How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack With Guide Chuck Sambuchino (as bait)

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 ( 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.


11 responses to “How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack With Guide Chuck Sambuchino (as bait)

  1. I never knew my garden gnome was plotting world domination, starting with my nasturtium bed. Now I’m going to have trouble sleeping at night.

  2. Shoot – Aco Hardware had their gnomes 1/2 off and now I won’t be able to look at them, much less buy them so cheap. I’m going to be wary of the Travelocity commericals now too.

    PS How did you get a famous editor/writer to be on your blog? First Mary and now Chuck… I’m feeling a little blog envy over here.

    • Five little words: Ask and ye shall receive. Everybody likes publicity, although we agree, landing Mary Minke was a huge coup. Everyone reading this should be so lucky as to have her as a fb friend.
      p.s. one does not buy gnomes, one is owned by gnomes

  3. When moving my gnome from the front yard to the back, I took a shortcut through the house. My center hall mirror told me all I needed to know about the wicked creatures…his reflection??? Solid black. Just like the mud I buried him in. First, I used a sledgehammer, you can never be too safe! 😉

    • Let your tale of caution be fair warning to everyone.
      Word of the day: wicked. The Lisas are going Nor’eastern, which should be wicked fun.

  4. Pingback: Tweets that mention How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack With Guide Chuck Sambuchino (as bait) | Lisa & Lisa Write a Book --

  5. Exactly the kind of interviews I like to read! Thank you. Does it mean I have a wicked streak if admit to thinking garden gnomes are kind of cute in a cheap, sarcastic way? I’d love to put one in my garden just so my friends would freak out!

    • There is a gnome lover deep in all of us. We just might express it differently. After reading this, one of my co-workers decided to craft a zombie gnome.

  6. i see what you did there

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