October 8, 2012

Blog Tour: The Undertakers Take Over Tour – Character Interview with G1veaway

Hey all!  Thanks for stopping by the blog for our stop for

The Undertakers Take Over Tour

presented by Sourcebooks!

Today, we have author, Ty Drago stop by the blog and interview one of
his characters, Tom Jefferson, Chief of the Undertakers!

But first, how about a little something about the book #2 in the series:

The Undertakers:  Queen of the Dead (The Undertakers #2) …


Twelve -year old Will Ritter and his rag-tag army of teenage resistance fighters may have triumphed over the Zombies last time, but that’s the thing about the dead: they keep coming back.

A new Corpse leader has crossed the rift and taken command of the invasion: The Queen of the Dead is even more brilliant and ruthless than her predecessor, and her ambitions are even deadlier. Will and the crew must somehow rescue his mother, prevent an assassination, and show FBI Agent Ramirez the truth about the Corpses-and the danger the world faces.

But how do a bunch of kids prove to a grown-up that monsters are real?

 Queen of the Dead (The Undertakers #2) by Ty Drago
Publication Date: October 1, 2012
Publisher:  Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
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I’ve known Tom Jefferson and his sister Sharyn for a long time. You could say we grew up together, though they’re both seventeen and I’m — older. I first invented them when I was a kid myself, authoring badly drawn comic books for my friends. Back then, Tom and Sharyn (then spelled “Sharon”) were superheroes who led an army of gifted teens called “The Kid Kadets”.

Yeah? Well what were you doing when you were eight? :)

Today, Tom is commander of the Undertakers, a rag tag children’s army battling the “Corpses”. These invaders from elsewhere drape themselves in the bodies of the dead and then project illusions of normalcy, which only the Undertakers are somehow able to penetrate. Don’t call them zombies; zombies are slow and stupid. Corpses are smart, fast, organized, and determined to destroy the world.

So, bearing all this in mind, I sat down with my “old friend”, Tom Jefferson, to get his take on the Undertakers, the Corpse War, and the kids who fight it.

Courtesy of

T.D.: Who are the Undertakers?

T.J.: The Undertakers are pretty much the unluckiest kids in the world. They all had to split their homes and families after suddenly gettin’ what we call their “Eyes”. That means they started seeing dead people all around them: teachers, neighbors, bus drivers … folks who were were normal one day, and bags of worms the next. We call ’em “Corpses”, or sometimes “Deaders”.

T.D.: Corpses?. What the heck are Corpses?

T.J.: Invaders. We don’t know where they come from, but it seems they show up without bodies of their own, and so they gotta animate the dead and wear ’em … kind of like suits of clothing. Then they somehow project an illusion that they’re normal folks. It helps them worm their way into society: schools, government. Nobody can see them for what they really are. Nobody but Seers. Nobody but us.

T.D.: So let me get this straight: you’re telling me that Earth is being invaded by zombies —

T.J.: (Holds up a hand) Don’t call ’em zombies. Zombies are shuffling, moaning morons. Corpses, on the other hand, they’re organized … smart and fast. They don’t go around wearing rags and munchin’ brains. Instead, they spend their time blending in with normal humans, lookin’ for ways to hurt us. Destroy us.

T.D.: Okay … Corpses. An army of beings “dressed” in cadavers who want to rule the world. And you expect me to believe that?

T.J.: Nope.

T.D.: Nope?

T.J.: (Smiles knowingly) I don’t expect you to believe nothing. You’re a grown-up. Grown-ups don’t See. Grown-ups don’t believe, and the Corpses … they count on that. That’s why the Undertakers are alone in this fight. That’s why we’ve always been alone.

T.D.: But how do you fight them? How many of them are there? And how many Undertakers?

T.J.: Undertakers? ‘Bout a hundred and fifty, though more come in all the time. We got kids watching the middle schools. We call ’em Schoolers, and they go in undercover, looking for boys or girls who suddenly get their Eyes. And, when they find such a kid, they get ’em out of there before their Corpse teachers or Corpse principles can move in and … silence them.

T.D.: You mean kill them?

T.J.: (Shrugs, looking miserable) Makes me sick how much it happens. We do our best, but we can’t be everywhere and we can’t save ’em all. As it is, we bring in maybe a dozen new recruits a month. Problem is, the Corpses keep coming, too. We don’t know how they get here, not for sure. But there’s more of ’em every day. Maybe thousands by now.

T.D.: You’re out-numbered.

T.J.: Yeah. We’re outnumbered bad.

T.D.: Yet you keep fighting.

T.J.: It’s either fight or surrender the world. What choice have we got?

T.D.: Tell me something about yourself, about Tom Jefferson personally. Where did you grow up?

T.D.: Philadelphia, born and raised. My twin sister Sharyn and me … we never knew our folks. Our earliest memories are foster homes … a bunch of ’em. Some of these gigs lasted a month. Some six months. One lasted almost two years. The point is: we ain’t never had a family, ain’t never had a real home. Both of us quit school ‘fore we should’ve and split our last foster home when we was maybe thirteen.

After that we took to the streets and, for a while, we made it as burglars, knockin’ over houses in some of Philly’s fancier neighborhoods. Not a cool way to live I know, but it was all we had … until we met Karl Ritter.

T.D.: Karl Ritter?

T.J.: (nods) He was a cop … a Philly police detective … and he caught Sharyn and me, dead to rights, coming outta this one house with our arms full of swag. But he didn’t arrest us like we figured he would. Instead, he talked to us … first time anybody’d done that in years. He told us we were smart and resourceful and offered us a chance to put to skills to use, to start building a life. A real life.

So, with Karl’s help, Sharyn and me opened a shelter for runaways and, for about a year, that was what we did. Then the war started.

T.D.: How did the war start?

T.J.: That’s a story all by itself … too much to go into just now. Let’s just say that we started seein’ things around town. Dead people. Walking cadavers. ‘Cept they didn’t know they was walking cadavers. They acted just like normal folks … until the first time we approached one and asked it just what the heck it was. Then it attacked.

Anyhow … that’s when everything changed.

T.D.: But Karl, being an adult, couldn’t See the, right?

T.J.: Actually, he could! To this day, he’s the only grown-up we know of to ever have Eyes. Don’t know why. And we never really has a shot at finding out either because, ’bout two years ago, Karl died. The official story is that he got killed in the “line of duty”. ‘Cept we know he was murdered by the Corpses.

By then, our halfway for runaways had turned into a shelter for a resistance movement. We called ourselves the Undertakers, and we’d started takin’ in kids … Seers … from all over town. For the past year, Karl had been teachin’ us, leadin’ us, showin’ us what it means to be soldiers.

And then, suddenly, he was gone and we was alone again … and had to keep fightin’ the war without him.

T.D.: But you’re all just kids!. That’s unfair!

T.D.: Ask any Undertaker if he or she thinks life is “fair”. These kids can’t go home. The Corpses are always lookin’ for Seers and, when they find one, they kill ’em. Worse, if the poor scared kid tells him mom and dad, the Corpses’ll kill them too! So they come to us.

T.D.: Tell me about some of the other Undertakers.

T.J.: Well, there’s Sharyn, of course. And Steve and Burt Moscova. Steve’s a science dude who puts together all our Corpse-fightin’ gadgets. Burt’s an “Angel” … that the Undertakers crew that runs around town actually doing battle with the Deaders. There’s Chuck Binelli, another Angel. And Helene Boettcher. She’s a “Schooler”, one of the Undertakers who goes undercover in middle schools, looking for and rescuing new Seers.

Then, of course, there’s Will.

T.D.: Will?

T.D.: Will Ritter. He’s Karl’s only son. Dude knew nothing about the Undertakers or the Corpses until the day he got his Eyes. Then he suddenly found himself running for his life. Fortunately, Helene was there in his middle school when the Deaders closed in, and she was able to get him to Haven … our H.Q.

Since then, Will’s turned into one of the best Undertakers I’ve ever known. He’s only just turned thirteen, but he’s got the brains and guts of a much older and more experienced kid. Sometimes he takes crazy chances, but they got this funny way of working out for him.

T.D.: You make him sound like a hero.

T.J.: Will hates that word and so do I. Every soldier’s a hero. Don’t let nobody tell you different. But I’ll say this much: if we win this war, it’ll be ’cause of Will Ritter. I don’t know how or why, but he’s in the middle of this whole thing.

He’s the key.

T.D.: I see. Well Tom, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to talk to me.

T.J.: (shrugs) Whatever, man. It ain’t like you’ve believed a single word I’ve said.

T.D.: Well …

T.J.: That’s what I figured. But it don’t matter. We’re the Undertakers, and we’re gonna save your butt anyway. We’re gonna save the whole planet.

No matter what.

About the Author:


I’m a twice (soon to be THRICE) published novelist who makes his home in Southern New Jersey with my beloved wife and son. I also have a beautiful daughter, but she makes her home elsewhere these days (sniff!).

My short fiction has appeared in SPACE AND TIME MAGAZINE, HAUNTS, AFTER HOURS, PANDORA, MIDNIGHT ZOO, PLANET MAGAZINE and AMAZON SHORTS. Another story snapped up the Grand Masters spot in a Fortress Publishing anthology titled “Yesterday, I will.” I’ve also published articles on the craft and business of writing, in such venues as WRITERS DIGEST.

Sounds halfway impressive, doesn’t it? Well, I wish I could tell you that I write for a living. Sadly, I don’t; at least – not yet. I’m actually a business analyst for a large pharmaceutical company. What’s a business analyst you ask? Sorry. Not a clue.

Writing has been my passion for as long as I can remember. I’ve authored no less than a dozen novels and scores of short stories. Most of these have found homes as bound manuscripts on my office bookshelf, waiting for their moment in the sun. That’s the way it is for most authors, I’m afraid.

Connect with Ty:


Series website



Available for Purchase:


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  1. Daphne

    zombies are my life

  2. Julie R

    Yes!! I love zombies books and shows.

  3. Maureen

    I do like zombie stories.

  4. Maegan Morin

    tbh i have never read a zombie book before (I know crazy right) but this looks like a great place to start :D

  5. Natasha

    Yes I love zombie reads!! Thanks for the chance to win!

  6. Levina G

    I love zombie reads – my fave series is the Newsflesh series by Mira Grant!!

  7. alicia marie

    I LOVE zombies too! Always need more zombie books to read : )

  8. Lindy Gomez

    I have never read a Zombie book. However, I absolutely love Zombie Movies!!! So I need some recommendations for good Zombie reads!

  9. Probably not as much? I was such a wimp..They freak me out lol
    Giselle from Book Nerd Canada

  10. Daniel M

    somewhat, but it’s waning

  11. Nichole Anne

    I love zombies. I just don’t want to meet them in real life.

  12. Holly Letson

    Don’t think I have ever read a zombie read before. WOuld like to try some.

  13. bn100

    Haven’t read a zombie book yet.

  14. Lisa Vazquezanzua

    I wasn’t really into them until I read a book called “Who is Audrey Wickersham” by: Sara Shrieves. And now I really enjoy reading about them.

  15. Zara Alexis

    Not really…I think I tend to scare myself more! :D

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