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How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack by Chuck Sambuchino
2010 Creative Careers Interviews : Chuck Sambuchino Interview

Creative Careers in the Arts Interviews

'Gnome Attack' Author Chuck Sambuchino

By Molly Anderson-Childers

Chuck SambuchinoThis month, I'm thrilled to welcome Chuck Sambuchino to Creativity Portal. Chuck is an editor and writer. He works for Writer's Digest Books, and edits two annual resources for writers and illustrators: Guide to Literary Agents, and Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market. His newest book, How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack, was released in August 2010 by Ten Speed Press / Crown. His first book was the third edition of Formatting and Submitting Your Manuscript.

Sambuchino is also a produced playwright, with both original and commissioned works produced. His work has appeared in national and regional magazines, with recent articles in Watercolor Artist, Pennsylvania Magazine, The Pastel Journal, Cincinnati Magazine, Romance Writers' Report and New Mexico Magazine. During the past decade, more than 600 of his articles have appeared in print. Besides that, he's a husband, cover band guitarist, chocolate chip cookie fiend, and owner of a flabby-yet-lovable dog named Graham.

Q: Welcome to Creativity Portal, Chuck. Your newest book, How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack, maintains that garden gnomes aren't just cute lawn statuary. Popular media would have us believe they're harmless, but obviously that's just a cover-up. How did you first discover the evil depredations of these creepy little villains?

A: I've always had my concerns. After meeting with my deep undercover contact in a garage (who I call "Gnome Deep Throat") I found out about almost 1,000 murders documented over the centuries. It's really quite a spectacle of madness, so I felt compelled to write this survival guide.

Q: What are the first signs of an infestation?

A: That's easy — you can SEE GARDEN GNOMES. Some of the first signs they are planning to strike include: frightened animals, wheelbarrows misplaced, and tiny shoeprints in the mud.

Q: If you sense that a gnome attack is imminent, what's the best way to protect yourself and defend your turf against the malicious, pointy-hatted hordes?

A: There are lots of things you can do, such as dig a moat, create some quicksand, install motion-activated lighting, mount weapons on walls in every room, and buy some vicious dogs. (That's just a sample of what to do — there is much more!)

Q: Are all garden gnomes evil little munchkins with a grudge against gardeners? Have you ever known a truly harmless, well-meaning gnome?

A: Yes, there are good gnomes out there. They're called, uh, DEAD GNOMES. If a gnome is not dead or sedated, they are a threat. One of the only documented times that a gnome was helpful to humans is the story of Lawrence the Gnome (circa 1955). He warned some German homeowners that threats were imminent and saved their lives. When fellow garden gnomes found out about Lawrence's treachery, he was drawn and quartered by what we believe were tiny horses.

Q: With the release of this book, you're really putting yourself at risk of extended warfare with these creatures. What sorts of precautions are you taking to protect yourself from gnome attacks, especially while travelling?

A: I always carry a large metal shovel with me at all times. I would consider myself "deadly accurate."

Q: It was a bold move to expose these harmless-seeming infidels. What's next on the chopping block? Can we expect a follow-up volume any time soon, or will you be focusing on other topics for your next project?

A: There may be a sequel, but that's down the road. I'm always working on numerous writing projects, but nothing definite to declare right now. I just had another book released: the 2011 Guide to Literary Agents, which teaches people how to sell the book they've written. It's the biggest database of literary agents available anywhere, and the new edition is hot off the press.

Q: Any final words of advice for those who are facing an imminent garden gnome attack?

A: Don't wait any longer to educate and protect yourself. •

Connect with Chuck Sambuchino

Chuck SambuchinoRead Chuck Sambuchino's Guide to Literary Agents blog at

For more information about the latest edition of Guide to Literary Agents, or to purchase this book, go to Writer's Digest book shop at

© 2010 Molly J. Anderson-Childers. All rights reserved.

Molly Anderson-Childers is a a highly creative writer and artist from Durango, Colorado. More »