Crazy books to make you laugh (and maybe scare you just a little)...Introducing Author Andy Zach

Dear friends, I tend to read books in certain categories: light hearted romance, cozy mysteries, biographies, coffee table books (true there is little reading there...but still I count them) decorating books, garden themed books and of course cook books. Somewhere along the way I stumbled on author Andy Zach. I think it was the color of his first book pictured here. I love the color so my eye jumped to it. The title also caught my eye. Whatever could it mean? Surely it didn't mean what it said...did it? The graphic of a hand made into a turkey was every four year old's drawing and yet now it was a touch of modern art...regardless, I picked it up and started to read.

And I knew I had slid out of my assigned categories of reading. I knew it as I squinted, as I laughed and as I got carried away in a creative world only Andy Zach could come up with. And now I would like you to get to know Andy and his work. Take a chance on something that is possibly not your norm. Gift it to someone who needs a laugh or an escape or both...

I would like you all to meet Andy Zach and get to know a little bit about the man behind the Zombie revolution (turkey zombies that is)

Andy, tell me about the types of books you write? I know there are so many, tell me all their titles.

Hi Jackie! Thanks for this opportunity.

I have two main series. The first is a humorous zombie SciFi parody, called the Life After Life Chronicles.

It starts with Zombie Turkeys, then My Undead Mother-in-law, Paranormal Privateers, and finishes with a collection of short stories in Oops! Tales of the Zombie Turkey Apocalypse.

I’m going to insert my next novel, Zombie Dectective, between the first and second.

Ages 12 to Adult

The second series is also SciFi, but aimed at middle schoolers. It starts with Secret Supers then Villain’s Vacation. It’s about four 7th-graders in a disabled class who get superpowers. They decide to use their powers to fight crime, and then discover their disabilities are the perfect way to hide their secret identities.

Ages 10-15

Andy, yours is such a mix, a little fantasy, tad of horror, bits of romance all set with humor. How exactly have you come up with this mix?

It flows as naturally out of my brain as eau de otter flows out of the otter. I knew I wanted to parody the zombie genre, so I researched the zombie tropes. That gives you the horror. I try to stay science fiction, but I push the boundaries, so I suppose that’s the fantasy element. I have dozens of colorful characters, widows and widowers from the zombie turkey plague, so romance seemed natural, especially as the widows create Zombie Turkey Widow Association (ZoTWA) for mutual support.

Humor comes naturally to me. I’m always twisting reality into funny shapes. In school, as the teacher would teach about the American Revolution, I’d softly whistle ‘Yankee Doodle’ and the people around me would laugh.

Andy, what inspired you to write about zombies in the first place?

We fried a turkey to test out our new turkey fryer in October 2015. I knew I was retiring and I wanted to write a novel for November 2015, but I didn’t have a subject. I wanted something light and funny. When I brought the turkey to the table, golden brown, I said, “What if this turkey came back to life?” Then someone said, “It’d be a zombie turkey.” “That’s it! That’s the title and subject of my book!” In one fell swoop I have the title, subject, and theme of my series: a zombie parody.

And how did turkeys figure in?

What if instead of eating them, they began eating us? What if they hunted hunters?

Is there a limit to exactly who or what may become a zombie in the world of Andy Zach?

Honestly, no. I just need a good comedic reason to make something a zombie and I’ll figure out a way.

I am sure you have a zombie following. Can you tell my readers a little bit about that. Where are they from? How did they find you?

I think I’ll quote from one of my reviewers of My Undead Mother-in-law for this one:

an avid reader

5.0 out of 5 stars

Let’s start with wow!

“I am a huge zombie fan, I had thought the genre had worked itself out for a while and then I read this book. I think I have been scarred for life! I foresee months if not years of counseling in my future. While reading this book I was reminded of a visionary work of Cinema, “Polterygiest: Night of the Chicken Dead” a great movie by Troma Entertainment. Do yourself a favor check out this book.

You also write the Supers books. What exactly are they and what inspired you to start them?

My daughter has had cerebral palsy all her life so I knew quite a bit about what it’s like being disabled in school. Then I’ve also been friends with blind people, and those in wheelchairs and walkers, so I thought I’d give them superpowers—while they remained disabled. My daughter’s often mentioned she’d like to have a flying wheelchair, so I made the kid with CP in the book have a flying car.

And the difference for you on writing short stories and full novels? Are they both challenging? When you do a collection of shorts do you put limits on yourself?

Big difference. You cannot waste any words in a short story. That actually makes it simpler for me: focus on one plot, one point or effect on the reader, and finish it at the right point.

Yes, both are challenging. Short story plot must be immediately interesting and compelling. Some ideas are too ‘meh’ or bland to be explored there. In a novel, you must keep building, with more obstacles for the characters, more problems, more villains that are impossible to defeat. You must time your plot so it culminates at the end in a surprising, but logical way.

The only limit on short stories I have is that they must pack a punch quickly. I can’t have a running joke for 10,000 words.

I am not a blood and guts kind of girl so I can assure my readers that any blood in your stories is not offensive. How do you balance that need to put in action yet not scare off wimpy readers like me?

Ha! Some have had nightmares from my books. I remember the cartoon Road Runner. The coyote gets beaten to a pulp in every one, but no one ever minds. I beat turkeys to a pulp, but they’re the villains. People get chewed up, but they’re mostly anonynmous. The people we care about usually escape.

Tell us about the gorgeous art work on your covers? Is it a collaboration? Do you start with a vision?

Yes! It is a collaboration with my great illustrator Sean “Fuzzy” Flanagan. Here are preliminary sketches for the Zombie Turkeys cover and the final version:

Where can my readers find your books?

Big Amazon, for one:

But I also sell signed paperbacks directly from my own website. I ship them for free, and charge less than Amazon:

Finally, if you’re a fan of audiobooks, you can get them from Audible here:

Or, you can get free copies through my newsletter here:

I know you show at many book festivals, do you have a schedule of any upcoming that my readers may want to go to?

I sure do: