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Wednesday 30 March 2016

ℚ♫ End of the World: The Undertakers [5] - Ty Drago

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about End of the World (, Month9Books, LLC, 398 pages), a Young Adult action adventure, fifth and final instalment of The Undertakers series.

"Drago writes with an age appropriate tone, but one that is not condescending to older readers —the story is still, after all, a robust exploration of the genesis of a zombie invasion of our world.”  —Daimion, blogger, The Word Zombie on The Undertakers: Rise of the Corpses

"The Undertakers: Rise of the Corpses   is a fantastic book and is also both interesting and fun to read. Brilliantly written by Ty Drago, with great characters, an edgy story and many grim twists, this is a highly recommendable novel and one of the best I've read in a long time."  —Ed, blogger,   Necropunk on The Undertakers: Rise of the Corpses

“A fun read to spark the interest of reluctant readers and hopefully give them the push they need to start reading!" – Jason, blogger, My Overstuffed Bookshelf on The Undertakers: Rise of the Corpses

Synopsis | Teaser | The Series | Author Q&A | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

A very warm welcome to Ty Drago; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

Here at BooksChatter we love music, so Ty Drago has shared with us his music playlist for Undertakers: End of the World - enjoy!
What was the inspiration for End of the World?
"“End the World,” like the rest of the Undertakers Series, takes its inspiration from my childhood. Back then, I was heavy into drawing comic books, badly. But these were eagerly read by the kids in my neighborhood because, well, it was the sixties and we didn’t have the internet or video games yet. As it happens, my comic books mostly centered on a group of kid superheroes that I invented, which I called at the time the “Kid Kidets.” The alliteration was an accident; I didn’t yet know how to spell “cadets.”

Throughout most of my childhood, the Kid Kidets battled evil in dozens, if not hundreds, of crudely drawn graphical adventures. Finally, however, they faced a villain they couldn’t defeat. I grew up.

Thirty years later, while in the mall with my then twelve-year-old son, he asked me to write a book for him, for his age group. Well, I liked the idea and, while mulling around possible themes, suddenly remembered the Kid Kidets! Not the superhero stuff, but the concept of a child army – one fighting a war that only they can fight because only they know it’s happening.

And the Undertakers were born!"
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"I guess it’s fair to say I’m all over this book. I think that’s true for most fiction authors. Every character is an extension of yourself, even the villains. Heck, maybe especially the villains. :-)

As I kid, I dreamed of being a hero. I suppose a part of me still does. But since my life really didn’t go down all that heroic a path (thank goodness!), I explore that part of myself through storytelling.

Does that sound…weird?"
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for End of the World - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"The Undertakers Series, with the exception of the novelette, “Night of Monsters,” which I published myself, share a very particular theme where their covers are concerned. The idea is to show confrontation, and the immediacy of impending combat, with the one or more Undertakers on one side, and a swarm of Corpses on the other. Each cover has been different, but each I think has captured the spirit and energy of its book exceedingly well.

While I’m prevented from calling out my cover artists by name, I will say that each of them is talent and committed and have absolutely done right by me and by the Undertakers. Better still, along the way I’ve been fortunate enough to have input on each of my cover designs, especially with Month9Books! I know that not all authors enjoy that privilege."
Why should we read End of the World and The Undertakers series? What sets it apart from the rest?
"The world of the Undertakers is a dark one, in which kids must battle evil invaders who hide themselves inside the bodies of the recently dead. These intelligent zombies are slowly infiltrating city government, and intend to do us all some serious hurt. Unfortunately, they’re also very good at disguising themselves, so that no one know they’re here. Well, almost no one.

The Undertakers are a resistance group of sorts, a rag-tag collection of teens and pre-teens who, for reasons they don’t understand, have manifested the ability to see through the telepathic illusion of normalcy that the Corpses weave around themselves. Hunted by the invaders, they’ve been forced to abandon their families and hide within the city’s forgotten places, waging a desperate guerilla war. Their lives are hard, and death is a constant threat.

“End of the World” takes this story to its shattering conclusion, as the Undertakers charge into a final, all-out effort to destroy the Corpses and save the world once and for all."
Can you tell us something quirky about End of the World, its story and characters?
"The main female character is the Undertakers Series is named Helene Boettcher. This is also the name of my wife of (almost) 25 years. She’s not merely inspiration. She’s also my best friend, my partner, my “first read,” and my personal hero. Other characters are named for other people in my life. Two of my nieces, for example, share their names with major players in Book 3 and beyond!

The leaders of the Undertakers, Tom and Sharyn Jefferson, are different. They were named for the two imaginary heroes who headed up the Kid Kidets back when I was eight or nine years old. I can’t tell you how much fun it was to feature them in these novels! "
Who would you recommend End of the World to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"These are dark, scary tales. I don’t recommend them for anyone under ten. But, grim as the Undertakers stories can sometimes be, they portray a world of courage and loyalty and self-sacrifice. With four books on the shelves and one more to come, I’ve yet to hear a single complaint from any parent or teacher regarding the content of my tales.

Of the contrary, in fact, I’ve received emails from parents thanking me for getting their reluctant pre-teens to read!"
If you could / wished to turn End of the World and the The Undertakers series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"Oh, no. I can’t do that. You see, the first Undertakers book is being turned into a movie, and it would be very unwise of me to speculate about casting at this time. Sorry, folks! :-)"
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I write pretty much whatever the voices in my head tell me to write. 

Seriously, I have pretty eclectic tastes when it comes to reading, and I think that spills over into my writing. To date, I’ve published historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and horror. I don’t see myself settling down into any particular genre anytime soon, though I will say that I really enjoy writing for kids. They’re a great audience! "
What is your writing process?
"I’m a “pantser,” not a “plotter.” I rarely make outlines, and when I do it’s usually to satisfy the needs and desires of a particular publisher. And, even then, I tend to ignore them. 

When I feel a novel bubbling up inside me (which is pretty much all the time), I start by finding the right soundtrack. Every novel has music that greases my imagination. Finding it can be tricky. But, once I do, I listen and listen and think and think, until I have some idea of where I want to start and where I want to end up.

Then, finally, I start typing…"
What is in store next?
"With the Undertakers Series finished, I’ve gone off in a slightly different direction. I’ve just penned a YA dystopian superhero origin story called “Torq” that I’m very excited about. My agent and I are currently polishing it up."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"I collect swords! I have about a dozen of them, most of which are displayed in my office. I’m also studying kumdo, which is Korean swordsmanship."
Thank you again for spending time with us.  We hope you are having a great tour and look forward to seeing you again for Torq!

End of the World
Available NOW!

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