I can't tell you how excited I was when I asked Mark if he would do an interview for me and he said yes. I've been a big fan of Marks' for about two years now. I stumbled across one of his books-- Zombie Fallout and bought it on a whim, what a whim it was. It introduced me to a crazy world that he has invented, with some amazing characters--both good and bad, and some brilliantly creative storylines. After reading the full Zombie Fallout collection in ebook, I convinced my hubby to buy the lot for me in paperback too-- hey, I told him he could give it me as a christmas present!
If you've ever read some of his books, then you'll know his MC is pretty much always a character called Mike Talbot. He's both equally hillarious as he is bad-ass, with a clever naturalism to him, that helps you connect to his plight. In fact, all his characters--even the bizarre, seem to have this trait. One where you can both laugh and be horrified, and as I said connect with them on a very real basis. If you haven't read his books, well firstly--why the hell not? And secondly, go buy them! If you like zombies and horror, then you need to check out his Zombie Fallout collection. Seriously, no zombie book collection is complete without it.
Keep your eyes peeled for his other works too, he also writes a fantastic collection called Indian HIll, also featuring Mike talbot, but it's aliens and not zombies, (what can i say, Mike's an unlucky guy) He also has other collections-- The Spirit Clearing--a ghostly tale, and then his My Name is Riley collection (my favourite) which is the apocalypse from an animals perspective. there's more to his books, but enough of me waffling on with myself, let me just intriduce him to you.
Mark Tufo was born in Boston Massachusetts. He attended UMASS Amherst where he obtained a BA (and an advanced degree in partyology) and later joined the US Marine Corps. He was stationed in Parris Island SC, Twenty Nine Palms CA and Kaneohe Bay Hawaii. After his tour he went into the Human Resources field with a worldwide financial institution, after beginning his climb up the corporate ladder he once again found himself laid off. His wife, Tracy who was desperate to keep him out of her hair dared him to write a book, and the Zombie Fallout series was born.
He wrote the first instalment of the Indian Hill trilogy in college, it sat in his garage until July 2009 when he published it on Kindle. Mark is currently working on the continuation of the ZF series and a new book due out in October of 2013. He lives in Maine with his wife, three kids and two English bulldogs.
You can find out more about Marks work at the links below?
Mark Tufo Interview
Name: Mark Tufo
Other contacts/social media sites:
Link to your Amazon page and or any other place that your books can be purchased:
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in downtown Boston, home of my beloved Red Sox!
What made you start writing?
It’s weird I don’t recall ever saying I wanted to be a writer, but I’ve always loved writing. Even when my classmates would be moaning about writing a story I would silently be like ‘Hey that’s cool’. I guess I ‘really’ started writing in college. Took a freshman writing class and started Indian Hill while I was in it. Then didn’t pick it back up until 20 years later. Where a series of lay-offs gave me more time off than I would have ever imagined. I was driving my wife nuts. Instead of saying ‘Go fly a kite’ she said ‘Go wrote a book.’ So I did.
Is it something that you have always wanted to do?
No in all honesty. Now Rock Star THAT’S something I wanted to do.
What is your favourite genre to read, and do you have any favourite books or authors you would like to recommend?
I fluctuate on this. I love the sub-genre of zombies, horror, sci-fi, fantasy, suspense, action. Love them all. Really if it’s a good book I’ll generally enjoy it. Umm maybe except for romance. (Nice save on the man-card!)
Do you ever base your characters on anyone that you know, or are they solely from your imagination?
MOST of my characters are pure works of fiction a few are based on flesh and blood, most notably Henry the wonder dog.
Tell us about your latest book. The story/plot.
I am currently working on ZF7, IH4, The Hanging Tree, A Shrouded World, St. Dread, and A detective story with BT. That’s really about it at the moment. I’m not big on giving the plot or storyline as I like to let the reader figure it out as they go along.
What gave you the idea?
What genre is it?
Horror, Detective, Suspense and Sci-Fi
Who is your favourite character?
If you’ve not read the Indian Hill series then this won’t make any sense but I love Drababan oh and Mrs. Deneaux from Zombie Fallout ranks up there for me as well
This is a weird question, as villians, the Progerians, Eliza and/or Xavier seem like likely choices but they are still characters of mine and as such I still love them. It would be like asking me if I disliked one of my children because they misbehaved.
What are your hopes for it?
Oscars, Emmys, Golden Globes, Peoples Choice Awards! Seriously though just that my audience enjoys them. That I brought a product to them that they can truly sink their teeth into.
What’s the project that you’re going to be working on next?
Most likely Lycan Fallout 2 if I could get my plate clean enough.
What’s the best piece of advice that you have been given in regards to your writing?
Early on when I had absolutely NO clue what I was doing I damn near pulled the plug on the entire operation. I had put my first book out there with no editing (big mistake) and I got hammered for it, rightfully so. Had one of my first readers slash fans tell me move on, let it go. There will always be people who will try to drag you down. And I took that to heart, of course I also went back and had the book edited!
Q & A With Mark Tufo And Mike Talbot
Interviewed By Claire C Riley
1. So, Mark, can you tell me a little about how you came about writing? It’s not something that you have always done is it?
Hi Claire just wanted to take a quick second to thank you for this opportunity to be on your blog! As for writing, nope never once did I tell my mom I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. I mean I always thought it would be ‘cool’ to write a book but that was really about it. It was actually Corporate America and the perpetual Layoff that got me into this profession. I’d been laid off AGAIN and in the interim of looking for a job and driving my wife nuts, I wrote a book. Found an audience and have been doing it since. That was over three years ago.
2. Mike, what about you? Back in ZF one you were working a job that you hated. Things have changed a hell of a lot for you over the past couple of years, thinking back to how much you hated your job previously, how does your new job of ‘zombie destroyer’ compare?
Really Claire? I know once upon a time I asked for the apocalypse but this IS hell, not the perceived hell I thought filling in pot-holes was. What I wouldn’t do to have the old life back for my family. To not have to wonder if we are going to survive until the next break of day. Be careful what you wish for, at the very least read the fine print..
3. The character of Mike Talbot is one that I think almost anyone can relate to in at least some degree, but let’s face it, you are a little OCD with things. Throughout the ZF series, you seem to have gotten over some of your, shall we say phobias? Can you list all the things that drive you mad please, and tell us which ones still bother you? Just so we can see how much you have grown.
To be honest I don’t think this format is large enough to house ALL of my issues. I could talk to BT though, I think he’s cataloguing them (asshole). Just because he’s my best friend in the world he thinks he can give me a ration of crap at every turn. I guess at 6’ 5” he can do what he wants. Oh right, sorry I wandered. What was the question?
4. Hey Mark, how about you do the same for us? Tell the readers any phobias that you may have.
Well much like Mike, I have a healthy fear of germs. Well I guess not so much the germs themselves as the sicknesses they cause. I really just hate being sick. Also not a big fan of the ocean, I watched Jaws at a very impressionable age and I’ve never quite gotten over the image of becoming shark food. There really is a dozen (or two) others but I think I’ll hold on to those for while!
5. So Mike, Tracy kicks your arse quite frequently, huh? Does she really wear the pants in your house? (I’m almost certain she does!)
I think we all know the answer to that question.
6. The same goes for you Mark, does your wife wear the pants in your house?
What’s wrong with women wearing pants? It’s the 21st century. In reality Tracy and myself have a very fluid relationship, there’s things she does better and there’s things she lets me be in charge of. Seriously though it’s not really about who’s the boss, we work together towards a common goal and that’s the truth.
7. Mike, you’ve faced, zombies, zombie-vampires, werewolves, ghosts, aliens, and much more. What would be the worst thing that you think you could actually face, or do you think that Mark has covered them all for you?
If Mark ever puts me in a world where I have to deal with sharks we’ll have some words.
8. I know that when I read the Zombie Fallout series, I loved and loathed Tommy. I understood the problems with his sister you know, it’s hard when your sister is a crazy zombie-vampire chic with a huge chip on her shoulder and intent on wiping out the human race, however, I really wish that he would have stood up to her more.Do you ever feel the same way, or is there no resentment there what-so-ever?
Tommy was driven by the love for his sister for over 500 years. He remembered her a certain way, and it was only recently that they had been reunited. Personally I think he was in a little bit of shock trying to reconcile this ‘new’ version of Eliza to the one whose memory he cherished.
9. What do you think is going to happen to BT now?
Zombie Fallout 7 comes out in October, beyond that I can’t really tell you.
10. You have lost a lot of friends through the series, Mike. Do you ever feel resentment towards Mark for that?
Mark has a tough job to do. He’s basically tasked with the retelling of my life. How can I resent him for that, to do so would be akin to killing the messenger.
11. So Mark, what’s in store for Mike next? (Mike, you may not want to listen to how he plots out your life, there’s a coffee machine in the other room if you’d like to go get one?)
Mike is going to stay pretty busy, over the next year my goal is to release, ZF7, Lycan Fallout 2, and Indian Hill 4. In addition John O’Brien and myself have been working on a collaboration which bring Mike and John the Tripper back for a little more fun.
12. Do you find it hard to switch off from your writing?
It’s damn near impossible. My wife will constantly ask me to ‘come back’ from whichever universe I’ve decided to run around in. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to get out of bed to start writing ideas down. I’ve read that authors have ‘dissociative disorders’ I’d have to agree..
13. You always have a new book in the pipeline, do you write several at once, or do you focus on one at a time?
I’ve been known to write two at a time. The only real reason it seems like I have a book in the pipeline all the time is because I don’t stop. As soon as one is done I’m on to the next.
14. What’s the worst and best thing about being a writer for you?
The worst thing I guess is that I’m my own boss. Sounds like a plus right? Well it’s not, I’m an asshole, always making myself work. I work now anywhere from 80 to a 100 hours a week, and when I’m not working I’m thinking about work. The best is that I’m my own boss, well I mean after Tracy I’m my own boss, okay then maybe after Henry as well, then I’m definitely my own boss. It’s nice to not have to rely on Corporate America, we had some pretty tough times during my layoffs.
15. My favourite thing about your style of writing Mark, is that you aren’t afraid to kill any of your characters off. No one is safe, and it’s something that I try to incorporate into my own writing. I’ve had a lot of stick for it to be honest. Have you ever gotten any hate mail from killing certain characters off?
You might be wrong about the killing part, I’m petrified to do it. Although what’s kind of funny, was I had planned on Zombie Fallout only being one book, I had truly intended on offing Mike at the end (don’t tell him, he gets pissed about that kind of thing). My wife had to talk me down from that edge! Most hate mail is directed towards BT and Henry and if any harm should befall them that I should probably watch my back. (I’ve hired security)
16. So, ZF is being made into a movie. Do you get any say on cast, script etc. for the movie?
Zombie Fallout is in Development which I have come to learn is a LOOOONG way away from Production but we’ll see, it’s still pretty exciting to be in this process. I have some say in the script, beyond that I think I’m pretty limited. As long as they don’t make Henry a cat I should be alright.
17. Would you like to be cast as a zombie extra in it?
Oh hell yeah, that would be my dream! (As long as I don’t get shot)
18. Would you like some of your other books to be turned into movies? Indian Hill perhaps? I know I would LOVE to see ‘My name is Riley’ turned into a movie.
If I had my way, I think I’d love to see them all interpreted onto the screen. I’d get a hoot out of Timothy being brought to life.
19. Mike, if you could write a book with Mark in it, what would you have happen to him?
The question would be ‘What wouldn’t I have happen to him?’ Honestly though he’s an alright guy with an over active imagination that may or may not have been influenced heavily by wrong choices in his youth. I’ll leave it at that.
20. Finally, do you think that you will both still be here in twenty years to celebrate the past together, or do you think that zombies will have taken over the world and killed everyone?
You know it seems like we’ve been on the brink of an apocalypse since the dawn of man. We’ll be here in twenty years and there damned well better be the hovering cars I was promised in my youth.
Claire again thank you for the opportunity to spend some time with you and your readers..
Thanks so much, guys. That was really fun.
I hope that you enjoyed meeting Mark and Mike, and i hope it's convinced you to go read some of his books, I know that you'll become as big a fan as me!
Tommorrow on the blog we have T.W Brown, so make sure to come back and check out what he has to say.
Subscribe To My Blog
BUY LIMERENCE HERE