“Swamp Monster Makeovers: Fabulous Species-Defying Transformations to Win Friends and Confuse People” An Excerpt from How to Survive a Human Attack: A Guide for Werewolves, Mummies, Cyborgs, Ghosts, Nuclear Mutants, and Other Movie Monsters by K.E. Flann

HAVE YOU NOTICED an influx of fashionistas in your neigh­borhood? These newcomers and their fabulous everyday infinity scarves are so intriguing that you’ve already snatched a few strang­ers from their research vessel. But even though you were raised by alligators or gestated in a nuclear cooling pool, you understand that these encounters have not been on point. Instead of making new friends in the manner of a “meet-cute,” you’ve made the clas­sic faux pas of homicide! Accidentally drowning people who don’t have gills is about as basic as square-toed loafers. You just won’t get away with it.

Maybe you’re hoping that someone will finally “get” that you just want some language lessons. Or maybe these newcomers smell sophisticated—boho chic with detectable notes of rosemary mint body wash and Deep Woods Off insect spray. People around here smell like Long John Silvers and hot asphalt.

Then again, maybe what you really want is a new you. It’s like an ache. No one has ever propped on an elbow and watched the cute way you sleep.

Not all attention is good attention! The local sheriff, who wasn’t interested in your activities before, now motors in a Bass Tracker every night, trying to find you in the rising mist that may or may not be composed of toxic off-gassing. The situation won’t seem like a big deal at first, even though the spotlight is unflattering.

The Ten Reasons You Need a Makeover Right Now!

(Lest You Become a Science Project or an Attraction at Gators ‘n’ Friends Exotic Zoo, a Real D-Lister)


  1. You are probably the only one of your kind in general, and certainly the only one in this particular bog. When you’re out and about, you turn heads, and not in a good way, like a celebrity who tries too hard or a duck boat.
  2. As the product of a unique genetic mutation and inhabitant of a quagmire, you may not be au courant. What you don’t know is that there are about seven billion humans beyond your muddy shores—many of them terribly envious of anything bespoke. There’s a fine line between being all the rage and receiving all the rage.
  1. You’re not as strong a swimmer as the other creatures that share your home, even though most of them are snakes. There’ll be no escaping judgment or harpoons.
  2. With you, the “smoky eye” isn’t working. Too much smolder can be just as off-putting as not enough.
  3. Your runway strut (i.e., run-away strut) isn’t all it could be. That loping gait makes for high visibility.
  4. These haute newcomers are bankrolled by think tanks, corporations,trust funds, etc. Unlike Sheriff McSnoozy, they have the single-mindedness that accompanies expensive shoes. You won’t getaway with any don’ts in this crowd, like gauchos or serial kidnapping.
  5. There are a lot of green undertones in your complexion.
  6. Must-have accessories, such as guns and grenades, don’t work for your body type. They clash with your finger webbing! However, sans brooches or hairpin triggers, what to do? Help!
  7. There’s potential for the fierce outer-you to reflect the soft inner-you a tad more.
  1. There were no siblings to teach you about mercilessness. If you step into clothes this season, maybe you won’t be subjected to this particular lesson. Humans teach with techniques too bold for your style.


Barring a fashion-forward change, this whole situation is likely to end uncomfortably. The one kind hearted human in the group will weep over your corpse, those separated fingers caressing your head gills. Those un-webbed digits are detailed and dramatic! They’re all doing different things as if they’re not even associated with the same hand. It would be a fun and flirty experience if you weren’t dead.

Don’t fret! The benefit of being a humanoid mutant is that you are human-shaped. Why not lean into a figure-friendly transforma­tion? With some upstyling, you could join them instead of hiding under the power station.

Want to nuzzle your new friends under your chin, like you did that family of ducks last month? Want it to turn out better? After your makeover, people will line up for your hugs!



Who’s That Lurking Under the Morass? It’s Sleek, Beautiful You!


  • Start with a mud mask to slough off fission products.
  • Add a clear gloss to your routine. Even incognito, care for your lips should include a shimmery topcoat.
  • Dot concealer above and below your prominent brow ridge.
  • Use coconut oil to highlight your natural iridescence—gentle, yet effective.
  • Clothes make the “man.” For inspi­ration, see sample makeovers on pages 42-47.


Complement your new look with these strategies:

  • Insinuate that you are an exchange student.
  • Carry a pamphlet about your rare skin condition.
  • Shrug occasionally so that your silence can be construed as “broody.”



With your new on-trend look, you’re bound to earn invites to a potluck or two. Bide your time.Say farewell to grab ’n’ splash abductions! Your de rigueur swamp-jack style will be the envy of the bog community.


Tips for capturing friends:

  • Narrow down which humans might be best to snatch, based on the panache with which they apply your “prescription” moisture balm.
  • Will the candidate be missed? Pay attention to whether the others gripe about the person’s bathroom use, vaping habits, loud snoring, punctuality, or inces­sant overtalking during a recent onboard showing of Shallow Hal.
  • Regard your quarry as a state­ment piece. Limit yourself to just one.

Eventually, the newcomers will tire of small-town life, pack up, and head to the Coca-Cola Museum on the way out to the inter­state. They’ll promise to text you, but they probably won’t. Still, you’ll have a new friend who can double as your oldest friend. It beats a sharp stick in your irresistible eye.





illustrations by Joe McDermott & Celeste Joyce

Get it today! At bookshop or amazon or at the store!

From the book How to Survive a Human Attack: A Guide for Werewolves, Mummies, Cyborgs, Ghosts, Nuclear Mutants, and Other Movie Monsters by K.E. Flann. Reprinted by permission of Running Press, part of the Perseus division of Hachette Book Group. Copyright © 2021 by K.E. Flann.