Today I am so pleased to welcome Timoteo Tong to Joyfully Jay. Timoteo has come to talk to us about his latest release, Magic, Monsters, and Me. He has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving Timoteo a big welcome!

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Magic, Monsters, and Me Soundtrack

I listened to grunge exclusively while writing my book. Originally the book was set in 1990 so the music was current, but eventually I decided to set it in present day. I kept the music because I love grunge music so much!

1) Under the Bridge by Red Hot Chili Peppers—when this song came out I was excited that it was set in LA and was mesmerized by the melody and lyrics. The song is about drug use and loneliness. Being in this huge, sprawling city and being all alone yet still connected to something bigger. This song sums up how Elijah feels throughout the novel, like an outsider among his friends, family and city. 

2) With or Without You by U2— One of U2’s greatest songs. The lyrics illustrate Elijah’s struggle with relationships, since he was fundamentally shaken by his father walking out on him and his mother and sister when he was very young. Deep down he fears that anyone he gets close to will eventually walk away. He’ll swing between with someone to without them.

3) Epic by Faith No More—The song delves into the anxiety, depression and panic attacks, things that Elijah is suffering from, although he is not aware of. The song also explores topics of excess, something Elijah is struggling with; his family’s money and status and his mother’s excessive desire to control everything around her, especially him. Her daughter, Tory already was diagnosed with anxiety and was sent away. Her ex left her. She fears that if she doesn’t keep Elijah on a short leash he’ll leave her or, worse, end up being an embarrassment to her like her husband was when he left her.

4) November Rain by Guns N’ Roses—the song explores unrequited love and not wanting to deal with love that’s not reciprocated. Elijah feels his mother doesn’t love him, his father has no interest in him and he fears that those close to him will leave him at any time. He listens to the song as his internal struggle with his identity builds to a point where he lacks the courage to accept unconditional love from those who love him.

5) Breaking the Girl by Red Hot Chili Peppers—the song signifies Elijah’s personal struggle with his intense love for Austin while juggling societal pressure about his sexuality and his confusion about what it means to be a man and lingering doubts about his feelings.

6) **Bonus*** Don’t Cry Out Loud by Melissa Manchester. I remember listening to the song playing at Kmart where I worked in High School and absolutely losing it over this woman pleading with us to bury our feelings. It sounded so outrageous to me. However,  the song really captures the story arc of Elijah. How he tries so hard to be this perfect son, for his mother, perfect image for his family, this hero for the Alliance and how he struggles and wants to give up and accept defeat but something inside him keeps pushing him forward no matter what the personal cost to him is.


magic monsters and me coverSixteen-year-old Elijah Delomary wants to be a normal boy, riding his skateboard, reading his favorite books, and playing with his familiar, Boxey. His mother expects him to practice magic and fight the monsters who are hurting ordinaries, but he’d rather spend time with his new best friend, Austin.

As their friendship deepens and an old nemesis—Devlina, the Queen of the Gloom—threatens to destroy the universe, Elijah has to decide what’s more important: magic, family, or love?

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Timoteo K. Tong grew up in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles dreaming of living in a rambling Victorian mansion. He currently lives with his husband and way too many plants in San Francisco. He is obsessed with cheese pizza, drinking cola, and daydreaming about magic. He sold his first book when he was age eight, a story about his beloved stuffed animal named Crocker Spaniel. He is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators International.

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One lucky winner will receive a $50.00 NineStar Press Gift Code!

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