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 installment 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.
Where can readers find out more about you and your works?
Facebook | Website | Amazon Author Page |
Mark Tufo Chat
Claire – Hey Mark, nice to have you here again, it’s been almost a year since I had you and Mike Talbot on the blog, how the hell have you been?
Mark - Hey Claire thanks for having me back, I’m surprised you’d want to but hey who am I to question your decisions! I have been well thank you, busy...super fucking busy. As a self-employed author I find that I am constantly working. I keep telling the missus that I’m going to take time off after this next book (insert title here), it’s gotten to the point where she just nods at the appropriate time and goes ‘Uh huh.’ See this is the kind of thing you get when you ask one simple question. I’m also a blast at parties.
Claire – Jeez, man, you just answered my next question! But seriously, I know what you mean about the constant work. It’s hard to juggle it and take the time to step back from it all. Being self-published means that you are constantly on the go, more so for you as you now write several successful series so that means you always have fans screaming for the next book, I’m sure.
Speaking of which, what do your fans have to look forward to this year?
Mark - Funny I was just thinking about this yesterday. Let me try and get run down of what I have written this year and what I still plan on writing. Okay IH4, Dystance and by the time of this interview seeing the light of day ZF8 will all be available. I am currently planning on having LF2 out by Halloween. And then it’s sort of a toss-up between Tim 3 and IH5 by the endish of the year. Possibly even tossing in a Riley V novella. I guess it just depends if I take that mythical vacation or not.
Claire – I flipping love the Riley books–and not because of the super cool name resemblance either haha. I know that a lot of people don’t like books with animals in it, but I honestly find this little novella series really refreshing, the fact that you’re in the mind of the animals makes it less – animally I guess, and it carries of your distinct humour that all your work seems to have. (sidenote: Claire has the artistic choice to make up words like animally if she wants)
I’ll be honest, I’ve not read Lycan Fallout yet, but it’s on my tbr list and it’s the book that keeps getting the most searches on my blog. So heads up people – Lycan Fallout 2 approximate release date – Halloween!
So, your daughter just had a little baby boy, congratulations! Does it feel weird that you’re a grandad now? You know, now that you’re old and shit. Is that weird? Can we expect to see you wearing a flat cap and smoking a pipe while drinking herbal tea and going to bed at 9pm? I’m joking, I’m joking haha, but since a lot of your family end up in your books at some point, can we expect to see the new addition to the Tufo clan making an appearance in any of your upcoming work?
Mark - Thank you for the well wishes in a back handed kind of way! I think they’re just gonna call me Droolie and I’ll probably just wear pajamas with feet around the house now. Of course the baby will make a showing somewhere, in a prophetic way, Nicole was pregnant back in ZF2 so I guess now it’s time! The Book of Riley was a fun series to write, it wasn’t always easy to crawl into her head and express the world as she saw it but always fun. A lot of people already know this but Riley started off as a 5k short for Armand Rosamilia’s anthology and quickly evolved from there.
Claire – Undead Tales (Click to go to Amazon) That was actually where I first discovered both you and Armand. I think someone recommended it to me, and the rest is history. From there I went on to discover your Zombie Fallout series and Armand’s Dying Days series, both great new approaches and very different from each other.
So, all your books have had a makeover, there has been a lot of, ummm, shall we say controversy on the subject. Some people in the book world know why, but can you fill your readers in on why they changed, and try to put the subject to bed.
Mark - The new covers ah yes. Love em or hate em the change was necessary, I can’t speak on the matter too much due to impending litigation, I guess I’ll leave it at that. I don’t need those that are suing me any more ammunition. Holy shit a short answer. Only because I have to though so it might not count.
Claire – There you have it folks, straight from the horse’s mouth, erm, not that Mark is a horse, wait…what? Anywho, I actually think the vagueness answered a lot of questions without you having to say too much. Moving on…
We all know that your Zombie Fallout series is what kick started your writing career, well, that and your moonlight gigolo work of course. There’s been talk over you selling TV and film rights for it, can you speculate on this a little further? Can fans of the series expect to see it on the big screen—or small screen (I don’t discriminate here) any time soon?
Mark - Pretty sure I’d be a starving artist if I was strictly going on my gigolo income. As for the ZF series hitting the silver screen or any other. It’s a process. I have seen the script, so the development part is done, now it’s just a matter of going into production which basically means it’s looking for a home. Wait and see is the motto, I guess a few crossed fingers and Hail Mary’s can’t hurt either.
Claire – Okay, I had three Bloody Mary’s for you, hope it helps, I’m feeling a little lightheaded now, oh shit, you said Hail Mary’s… ummmm… moving on…
So you have written a couple of books which are, shall we say, from a different perspective. Okay, so you’re a young girl in them haha. What gave you the idea to do this. I know as a writer myself the stories just come to me as they are and I generally don’t get much of a say in the characters – they are who they are – is it the same for you? Or do you make a conscious effort to try and write something a little different and perhaps break into another market. Or, do you secretly want to be a sixteen year old girl? It’s okay, we’re all friends here, I’m not judging, or recording anything. Okay, so I may be recording the answer…
Mark - Maybe we write about what scares us most, for me it’s clowns and teenage girls. I raised one, I wouldn’t wish that on anybody! When I wrote Dystance I was definitely on a Dystopian kick, I very much enjoy the genre and figured what the hell, I’ll give it a go.
Claire – Bahahaha! Tell me about it, I have three girls, 9, 7 & 3 at the moment, but neither or nor my husband are looking forward to those teenage years. Apparently the hubby is taking up fishing when the time comes bahahaha J
So you recently won Zombie Book of the Month again, (https://www.facebook.com/groups/ZBotMC/?fref=ts) Horror fans are some of the coolest I’ve known, and I’m constantly blown away by the support and enthusiasm that they have for their indie authors. I know my biggest fans really keep me motivated with their enthusiasm when I'm feeling disheartened. The constant encouragement and excitement from them is overwhelming and they definitely make this job cooler.
Mark - Without a doubt I could not ask for a more loyal fan base. And not just me but for indies in general. There’s a connection there, more so than in the traditional way things were run. Readers are along for the ride, they can interact with us and more importantly we can interact with them. We get real time feedback on our stories, and I don’t think an author worth his salt doesn’t let that influence him or her in some way. How can it not? Plus I think indie fans know we’re not in this for the money, we’re doing this because we have stories we want to share. And they’ll support us as much as they can, and for that I personally am grateful.
Claire – It’s amazing the support we receive, and I know that it definitely spurs me on to write more because I have such a close relationship with my readers. Stealing your words, How could it not? I mean, they constantly encourage, connect, ask questions about the plot and when the next one is going to be, so it’s encouraging.
I do find myself trying to write quicker and quicker though. Trying to keep up with the demand for more stories and books. Do you have the same problem? Can it be called a problem? I think not, but I’m sure my husband would disagree and say yes!
Mark - Well we certainly live in different time period. No longer are readers content to wait 18 months or longer for the next in a series to come out. It can be a double-edged sword some times. Am I absolutely thrilled that folks want the next in a series? Of course, this is how I make a living if readers didn’t want to read it I’d be screwed. The other side of it, is that I don’t really feel like I have time to catch my breath. I have literally worked every day, seven days a week for the last four years. Some days only a couple of hours, like Christmas or my birthday, but more times than not I work 10 or 12 hours a day. It’s funny I work from home and my wife used to see me more when I had a corporate job, so that has created its own unique problems. I’ve yet to find a decent balance. What the hell was the question? I feel like I drifted a bit. :)
Claire – It is a double edged sword, and I also feel that because of the closeness we have with our readers there seems to be sort of an entitlement they feel in knowing everything about us that never used to be. Again, not a bad thing, just something that I’ve noticed. I feel very ‘open’ to the public at times. I have a Facebook page for work Claire, and then I have my personal page which is for my family, friends and fellow authors, so that they don’t get bombarded with my book things. I find it very awkward when I get friend requests from fans, not because I don’t want to be friends – OF COURSE I DO – but because my family want me to at least attempt to keep some sort of separation between the two.
So Zombie Fallout 8 released on Tuesday, how’s it going? And do you still get nervous about each release?
Mark - I don’t know if I’ll ever get over being nervous, or even if I should. I think if I stopped being concerned about how my book is received that would mean I’ve stopped caring. The release has gone well and at the moment it seems the initial reaction is positive, couldn’t ask for much more than that, except maybe an ice cold beer!
Claire –Well thanks for chatting with me, Mark, I know we did things kinda different than the usual Q&A and it’s taken longer because of that, but I’ve definitely preferred the informality of it.
Good luck with the release of Lycan Fallout 2 which should be out roundabout now if you kept up with your deadline schedule.
Also Check Out The Interview I did with Mark Tufo & Mike Talbot
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