Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Interview with editor Chuck Sambuchino on his latest book

Chuck Sambuchino is an editor and a writer. He works for Writer's Digest Books and edits GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS ( as well as CHILDREN'S WRITER'S & ILLUSTRATOR'S MARKET. His humor book, HOW TO SURVIVE A GARDEN GNOME ATTACK (, was released in Sept. 2010 and has been featured by Reader's Digest and AOL News. Besides that, he is a produced playwright, magazine freelancer, husband, cover band guitarist, chocolate chip cookie fiend, and owner of a flabby-yet-lovable dog named Graham.

1. Have you noticed any unusual gnome activity since your book came out in September?

Not yet. Methinks the garden gnomes are mounting a large offensive of some kind. I think the world needs to be at Def Con 3 right now (alert color: Orange). 90 percent of surveyed gnome defense experts think that a dangerous and grand attack is coming in the next 12 months.

2. Have any gnomes shown up at your book events?

Just the heavily sedated ones I bring with me from time to time. They are harmless and just for show. Mostly, gnomes know better than to mess with me, because they realize that I pulverize little garden warriors for fun and then eat my dinner.

3. Where did you get the idea for your gnome book?

I was thinking about the movie THE FULL MONTY when I recalled a scene with a garden gnome. I started to get creeped out. Then I thought: If gnomes creep me out, certainly they creep out others, as well. That was the beginning.

4. There are rumors that the gnomes have signed a contract with a Scandinavian publisher for a book entitled, Taking Back the Garden: Strike First, Strike Hard. Any comments on this?

I shall double my efforts. Gnomes and gnome allies seem to have infiltrated everywhere! Stop coddling these peddlers of death and instead pick up a sledgehammer!

5. I read in one interview that your family and friends were dubious about the project at first. Are they believers now?

I think the general reaction at first was, "I dunno...That sounds pretty weird." People tend to have short memories, though. I mentioned to a friend the other day that he thought, at first, that the idea was wackadoo. He had no recollection of ever giving that feedback. But nowadays, everyone's excited and onboard the Gnome Book Train.

6. You also wrote 2011 Guide to Literary Agents. Has traveling through the publishing process as a writer influenced you as an editor? If so, how?

GNOMES is actually my eighth book to come out, total, but my first one independent of Writer's Digest Books, done through an agent. After seeing everything I've seen, I've really tried to impart some things to writers, such as 1) Do not put all your eggs in one basket; 2) Keep moving forward through all the rejections and setbacks; and 3) This is a tough business, but the reward is super sweet for those with the patience and determination to forge ahead.

7. What upcoming promotional events should your fans be aware of?

I travel and speak quite frequently, so people should just follow my blog to see all my events: I also Tweet a lot: @chucksambuchino. My first big event in 2011 is actually WD's own huge writing conference in Manhattan, where we have about 60 literary agents taking pitches during a huge pitch slam. If you're looking for a good conference and want to get an agent, come out to the event:

8. I heard that you're working on a new project. Any hints about what we might have to look forward to?

Mwahahahaha. I cannot reveal anything yet, but I am submitting new humor book ideas and working on some screenplays. Who knows what may come of all this?


  1. Great Interview - and I do mean GREAT INTERVIEW. You truly captured the heart and soul of the work and its author.

  2. Thanks, Laura! Chuck is a creative writer with a great sense of humor. I think he's definitely filled a niche with his book.