Thursday, 1 May 2014

Undead Pets Blog Tour: Sam Hay's Guide to Dealing with Undead Pets!

Undead Pets is a really fun series for younger readers, and I'm excited to be part of the blog tour this week. Hour of the Doomed Dog is the latest book in the series and I'm sure there's more to come!

Here's what the first book in the series, Return of the Hungry Hamster, is about:
When Joe Edmunds makes a wish on an Egyptian amulet, little does he know that he has volunteered to guide and defend the undead pet inhabitants of his town! Dumpling the hamster came to a dusty end inside a vacuum cleaner ...but he suspects that his owner Oliver's parents never admitted to their son that they were to blame for Dumpling's demise. Now the hamster needs Joe's help to reveal the truth - but there's a furry surprise awaiting them at Oliver's house...

Thanks to Sam for this fantastic post, and I hope it tells you all you need to know about dealing with undead pets!


by Sam Hay

Poor Joe from Undead Pets. If only his Uncle Charlie had given him this guide, before offering him a magical Egyptian amulet, maybe it wouldn’t have taken him quite so long to learn how to deal with the zombie critters that haunt him. Just in case your own favourite, mysterious uncle is on his way round to your house bearing gifts, here’s my guide to coping with Undead Pets!

Rule number 1: Just Say No!

Yeah - I know it can be rude to refuse gifts - especially expensive-looking antique ones that might once have belonged to a long-dead pharaoh! But trust me ancient Egyptian magical amulets that grant wishes are not to be trusted. Magic isn’t reliable. It’s not like ordering a takeaway. One minute you could be wishing for a room full of chocolate. The next you could be running away from a ten foot killer Easter Egg trying to stone you to death with Smarties!

Rule number 2. Be careful what you wish for. It could come true. AND go slightly wrong. (See rule 1.)

Joe didn’t actually want to be the Protector of Undead Pets. He just wanted a pet dog. But the magic went a bit wonky. Remember that when you’re making your wish. Really spell out what you want, perhaps with diagrams and information boxes, or a power point demonstration.

Rule number 3. Don’t be in denial.

If you mess up your wish and do become a Protector of Undead Pets like Joe, don’t try and wriggle out of it. Magic won’t just go away. And whiney zombie animals won’t either. They need your help. Now! At first Joe tries everything to avoid the pets. Hiding from them. Ignoring them. Getting cross. Nothing works. Eventually he just has to accept his fate, help them and hope they push off soon!

Rule number 4. Don’t make the critters angry.

When Joe gets short-tempered or frustrated with the Undead Pets they pay him back - big time! Fluffy, the zombie rabbit poops in her slippers. Fizz, the undead fish, pees in his lemonade. And Pickle the phantom furball barfs-up hair-balls in his breakfast! YUK! So, be nice!

Rule number 5. Accept you’ll get the blame.

Living with invisible zombie animals that no-one else can see, is never going to be easy. They make a lot of mess - dirty footprints, flying fur, food crumbs... They smell bad - (you would too if you’d just dug yourself out of a shallow grave in the back garden). Plus they often suffer from killer zombie wind and undead pet breath! Oh, and they break things. A lot. Of course no-one else knows it’s them doing all the bad stuff. So you’ll get the blame. Accept it.

Rule number 6. Feed them.

Not all Undead Pets will be hungry, but if they are it’s better to control what they eat rather than let them steal food out of your headmaster’s lunch box, or feast on your friends’ favourite things. (Because you know who will get the blame for that! See above for details.) Of course, if your zombie pet looks anything like a Gremlin, DON’T feed it. At least, not after midnight.

Rule number 7. Be brave.

If you’re squeamish, the job of Undead Pets Protector is probably not for you. These animals are pretty bashed up. Think weeping wounds and puss-filled stitches! There could be sausage dogs cut in half. Squished-up budgies. Hamsters who went for a short ride up a long hoover pipe. Not to mention guinea pigs who drowned in the washing machine. You’ll need a strong stomach and a big box of bandages. Some of these pets will need re-wrapping regularly.

Rule number 8. Expect the unexpected.

Don’t think you’ve seen the last of them! Just when you’ve sorted out one zombie critter’s problems, and it’s passed happily into the afterlife, sure as eggs-are-eggs another one will be round to bother you very soon.

Rule Number 9. There’s no hiding place.

Undead Pets will find you. Nowhere is safe. Holidays, shopping trips, family weddings... Undead Pets will track you down and bother you until you get around to solving their problems. You won’t even be able to take a wee in peace.

Rule number 10. Don’t get too attached.

You might think Undead Pets would be hard to love. Yes, they’re smelly, whiney and ultra-annoying. But they’re also cute, fluffy little cuddle-bombs. And it’s hard not to like them. But remember. They’re just passing through. For Joe, this is sometimes the hardest part of being the Protector of Undead Pets. Letting go. But luckily there’s always a new critter waiting in the wings, ready to turn Joe’s life upside down.

Rule number 11. Don’t expect any help from Uncle Charlie.

He might have given you the amulet. But now you’ve made your wish, it’s up to you to sort out your own problems.

Rule number 12. Enjoy them!

Undead Pets can be infuriating, frustrating and down right difficult. But at least they’re never dull. Mind you, when they’re being particularly unpleasant, it’s a good idea to have a big supply of zombie jokes to keep your spirits up. These are some of Joe’s favourites.

  • Where do zombies eat their tea? In the LIVING room!
  • How does a polite zombie say hello? Pleased to EAT you!
  • What is a zombie’s favourite toy? A DEADY bear!
  • What dead insects can still sting you? ZOM-BEES!
  • Who did the zombie buy a bunch of roses for? His GHOUL-friend!

For more Undead Pets support, see:

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