The Lisas would like to give a shout out to one of the most hardworking, helpful, creative experts in the world of writing, publishing and evil figurine fighting, Chuck Sambuchino. Among other things he is the editor of The Guide to Literary Agents and its corresponding blog. His most recent work, How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack (Ten Speed Press/Sept. 2010) is a coffee table style book, large enough to be used as a weapon if all else fails. We managed to snag an exclusive interview with this worldwide protector from bad yard art.
Q: Where did you come up with the idea of gnomes as evil purveyors of doom?
A: They’ve always just kind of creeped me the heck out. It was early 2009 when I first thought about putting together a survival guide. I went looking to see if someone had beaten me to the punch, and, surprisingly, no one had. So I started writing some notes, and the more notes I wrote the more creeped out I got by this little buggers, and that in turn led to more material.
Q: Gnomes vs. vampires: is it even a fair fight?
A: I would say you’re comparing apples to oranges, but in the case of Gnomes vs. (anything), I would give the advantage to gnomes just because they are underestimated. Now what if you said Gnomes vs. Gnomes? I think the universe would collapse upon itself if that type of question was posed in a public forum.
Q: Gazing balls: alien-gypsy mind control devises – agree or disagree?
A: Not sure, but what they ARE, for certain, are garden gnome communication devices. Gnomes have been known to use heliographs — light and reflection communication — using mirror balls or pieces of glass. It’s all part of their extensive nonverbal communication that happens prior to a full assault. Gnomes will use stonescaping, mini-crop-circles, light communication and more. If you see any of these signs (what would be considered a “gnome close encounter of the first kind”), you are in trouble!
Q: Lisa & Lisa are best friend collaborators. You are Every-Writer’s best friend. Who is Chuck Sambuchino’s best friend, as a writer?
A: If you’re asking who is my “best writing friend,” it would have to be fellow WD editor Brian A. Klems, who has been on staff for several years. He and I are working on some screenplays together.
Q: One last query: for your book release party did you go with our suggestion, black tie and lederhosen?
A: When I ran the idea by a few venues, one said “I will call the cops if you do that,” and another just hung up on me. We kind of learned our lesson and just went for a more low-key affair. It all went smashingly.
We are grateful for your essential survival manual, Chuck. It’s imperative all readers obtain a copy if they wish to escape certain death, probably while hammocking, gardening, picnicking or other everyday activities. Thanks for all your research, insight and time spent in serious interviews.
Chuck Sambuchino (guidetoliteraryagents.com/blog) is an editor and a writer. He works for Writer’s Digest Books and edits two annual resources: GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS as well as CHILDREN’S WRITER’S & ILLUSTRATOR’S MARKET. He is also a humor book writer, with his first book, HOW TO SURVIVE A GARDEN GNOME ATTACK, released in Sept. 2010.
Besides that, he is a produced playwright, magazine freelancer, former journalist, husband, cover band guitarist, chocolate chip cookie fiend, and owner of a flabby-yet-lovable dog named Graham.