Andrew Shaffer Saves Your Life with How to Survive a Sharknado

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Mother Nature is angry. Really angry. From firenados to beeclipses, she gets a kick out of throwing cataclysmic disasters our way. Are you prepared?

No , you’re not … but you could be.

Enter How to Survive a Sharknado and Other Unnatural Disasters. An official guide to staying alive, Andrew Shaffer’s life-saving tome teaches you everything from how to wield a chainsaw like a boss to how to avoid the clutches of an electrokraken. Shaffer even collaborated with Sharknado survivors Fin Shepard (Ian Ziering) and April Wexler (Tara Reid) to give you cutting-edge survival tips from the frontlines.

We want our Paste readers to be prepared, so we tracked down Shaffer to get the scoop on fighting back when Mother Nature attacks. As Fin Shepard says, “Too many limbs have been lost. Too many lives wasted. And all because people weren’t ready.” Check out Shaffer’s hardcore survival wisdom below, and then read on to learn how you could win a copy of How to Survive a Sharknado.


1sharknadohowcover.jpg Paste: What made you decide to write How to Survive a Sharknado?

Shaffer: I watched Sharknado the second time it aired—like many, I only caught it on Twitter the first time around—and was thoroughly entertained. When I heard that Syfy and Crown Publishing were putting together a tie-in book, I humbly volunteered my services. If we can save just one life, it will have been worth it.

Paste: What was it like working with “Fin” and “April” on this book?

Shaffer: Let me preface this by saying it’s an honor to see my name on the cover next to theirs. I’ve lived through floods and tornados, but Fin Shepard and April Wexler are actual sharknado survivors. They had some great ideas for the book. When it came time to write it, however, I feel like I did the bulk of the work. As you can see in Sharknado 2: The Second One (premiering tonight on Syfy at 9/8c), that didn’t stop April from mounting her own solo book tour.

Paste: On a scale of April’s boyfriend to Fin Shepard, how likely would you be to survive a sharknado?

Shaffer: I’d be somewhere in between—let’s say George, the bar bum played by John Heard in the first film. I could swing a bar stool around. If I had to wield a chainsaw, I’d just end up cutting my own legs off before the sharks could.

Paste: Which unnatural disaster listed in the book terrifies you the most?

Shaffer: The weather-based unnatural disasters are the most terrifying, because they could actually happen. A “firenado” sounds like a ridiculous sharknado knockoff, but it’s 100% real. Google it.

Paste: Who would win in a fight: a piranhaconda or a pteracuda?

Shaffer: I’d put my money on the half-pterodactyl, half-barracuda pteracuda, simply because it’s already proven its mettle by standing toe-to-tentacle with the fearsome sharktopus (in Syfy’s upcoming Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda). Plus, pteracudas can fly, giving them a huge advantage over the land and river-bound piranhaconda.

Paste: What is the #1 survival tip you want readers to take away from the book?

Shaffer: Don’t go to the beach! Not only are you on the frontlines for sharknados, but you’ve also got creatures like pteracudas and dinosharks to contend with. If you must go, keep your eyes and ears open. If someone’s waving their arms and yelling, “Get out of the water!”—get out of the water. Also, wear sunscreen. While this won’t help ward off a sharktopus per se, it is sensible advice nonetheless.

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