I couldn't use trademarked characters, of course, so that sent me looking around the world for "real" monsters of folklore and myth. I found quite a few really, really cool ones. Unfortunately, "real" monsters aren't very fun. They're gruesome. Parts of this book became a splatter fest thanks to these things. I mean, I needed to consult thesaurus.com for "entrails" synonyms.
Needless to say, some of the "fun" concepts I had in mind early on seem painfully tone deaf now. Below, you'll find one such scene. It's been altered in the final book.
One "funny" thing I will be keeping are some of the chapter titles. I chose many of them depending on the focal monster, but I also chose some because they're over-the-top dramatic (eg, "The Grim Gala"). There are also a few that feature a group of monsters instead of just one. For those I went with titles derived from Bobby "Boris" Pickett's song "Monster Mash." Sure, we all know "Monster Mash," but did you know that there were three sequels? You'll see the names for those in the book.
The Art of Death will go live on Wednesday.