and Destination: INSPIRATION InterACTIVE StoryCrafting Workshops have earned accolades at over 100 schools and libraries across the nation.

Jason lives in New York with his wife, daughters, and a rabbit named Bunniford who never comes when he is called. Find out more about Jason on his MonsterAuthor website.

Jeffrey Friedman ia an artist and educator whose work has appeared in everything from children's books to billboards. The Chronicles of the Monster Detective Agency series represents his first published works.


A Brief Author Interview with Jason Edwards

How did you get started as a writer?

I’ve always liked to write, but for much of my life, I wrote only for self-expression and my own amusement. It was kind of like singing in the shower, minus having to shake water out of your ears. Then, when my daughter was born, I made up stories to amuse her. I didn’t actually set out to be an author until I was inspired by – a toilet.

Allow me to explain. At the age of 4, my eldest daughter developed a powerful anxiety when she was traumatized by the roar of a loud, automatic toilet that flushed repeatedly while she was sitting on it. I wanted to help her develop the ability to confront her fears, so I created a world in which the characters learn to do that.

In general, how does an idea for a book come to you ~ does it perk slowly in your mind or does it come in a flash?

A little of both. The main ideas, themes, and key points for a book usually strike like a bolt of lightning, but then it takes time to percolate and develop them into a coherent piece of work.

Give us an idea of the plot of your books without giving too much away.

Will Allen and the Great Monster Detective is the story of a boy beset by fears that have literally come to life and how, with some very special help from the Great Monster Detective, he learns to conquer them. Its sequel, Will Allen and the Ring of Terror, picks up where the first book leaves off, with Will becoming a monster detective himself and working to solve his first case. But he quickly discovers that he still has a lot to learn, and needs plenty of help from his best friend and partner, Jeannine Fitsimmons, to solve the case and defeat the monster.

What is the primary message you’d like your readers to take away from this book?

Face your fears, or they will take over your life. And wash behind your ears (well, that one isn’t actually in the book, but I just thought I’d throw it in there anyway)

What was the most difficult scene to write, and why?

The most difficult scene for me to write was the one in which Will confronts his hidden beast (his secret, buried fear), which turns out to be his father. Will’s anguish, caused by the fear that his father’s emotionally distant behavior indicated that he did not care for Will anymore, was emotionally brutal for me. I guess that was so because I have some unresolved family issues myself.

What is your favorite scene in the book?

The same one. It has a poignancy that still pierces me deeply as an adult, and yet young children can relate to it and be touched by it as well.

Which character do you identify with the most in your book?

Will Allen, mostly because he is very much an idealized version of myself as a boy.

How much of yourself did you put into these characters and did you realize you showed up in the book?

A whole lot of myself, right down to the marrow. I tried to make every character real to me, so in order to relate to them as individuals I ended up making them represent different aspects of my own personality (yes, even the girl with the rainbow-striped hair). Creating dialog then became easy, since I’m semi-schizophrenic, and the characters began to talk to each other in my head.

What did you learn about yourself while writing this book that you may not have expected?

That I’m a sentimental sap who cries watching Mary Poppins…no, wait, I knew that already. Mostly I learned that I love to create. It’s like the joy of becoming a daddy all over again, minus getting a sippy cup tossed at my head.

Who are your favorite authors and who influenced your writing?

Some of my favorite authors are Michael Crichton, J. K. Rowling, and Kenneth C. Davis. My writing has been influenced by Bill Watterson, Rod Serling, MAD magazine, and Marvel comics.

Can you offer a glimpse into your “real life” and share with us a bit of your personal life—Outside of writing, what’s important to you?

This is my real life. But over and above this and everything else, I am a devoted father and husband. I’ve also always loved baseball. I spent 14 years at the famed Ted Williams Base Camp as a player and coach, and I still play ball and coach to this day. It was actually working at the camp as a coach that led me to realize that I enjoy working with kids, which led to my first career: teaching.

Tell us an interesting/crazy thing about you.

I had asthma, bronchitis, and pneumonia as a child, but I overcame those shortcomings to become an accomplished athlete. I ran two NYC Marathons, won a gold medal in track at the NYS Empire State games, and once won the not-so-coveted ‘Most Hustle’ Award at the famed Ted Williams Baseball Camp.


As I mentioned earlier, I’ve always loved baseball, and I also play basketball, and I do a lot of running and weight training to stay in shape for sports. I enjoy movies, especially science fiction and fantasy (go figure), and books including the Twilight series, the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, Harry Potter, and Ultimate Spiderman. Additionally, I can often be found with a newspaper or science magazines in my hands. Finally, I love writing, illustrating, and cooking (though my family prefers to call my endeavors in the kitchen experimenting).

Interests :

Family, Political/Social Issues, the Sciences, sports.

Tell us something surprising about you and/or something very few people know about you.

I hate running. That alone is not shocking, but the reason people are surprised by this is because I have completed two New York City Marathons, and won a gold medal in track at the New York Empire State Games.

Don’t ask me to explain it: I’m a writer, not a psychiatrist.

What has been one of your biggest struggles and/or successes (professional/personal) and what have you learned from it?

Biggest struggle? Getting published.

Strangely, almost all of my struggles and successes alike have taught me the same thing: to achieve anything I set out to accomplish, it is necessary to go above and beyond my original expectations of what is required. There is not one mere singular event that confirms this - It has always been true, whether I was struggling to find a job, find a date, find a publisher, or even find my socks.

Have you ever had a nickname? Tell us about it.

Lots of them. As a kid I was Pee Wee, because I played ball with my older brother and his friends, and was one of the smallest kids in the games. In college I was Silent Stan, mostly due to my lack of social skills. One of my softball buddies dubbed me Digger, because I carried a shovel to games, and on another team I was called Honey, because my girlfriend (now my wife) would always yell out ‘way to go, honey!’

Who is your biggest fan?

I have one?

Seriously though, I believe that my biggest fans are the kids from the Cherry Hill School in River Edge, NJ. I did my Monster Hunts and StoryPlays for the students there, and for some reason, they seemed to become especially enthusiastic about the programs, and about me. Must be something in the water there.

What was the best advice you’ve ever received—do you follow it?

I’ve received lots of great advice over the years including ‘don’t pick at your pimples’ and ‘come in out of the rain’. I’ve never followed any of it.

What is your favorite literary turn-of-phrase / quote?

Offhand, I can think of two:

“For every complex problem there is a simple solution…and it’s wrong.”

“A ship in the harbor is safe…but that is not what ships are built for.”

What’s next for you ~ Anything else you’d like to offer?

I’m currently writing and producing more books in the Monster Detective Agency series. You see, Will Allen and the Monster Detective Agency crew have taken on a life of their own. Now I just need to get one myself.

Best and worst part of being a writer?

The best part: It’s like being a proud parent, knowing that you have brought something good and beautiful into the world (and did it right for a change).

The worst part: It’s a very solitary, isolating endeavor - plus sitting in a chair for hours on end turns my back into spaghetti.

How do readers get in touch with you? Website Address? Email?

E-mail is usually best. I have always answered every single letter I receive, and hope to always be able to do so. My e-mail address, , is listed in every book, on the and websites, my Facebook page, and my personal website.

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Chronicles of the Monster Detective Agency - Initiations 0 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Michelle Stanley for Readers' Favorite Initiations is the first mystery from The Chronicles of the Monster Detective Agency series by Jason Edwards. Will Allen is a studious kid in middle school who is adept at solving mysteries. Yet he cannot solve the mystery that lurks under his bed, and his parents do not believe monsters live there. When a bizarre business card appears from the strange Bigelow Hawkins, a monster detective, Will has no choice but to use his services to fight the evil under his bed. He is given a Monsterscope and a Revealer kit and, in the process, discovers shocking things about himself that could help defeat the monster, but is scared to use them as his weapons. Bigelow Hawkins offers his advice, but only Will can destroy the monster that is increasing in size, and time is running out! The Chronicles of the Monster Detective Agency: Initiations is a must-read for anyone who is afraid of the dark. Will Allen is just a normal kid with a mom who cooks the weirdest meals and monsters under his bed. The story is very entertaining with real life situations that seem to work perfectly with the monster theme. Jason Edwards’ creativity will attract followers with his cast of interesting characters and amusing, emotional adventures. It’s enlightening since it shows kids how to deal with their fears. The book includes guides called Will’s Tips for Fighting Monsters, Bigelow’s Lists of Monster Thinking Traps to Avoid, and Monster Hunt Library Skills-Building Adventure that kids will find useful.