Special treat today peeps! I recently had the chance to visit with Ty Drago, author of The Undertakers series for his blog tour. He has a new book out, number three in the series, titled Secret of the Corpse Eater. Be sure to scroll all the way down the page to enter the giveaway too~
Hello Ty! It’s so nice to have you visit my blog. Can you tell me a little about your writing journey? How you got to this point?
Ty: I've been writing all my life. Seriously. I started storytelling when I was just four years old, before I knew how to read. I've seen the old photos! Apparently, my storytelling back then took the form of a fat little kid with no shirt on, sitting in the middle of his living room floor with a piece of a paper, a crayon, and his tongue sticking out the corner of his mouth — scribbling. Afterward, I would hold up my latest masterpiece and yell out something like “Cow!” But, you see, in my head I was telling a story!
Later on, I got into drawing comic books. Badly. But these were eagerly read by the kids in the neighborhood, mainly because, back then, we lacked video games or the internet. All these comic books centered around a group of kid superheros that I called the “Kid Kidets.” I was eight year old, you see, and didn't know how to spell “cadets.” Anyway, the Kid Kidets had all the typical superhero powers. Some could fly. Others were super strong. Others could control the weather, move things with their mind, etc. They were captained by a brother and sister team named Tom and Sharyn Jefferson, and their secret HQ was a huge installation located deep below the ice in Antarctica (don't ask me why!). Whenever trouble brewed anywhere in the world, this entire installation would rise up out of the ice and the Kid Kidets would head off into the world to write some wrong.
This went on for years, until one day the Kid Kidets faced an enemy they couldn't defeat: I grew up. I grew up and I forgot about them for about thirty years. Then one day, back when my son Andy was twelve years old, we were strolling through the mall when he asked me, “Dad, why don't you write a book for me?”
So I started trying to come up with an idea, and I suddenly remembered the Kid Kidets. Not the superhero/Antarctic installation nonsense, but the idea of a child army. A army of just kids, fighting a war that only they can fight because only they know about it.
It took a while — years — to get the voice right. After all, it had been a long time since I'd been twelve, and the world had greatly changed. In this, my son became my teacher. He read the drafts, commented on the realism, and educated me on how kids of his generation view the world, how the world views them, how they act toward one another, and how they speak to one another in a language all their own. I honestly couldn't have made this series happen without him, which is why the first book is dedicated to him.
And, from that, the Undertakers were born. True, they can't fly worth a darn, and their HQ, in Book 3 anyway, is a crumbling urban sub-basement, but the spirit and heroism is all there. Best of all, they're still captained by Tom and Sharyn Jefferson!
Lisa: The Secret of the Corpse Eater looks awesome. Can you give me an idea what the Undertakers series is all about? Is this the final book in the series?
Ty: The Undertakers Series is the chronicle of a war. The Earth has been invaded by beings who, as they arrive with no bodies of their own, must animate and occupy the bodies of the recently dead. Called Corpses (never “zombies!”), these intelligent, walking/talking cadavers wear their host bodies until they literarily rot out around them. Then they simply discard them and “transfer” to another. This makes Corpses very hard to kill.
The focal point of the invasion is Philadelphia, and it is here that the Corpses have established their foothold. They've infiltrated schools, the police department, even city government. Their goal: to slowly spread worldwide, gradually corrupt and finally destroy the human race!
But there's one fly in the ointment. For reasons that no one, not even the Corpses, understand, certain kids can “See” through the illusion of normalcy that Corpses are able to somehow project around themselves. These kids, ranging in age from eleven to seventeen, can recognize the rotting cadavers beneath the Corpses' fake smiles and, for that, the Corpses hunt them down.
So, to stay alive and protect their unbelieving families, these kids have had to run away from home. They'd joined together to become a resistance group, and a good one. They call themselves the Undertakers. Only they know the danger. Only they can see it. And only they can fight it. As Tom Jefferson, Chief of the Undertakers, puts it, “In this war, we ain't the first or last line of defense. We're the only line of defense!”
The books follow the adventures of twelve year old, Will Ritter, an eighth grade boy who “gets his eyes” one morning and starts recognizing the horrors that surround him. Then, as so many others have before him, he must flee for his life, join the Undertakers, and learn out to fight this ruthless and pitiless menace that threatens our world.
In Secret of the Corpse Eater, which is the third book in what will be a five book series, the Corpses have somehow managed to replace a sitting U.S. senator with one of their own. Will and Sharyn go undercover as Senate pages down in Washington D.C. to try to ferret out what this Corpse doppleganger is up to. But their already dangerous mission is made doubly so when they learn of a mysterious ten-legged monster that haunts the halls of the Capitol Building — a monster with a taste for Corpse flesh!
But can such an alien “enemy of his enemy” really become Will's friend?
Lisa: The book has a great cover. How did it come to be and what it does it represent?
Ty: It really is a wonderful cover, isn't it? I love the new branding! The cover illustration beautifully represents the same theme that all of the Undertakers covers have tried to convey: that notion of a child standing bravely against an onslaught of the walking dead. Courage and long odds — that's what the Undertakers are all about.
Lisa: Do you have any particular themes in your writing that you love?
Ty: The big themes in the Undertakers books are heroism, courage and self sacrifice. This isn't a “club.” These kids are not having fun. Every single one of them has been forced to abandon their families. Some even witnessed their family being murdered by the Corpses. They are frightened, outnumbered, outgunned, and totally on their own. And, despite it all, they rise to the occasion. When I wrote these stories, I wanted to my readers to feel empowered by the struggles of the Undertakers.
Children make the best heroes.
Lisa: You got that right! :) Is there anything else you’d like readers to know about you or The Secret of the Corpse Eater?
Ty: If you pick up an Undertakers books expecting to find “The Walking Dead,” you're likely to be surprised. Corpses aren't moaning, shuffling morons. They're smart, fast and organized. Oh, there's plenty of wonderfully disgusting stuff going on. These are animated cadavers after all, and the Undertakers have no qualms at all about doing awful things to these invaders when the situation calls for it. :)
But, if you're looking for a dark, gritty adventure, where the stakes are high and things get as “real” as a story like this can be, then the Undertakers are the books for you!
Lisa: Sounds thrilling, Ty. I wish you all the best of luck with it. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog!
Learn more and enter the giveaway below~
Title: Secret of the Corpse Eater (Undertakers 3
Publication Date: March 25, 2014
Author: Ty Drago
The Corpses are up something.
U.S. Senator Lindsay Micha had been kidnapped and replaced with a “dead” ringer, the sister to Lilith Cavanaugh, the Queen of the Dead. Now Will Ritter must go undercover in our nation’s capital to ferret out the truth and try to stop this ambitious deader. But his mission becomes even more dangerous when he learns of a mysterious ten-legged monster that prowls the halls of the Capitol Building — a lethal monster with a taste for Corpse flesh.
Can such an alien “enemy of his enemy” truly become Will’s friend?
ABOUT Ty Drago:
In addition to the first two books in UNDERTAKERS series, RISE OF THE CORSPES and QUEEN OF THE DEAD, Ty Drago is the author of PHOBOS, a Science Fiction whodunit and THE FRANKLIN AFFAIR, an historical/mystery about Benjamin Franklin. His short fiction has appeared in numerous venues, including the 2009 anthology YESTERDAY, I WILL ..., and he has written articles for WRITERS DIGEST. His first UNDERTAKERS novelette, NIGHT OF MONSTERS, is currently available for FREE on Smashwords.com and barnesandnoble.com.
Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | The Book Depository
Giveaway Information: Winner will be drawn April 25, 2014
· Four (4) winners will receive an ebook copy of Secret of the Corpse Eater (Undertakers 3) by Ty Drago (INT)
· One (1) winner will receive an ebook copy of Secret of the Corpse Eater (Undertakers 3) by Ty Drago AND a $10 Amazon Gift Card or B&N Gift Card – Winner’s Choice (INT)