The concept of Henry the Blue Monkey popped into existence for Linda Christen in 2012, after attending a silent meditation retreat – not talking to anyone for three days. Upon returning home with a clear visual in her head, she pulled out a notebook and began to write. Twenty minutes later, Henry the Blue Monkey was on his first big adventure – learning about himself, noticing the differences in the world around him, feeling insecure about being the only blue monkey in the forest, and finding comfort and strength in his parent’s words, ‘Being Different is Good.’
Filled with joy and enlightenment, she called her sister, Kim, going on to tell her all about Henry the Blue Monkey. Her sister was taken aback and furious, reminding Linda about her own children’s story centered around a bunny with a different colored tail and how he wanted to change it to match all the other bunnies. In fact, she had just told Linda about this story a few weeks before the silent retreat. She was convinced Linda had stolen her idea. Linda assured her sister the bunny story didn’t even cross her mind when she wrote Henry the Blue Monkey – nonetheless, her sister was still very upset with her.
In an effort to redeem herself, while on a trip to Seattle visiting with her sister's only son, she asked him to read the story of Henry the Blue Monkey. After reading it, her nephew, Dr. Christen Mark Adams, MD, working on his residency as an anesthesiologist at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, pressed his aunt, “I like it, so what are you going to do with it?” Linda had no idea at the time how to answer that question and two years went by.
It wasn’t until her nephew’s sudden and unexpected death on April 17, 2014, that she felt compelled to do something with the story. Feeling her nephew’s spirit as her guiding light, she found the conviction she needed to finish the book. “He inspired me in life, with his acceptance of others and non-judgmental way of looking at people. His purpose in life and the beauty of his soul motivated me to complete the book and get it out into the world,” said Linda. Dr. Adams left behind an adoring mother, Kim Adams, a loving wife, a three-year-old son and another son on the way. The dedication page in Henry the Blue Monkey honors her nephew Christen and the two little boys he left behind, Pierce and Morgan, Linda’s grand nephews. (Linda's Story Continued)