Meet us at the CROSSROADS...
From small to big-gun presses, debut novels to bestsellers, we’re offering unprecedented (and free!) access to amazing YA authors. This October, thirteen paranormal writers will embark on an exciting blog tour that will hook readers up with great reads and cool SWAG. Today we're featuring Ty Drago and Carrie Harris.
TY DRAGO is a published novelist who makes his home in New Jersey. His latest novel, THE UNDERTAKERS: RISE OF THE CORPSES was released by Jabberwocky, Spring 2011.
Undertakers - what a great concept! Why are yours so special?
That’s a hard question to answer. Maybe it’s because I didn’t sit down intending to write a “zombie” novel. I started with the kids.
I’ve always loved the idea of a child army, fighting a war that the adult world doesn’t know about. The Undertakers actually grew out of a series of poorly drawn comic books I did as a kid about a group of child superheroes called “The Kid Kidets”. Yes, I spelled “cadets” wrong; I was ten. They all had superpowers and lived in a secret base deep in the Antarctic. And their leaders were a brother and sister team named Tom and Sharon Jefferson (I changed the spelling to “Sharyn” for the Undertakers).
Much later, when I decided to write a middle grade series, I remembered the Kid Kidets. The Undertakers, of course, have no superpowers – and the villains they face are much nastier than anything their predecessors had to deal with. But the concept is the same.
The point is, I started with Will, Helene, Tom, Sharyn and the rest and then I gave them the Corpses to fight. I think that’s what makes the story work as well as it does.
You suddenly can no longer write...now what?
Writing is breathing. Honestly, I don’t know how I’d survive if I had to give it up. Maybe I’d become some other sort of storyteller, though I have no idea what that might look like.
Next question! This one’s giving me the heebie-jeebies!!!
Does your day job as a business analyst provide any fodder for your fiction?
I sometimes take the names of coworkers and kill them off in my books! For the record, I always tell them ahead of time and we all have a lot of fun with it. James Dye is a project manager I’ve known for years – a truly great guy. For fun, I bump him off in the first chapter of Queen of the Dead. He gets his head ripped off by the title character!
Aside from that, I tend to keep both jobs pretty separate in my head. Very different skillsets!
What are you working on now?
I’m about halfway through the second draft of the third Undertakers book. The working title is “Capitol Corpses”, though I’m not in love with it. I’m kind of leaning more toward “The Corpse Eater”. There’s a monster in it with a taste for Corpse flesh! But that’s enough spoilers! : )
CARRIE HARRIS is a YA author, mad scientist and monster prom chaperone. Or, as her short sweet bio suggests, she is a whack-a-ding-hoy and she writes books that are also whack-a-ding-hoy. Her newest books, BAD HAIR DAY and BAD YETI are slated for release November, 2013.
You list cooking as one of your favourite hobbies - along with fighting evil - what's your most famous family dish?
I’m less famous for one dish than I am for a series of dishes. We throw bacon parties at the Harris household, usually in conjunction with one of the Comedy Central celebrity roasts. There’s nothing like sitting down to a meal of bacon dip, bacon wrapped water chestnuts, bacon casserole, chocolate covered bacon, and bacon maple cupcakes and watching a bunch of comedians insult David Hasselhoff. And no, I’m not making any of this up. And yes, I’m hungry for bacon now.
It's Halloween - costume or no costume? And what's your best ever disguise?
Absolutely a costume! I always dress up. One year, I was driving to a Halloween party in my slasher film cheerleader costume, complete with slit throat and all kinds of gory yuck all over me, and I passed an elderly couple on the highway, and they took one look at me and actually drove off the road! This story is only funny because no one got hurt. Once I found out about that, I was pretty proud!
Great website! How important are websites today for authors?
I’m so glad you like it; my web designer is a psychic and pulled those pictures straight from my head. I won’t ever play poker with him, because he’ll WIN.
I think websites are really important because people have so many choices of what to read and watch and listen to, and a good website gives you an instant feel for what to expect from an author. The minute you go to my site, you know to expect monsters and NOT to expect seriousness. And that’s really a reflection of what my books are like. I think it’s a terrific tool, not just for me to market myself to readers, but also for me AS a reader to find awesome books and then apologize to my husband for buying them.
Please define a whack-a-ding-hoy.
Whack-a-ding-hoy means crazy. But not just plain old garden-variety crazy, more like the kind of nutballs that either gets you committed or gets you a show on Comedy Central. I’m hoping not to be committed. And I don’t think I’d like to be on TV, but if they need someone to write a sitcom about monsters, I AM SO THERE. And I’m rambling. Why am I rambling? I like popcorn. And bacon.
And that is an example of whack-a-ding-hoy in action. Sometimes it’s easier to understand these things when you see them yourself. I AM SO HELPFUL, AREN’T I?!?
Er…yeah. Thanks for having me and for not calling the men in white coats. I really appreciate that.