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The Monster Factory by Sharon Shipley is a Trick or Treat Bonanza pick #comingofage #horror

Title: The Monster Factory

Author: Sharon Shipley

Genre: Coming of Age/Horror

Book Blurb:

Two of the most unpopular boys in school, battle a voracious Monster feeding on centuries of garbage in an abandoned factory's crawlspace. Will-Fred is neglected. His sole buddy, Elmo is asthmatic. Peers mock them. When they stumble on the Monster, they have fat chance of convincing either parents or the town elders of the blood-freezing peril when the Monster starts stirring. Worse, the two discover the most chilling menace, is much closer to them than their worst nightmares…and they must destroy SlugThing on their own... anyway they can...


You could say The Horror began one brilliant Technicolor day. August 31, 1989, when Will-Fred and his so-called family blew into Perfect Town, USA in a blue Oldsmobile '88, and it was the beginning of the end, as Will-Fred knew it.

They did not have forewarning, or they might have kept right on going, to say—Austin, Seymour—or even Vevey. Indiana, that is. Yet even that might not have been far enough...


Always hungry. Too-big ears. Skinny for his age. A runt. He kneed the Old’s back seat, wedged between shoe boxes of stuff squinting through the rear window. Cartons of groceries schlepped from the last rental—a half box of Kroger's Pancake Mix, a Jiffy jar with a scrape of peanut butter, and corroded spice bottles, all jammed between faded dishtowels and newspapers. You know.

Will-Fred, leaning oblivious over the little back shelf mashed his nose against the window, drinking in the lurid advertisements plastered on store windows and lamp posts announcing a coming Comic Convention, alongside a Slime-Mutant poster.

His head swiveled. Slime-Mutant. Wow! His favorite neat-o avenger!

"Crimin-etly," he breathed. Guys in LavaMan and Techno-Geek suits signing autographs posed outside a hardware store sporting one of the posters. An omen. Perfectamundo! Maybe this move, the twelfth in his short life, would be the one.

Will-Fred's stubbly head shaved in a cash-saving buzz, nearly spun off his neck as he sucked in the rolling panorama, while the Olds 88 rolled by stodgy red brick Carnegie libraries, a massive limestone courthouse, clapboard churches and gleaming white picket fences; a wistful expression dropping over his face like a fire curtain at a small-town theater.

Maybe this time, Will-Fred will be, by some mysterious alchemy—popular. That cool kids and even some adults will notice undiscovered talents—a heretofore hidden magnetism sprouting from his ears.

He'll tell the funniest jokes, pull off the most daring stunts—the cutest cheerleaders will secretly say stuff about him and slant adoring eyes his way. He'll be King of the Sleepovers too, with his closest buds spending lazy summers devouring comics in—in…

He faltered.

A tree house. Yeah! An amazing tree house that he and Stan would build together and—and—

'Wait!' An imp of reality carped. 'Riiiight. What if there aren't any trees at the new digs? And Stan? Really? You think Stan would even climb a ladder if the house was on fire?'


Will-Fred's head snapped back to the one-screen theater. He forgot all about tree houses.

Stan had to brake hard at one of the two stoplights cursing under his breath, 'hoping the crappy Olds didn't die on him and he'd have a devil's own time starting it again'. Time enough for Will-Fred to drink in the 'The Return of The Blob!' in giant red block letters marching along the three-sided marquee.

"The Blob! Cool!" Will-Fred breathed.

Another omen.


That was summer. August 31st 1989.

The day before school and Will-Fred's personal misery began.

He opened his mouth to call Stan and Muriel sitting up front, both the dark side of 30—but sank back, amid the moving-boxes and podgy Danno, his stinky, three-going-on-four baby bro, and already as conniving as any Medici prince.

Course, that wasn't when it really started—the Horror.

That had already been fomenting for decades in a derelict factory at the farthest edge of town, as if disowned from a spot as pristine and sparkling as Scottsburg, Indiana.

The hulk of The Factory squatted—like a dull brick, the color of liver, moss-covered mutant frog, over a fetid swamp of a crawlspace, thanks to the nearby lake and high-water table, and just as malodorous—out where asphalt gave way to gravel—then dirt, as the county quit paying for the upkeep in such an isolated disused spot.

Sidewalks too cracked for bikes eventually petered out entirely, long before abandoned fields going to seed appeared between acres of dried cornfields and decaying farmhouses. It was as if there was a withdrawing—a cringing shrinkage from the moldering Lake-with-no-name and The Factory it had supported, at least back when it was a going concern.

The Lake was a large-ish pond now festering and filled with—well—creatures.

However, we won’t go into that now. The Lake still served its purpose. I suppose.

The brooding Factory lorded it over the brackish water, across snarls of lethal briars with a few rough paths leading to it; wallows really lined with gristly blobs and streaks of slime, some hardened to amber.

Hardly anyone ever ventured that far, even young boys intent on fishing—until Will-Fred…

Buy Links:

If you could dress up as anything or anyone this Halloween, what or who would it be and why?

Queen Boadicea, the Druid fighter, because she was one of the first female warriors… against the Roman invasion.

Explain why your featured book is a treat to read:

A great book to curl up with if one wants to recall the pitfalls and horrors of growing up, in the same vein as King's novel, 'IT'.

Giveaway –

One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon gift card

Open internationally.

Runs October 1 – 31

Drawing will be held on November 1.

Author Biography:

I scribble novels and scripts in Myrtle Beach, ships at sea, the car, on my arm, or anywhere there is a paper napkin...a skill involving few tools beyond a doorstop thesaurus, feverish brain, and blood-spattered laptop…and I frequent far too many…'All You Can Eat' Crab Shacks.

Social Media Links:


Oct 07, 2023

im not sure I’ll dress up this year I don’t usually but I might if I get the chance!


N. N. Light
N. N. Light
Oct 05, 2023

Thank you, Sharon, for sharing your book in our Trick or Treat Book Bonanza!

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