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Boy in bed, afraid of the dark

Local Children’s Author, Denise Vega, Chats About Her New Book

Advice for stubborn bedtime monsters.

Colorado children’s author Denise Vega gives kids advice for stubborn bedtime monsters in her latest children’s book coming out in March. Step-by-step kids will learn to how to give monsters an ice-cold bath, a fang flossing, and a big glass of oozy bug juice to get them ready for bed. Vega, who spent all but one year of her K-12 education in Littleton and Englewood, credits many of her teachers for giving her the encouragement to become a writer. She currently lives in Denver with her family.

CP: What inspired the idea for If Your Monster Won’t Go To Bed?

DV: I had been playing around with a variety of monster stories, and suddenly the title came to me, along with the idea of a “how to” format. There are so many monster books out—I love a good monster book—and I wanted to make sure mine was unique in some way.

CP: Are their any similarities between yourself as a child, and the female character telling the story

DV: When I was a kid, I loved making things out of what was at hand—mud pies, potions from water, leaves, berries, etc. I think that’s where the “bug juice” idea came from in the book. But the character is much more determined than I probably would have been at that age!

CP: What’s your favorite part of being a children’s author

DV: One, I love sharing time with kids at book events and school visits. Kids are brilliant and delightful and I love learning from them and laughing with them. Two, I love teaching writers who share my passion. I feel big gratitude for these gifts that come from being a children’s author.

CP: What’s one misconception that you think people have about being a children’s author

DV: That every book my agent submits will be accepted for publication and will make a lot of money. If only! Publication is just one aspect of being an author and it comes with its own set of challenges. I continue to immerse myself in the writing process because that’s where the joy is.

If Your Monster Won’t Go To Bed (Knopf Books for Young Readers) goes on sale March 14. Vega ( is also teaching a Picture Book Intensive workshop in April (

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