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?
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.
When did you start writing? I can’t really remember
when I wasn’t a writer. My parents had this photo of me as a fat
four-year-old with no shirt on sitting on our living room floor, drawing
pictures with a crayon, holding them up and yelling “Cow!” The funny
thing is that I sort of remember doing that and, in my head, I was
telling a story. So I guess you can you say I started writing before I
knew how to read!
What makes you want to write? Birth. I’m a
storyteller by nature. A thousand years ago, I’d have been that weird
old man who showed up at the village at sunset and, for the price of a
hot meal and warm bed, would sit around the hearth and regale the local
children with stories of Robin Hood and King Arthur, and who would then
leave the next morning, walking stick in hand, to do it all over again
at the next village. Sadly, you can’t live that way in modern American because it’s “creepy.” :) Fiction
writers tend to see the world as a tapestry of overlapping stories.
That’s certainly the case with me. I don’t “want” to write so much as
“need” to write. There are always stories to be told. Always.
Do you ever get writer's block and what do you do to get over it?
never really had writer’s block. Normally, if I get stalled it’s
because I’ve run into a quandary in a particular story that I don’t know
how to solve. When that happens, I generally take a walk or otherwise
change my venue, relax, and just let it all sort itself out in my head.
Do you have a special way of going about writing?
find the right music. I used to think is approach was a bit peculiar,
but I’ve since found that a many, if not most, writers do the same
thing. I basically put together a playlist that helps me think about
the particular story that I’m trying to tell. Then I listen to that
playlist, over and over again, and let the “Idea Machine” churn. The
Undertakers have their own playlist, which is actually getting quite
long and is surprisingly eclectic. But its central anthem is “E for
Extinction” by Thousand Foot Krutch. What are your hobbies? My
wife and I hike and kayak. We’re also big travelers. We’ve been all
over the U.S. We’ve visited Europe three times, Asia once, and have our
eye on a trip to China, hopefully in the not too distant future.
did you choose the character names for Secret of the Corpse Eater?
Ritter, the young hero of the Undertakers, draws his last name from the
German word for “knight.” Helene Boettcher, the heroine, shares my
wife’s name (how cool is that?). Tom and Sharyn Jefferson, the leaders
of the Undertakers, were actually characters I invented when I was about
eight years old. I used to draw these comic books for the kids in my
neighborhood and Tom and Sharyn were my original good guys. The other
names were all conjured up, either from the names of kids I once
knew or out of whole cloth. I actually “collect” names, and when I come
across one that I especially like, it often ends up in a book.
Do you have any works in progress?
Four of the Undertakers Series, “Last Siege of Haven,” is done! So,
since it’s not yet time to start on the fifth and final installment in
the series, I’ve turned my attention to some other projects. I
just finished a stand-alone Young Adult steampunk superhero story called
TORQ. It’s about a world that exists entirely within an ancient,
enormous Machine, wherein the “Haves” completely subjugate the “Have
Nots,” except for a legendary hero who fights for justice. Think
“Metropolis Meets Zorro!” Now I’m writing another stand-alone.
This one is Middle Grade horror. It’s called “Bad Boy.”
Who is your
favorite character in Secret of the Corpse Eater?
like asking a parent: “Who’s your favorite child?” I love ‘em all, but
for this particular story, I think I’m partial to Lindsay Micha.
Without giving anything away, she’s a complicated and amazing character
who had a powerful impact on both the story and on Will’s life. She
also happens to be named after my niece, by the way!
Where did you get
the idea for Secret of the Corpse Eater?
I wanted to take the
Undertakers to the next level, move at least some of the action from
Philly to Washington D.C., and toss something new and unexpected into
the mix. I’ve always like the whole “enemy of my enemy is my friend”
theme, and I wanted to see what I could do with it in the Undertakers’
What are you currently reading?
TRUE BLUE by David Baldacci and AMERICAN GODS by Neil Gaiman.
What is your favorite book?
easy. LIFE OF PI by Yann Martel. I’ve read it four times and it’s
the most amazing written work I’ve ever encountered.
Who is your
That’s tougher. I’d probably have to say Lee
Child, the creator of the Jack Reacher series. I’ve devoured every one
of his books, and even got to meet him briefly at Book Expo America a
couple of years ago. I’m a big fan!
Quick-fire questions: Chocolate
or vanilla ice cream? “I like vanilla. It’s the finest of the flavors!” :) Paperback or ebook? Toss-up. I love them both. Dogs or cats? Dogs
(said the man with one dog and two cats!). Go out or stay in? Stay in. I
can tell you right now that my wife dislikes that answer! Summer or
winter? Summer. Hands down.