African Garden + work

An Interview with Chuck Sambuchino (that Garden Gnome guy)

Chuck Sambuchino is the author of the recently released book "How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack," which I reviewed on Carpe Geum. After the reading the book, I had questions for the author, which he graciously answered. He also supplied all the images for this post.

First off, I just want to tell you how much I enjoyed your book. It appealed to the sick, twisted side of my nature, which got me to thinking about how I got that way, which lead me to wonder how you got that way too. So -

Question 1) What were your influences growing up?
a. Did you read Mad Magazine?
b. Did you watch Monty Python?

Neither, really, but I have always been a movie junkie, so I grew up enjoying comedy movies—everything from "Tootsie" to "Army Of Darkness" to "There's Something About Mary." My biggest influences have always been my friends. I enjoy surrounding myself with people who can make me laugh.

2) What is the root of your obsession (if I may use that term) with garden gnomes?

You may use that term – sure. The root of my interest in them is simply that they creep me the heck out. Garden gnomes have always been tacky and frightening to me, and I finally decided to put some thoughts down on paper. The response to this little book has been overwhelming! Before the book even came out, Reader’s Digest came a-calling and said they wanted to excerpt it. Right then, I started to realize that I had tapped into something very big.

3) Why do you think people keep and collect them?

These people are a little mentally imbalanced and were possibly subject to Government LSD programs in the 1960s. That, or the recent sweeping PR campaign run by gnomes (to make them seem like happy travel companions) is actually working. Don’t be fooled! More than 900 people have died over the years because of garden gnome attacks, and I (along with my trusty sledgehammer) are in the middle of intense effort to educate people on the dangers of the common garden gnome (gnomus hortus).

4) How many gnomes do you have?

I think the question you want to ask is “How many SEDATED gnomes do you have?” And the answer is 5 or 6. I take them around to educate people, sometimes in cages, sometimes under heavy sedation. (Note: I am a trained professional. Do not handle garden gnomes at home with your bare hands unless you want to die!)

5) How many gnomes have you killed?

I’d say maybe 12 or so. I don’t get into many confrontations anymore—neither inside nor outside the house—because gnomes fear me. There are plenty of easier targets in the neighborhood and the world. They’re better off taking their little knives and spears to another household. If they come see me, they will be gno more. Mwahahahaha.

6) The attacks seem to be increasing; do you think it has anything to do with the Mayan calendar ending in 2012?

Possibly! But I think garden gnomes are proliferating at an alarming rate. They’re freaking everywhere, people! In stores, on lawns, in office cubicles. Where does the madness end? At this rate, garden gnomes will outnumber human beings within 20 years, and when that happens, the sh*t will hit the fan.

7) Will there be a followup book on pink flamingos?

You know, I’m getting this question quite a bit. I’m not sure pink flamingos touch as deep a nerve as the garden gnome, but I am more than happy to run the book by my agent!

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, The Huffington Post 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.

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An Interview with Chuck Sambuchino (that Garden Gnome guy) + work