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A Q&A with Sam Hay
Monday, 30 November -0001
Posted On 2013-10-07 09:33:08 |  Last Update 2013-10-29 15:04:33 |  Read 5408 times | 0 Comments

Meet Sam Hay - author of the Undead Pets series!

To celebrate Halloween and the brand new Undead Pets book, Flight of the Battered Budgie, we met up with author Sam Hay for a chat...

Who is your favourite Undead Pet?
It’s EXTREMELY hard to choose! Simon Cooper’s brilliant illustrations bring them all to life! Maybe Dumpling the hamster (Return of the Hungry Hamster) because of his greedy nature and the way his eyeballs shoot out when he sneezes! I also like Flash – the guinea pig who appears in Book 7 (Gasp of the Ghoulish Guinea Pig, out January 2014). When he breathes bubbles pop out of his nose!

What pets did you have as a child?
A big ginger cat called Honey, which was a bit of a girly name for a big boy cat! I often wondered if he got teased by the other cats in the neighbourhood. I also had a rabbit called Fluffy. And just like the Undead Pets’ Fluffy (Rise of the Zombie Rabbit) she was kind and gentle but she never pooped in my slippers!

Which do you think is the most annoying Undead Pet?
Pickle (Revenge of the Phantom Furball) – she’s super whiney! And Fizz the grumpy goldfish (Goldfish from Beyond the Grave) is annoying too – though he’s actually one of my favourite characters, because he’s so naughty! 

How long does it take to write an Undead Pets book?
A few months... I start by chatting through story ideas with my lovely Editor at Stripes, Ruth. Then I write a synopsis – which is basically a story plan of how I imagine the book coming together.  After that I write a first draft , which usually takes a couple of weeks. Ruth has a read through and makes suggestions on how it could be improved. And then I write a final draft.

Who are the children in the books based on?
Joe and his gang are actually a mish-mash of my two children and their friends. I have a ten year-old daughter who is great at keeping me up to speed on what a kid that age would be interested in, and what they’d be doing in school. I also have a son who is six. He knows all the cool boy-stuff that would appeal to Joe.

Are there any new characters in books 7 & 8?
Book 7 features Joe’s enemy Spiker in a lot more detail. We get to see inside his house and find out about his big brother and his unusual hobby! Book 8 features Joe’s annoying cousin Damian! He’s HORRIBLE! There’s quite a lot of rivalry between the two boys, which was great fun to write! 

If you had to have an Undead Pet which one would you choose?
They all sound like hard work! Maybe Frankie the sausage Dog from Book 8 (Hour of the Doomed Dog, out April 2014) He’s very clever and loyal. But a bit silly! As well as being very funny to look at!

Would you be scared if an Undead Pet appeared in your bedroom one night?
Definitely! But excited too! So long as it wasn’t a snake. I’m quite scared of them!

Will there be more Undead Pets books?
Book 7 comes out in January 2014 and book 8 in April 2014. After that... who knows! I’d love to write one about a pet chicken... The thought of one following Joe to school makes me smile. And I’d love to see a Simon Cooper illustration of a zombie chicken!
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