Inside an Author’s Mind


(A Morning at the Dentist’s Office)


An exclusive look into the mind of one middle grade author. Read her ramblings as she faces terror! (i.e: sits in the dentist office, having her six-month cleaning and check-up—hoping that no new cavities have emerged in the interim.)


An author’s work is not limited to time spent before the computer or with a pen clutched in hand. No, some of my most productive creative time is down time, when I’m able to let my mind wander. It’s then that I often find answers to nagging plot problems or discover a new twist or—like today—uncover the truth about Monster Dentists!


In my upcoming middle grade fantasy, FROM THE GRAVE (October 18, 2016), I do not have a monster dentist as a character. However, I do mention one ancient vampire improving his bite with a set of new false teeth, so therefore, I know that monster dentists do exist in Uggarland—my monster world.


Today, as I sat in the infamous adjustable chair listening to drills and teeth scraping and moans (okay, maybe the moans were only mine and had nothing to do with pain but only with totally unjustified apprehension), I pondered a monster dentist’s workday. The following is what I envisioned:


The dentist’s name would be something like Dr. A. G. Ony or Dr. Lotta Payne


He would look like a cross between a mad scientist and a mangy dog, or she might be a skeleton in blood-crusted scrubs with a necklace of teeth dangling from her neck.


Tools would include a hammer, chisel, pliers, and a knockout punch, although most procedures would be administered with no pain relief. The louder the howling—the better.


The dentist would also have a file to sharpen teeth for better biting. Every Moanday, there would be a special two for one price on sharpenings. (always popular with the financially fiscal monsters like werewolves and trolls)


Cosmetic dentistry would include the application of teeth tarnishing gel, multiple tooth extractions for that gap-toothed growl, and a take home kit for halitosis—bad breath to the max.


Okay, there you have it. A writer’s mind at work—all while wearing a paper bib and drooling most profusely.


Now it’s your turn! (No, not to drool—to write!)

Open the door, if you dare, and let your imagination out for a bit of fun. I’ve shown you ways a dentist might “operate” in the goofy monster world that I’ve created for my #MonsterOrDieBooks.




  1. Choose a setting for your story. (Feel free to use my monster world if you’d like.)
  2. Create a character.
  3. Fill in the blanks on how he/she looks and acts.
  4. Now write a story with this character. Keep thinking until you discover a problem. Such as: What if the monster dentist had to extract teeth from a crazed werewolf during a full moon? (Check out the classic picture book Dr. DeSoto by William Steig to read how this author wrote a similar story.)
  5. Finally, tell how the character tries to solve the problem. Does she do it—or not?


Presto! You’ve written a story! That’s how you make magic happen—one word at a time!

I’d love to hear about some of your characters. 🙂

Here’s to monstrous reading & writing!!!

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