Summer of Zombie Tour: Mark Tufo

I have to say, one of the absolute coolest things about having published a few books is the ability it gives me to meet some of my author-heroes.  Mark Tufo is one of those guys.  I first read Zombie Fallout in the summer of 2010.  I’d written a couple paragraphs of What Zombies Fear, but never dreamed of being published.  I never imagined I’d one day be an author, making a living writing the stories in my head.

After I started WZF, I embarked on a project.  Read every single zombie novel available for my kindle.  I quickly realized that that wasn’t going to be possible, so I started with the 99 cent books, and worked my way up to the 4.99.  I started with Zombie Fallout, and over the next month, I read hundreds of zombie novels.  I read ALL the time.  I immersed myself in zombies.  At work, at home, when I was sitting in traffic, while I was sitting on the throne, I was reading.  And in all those books, there were very few that stood up to Zombie Fallout as my favorites.

By the time I actually talked to Mark, I’d moved tens of thousands of copies of my own book, the Facebook page for What Zombies Fear had hundreds of likes, and I was mostly making my mortgage payment selling books every month.  By all accounts, I have been so well supported by my own fantastic readers, I was something of a success as an author.  And I was still as giddy as a twelve year old meeting Justin Beiber.  (Except Mark Tufo is WAY sexier than Justin Beiber.)

So, without further ado, having overly gilded this lilly already, I present to you my interview with The First Author, The King of Zombies, The Justin Beiber of Horror Authors, Maaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrkkkkkkkkk  Tuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuufffffffooooooo.


Thank you Kirk!

Kirk: How do you come up with a character’s personality, and what tricks do you use to stay in character when writing?  As an author, sometimes I find myself reading something that one character said, and realizing it doesn’t sound like that person at all…

Mark:  It’s weird how this process works for me, I’ll have a personality all set up for a particular character and then I’ll drop him or her into the book and then they will begin to dictate how they wish to be portrayed. I wonder if that’s possession? Seriously though I can’t tell you how many times I figured someone was going to be good or evil and they completely flipped the script on me.  So basically I don’t have a trick to stay in character they do what they want to.

Kirk:  When you read, do you prefer `one strong character or more of an ensemble cast?  (IE, the difference between Iron Man and Avengers)

Mark:  I really don’t have a preference in this regard, as long as I’m enjoying the story.

Kirk: What advice would you offer to someone who is new to writing?  And Ixnay on the “write every day” advice, I’ve given that one a bazillion times myself.

HIRE AN EDITOR – The caps were locked on purpose. If you truly wish to write a good story and present the best thing out there that you can make sure you polish the hell out of it. Readers will crucify you if they see a ton of errors.

Kirk: Have you ever written a leading character of the opposite sex? What challenges did you find in doing that, or if you have not, what has kept you from doing so?

Mark:  I did, I wrote a story entitled Callis Rose, the lead was a teenage girl. I actually didn’t find it that difficult. (Should I just hand in my man-card now?)

Kirk: Could you ever write a “good-guy” type character that was unattractive?

Mark:  Are you talking like quasimodo? Sure why not, looks don’t dictate morals. (However I might pick a different character for the cover!)

Kirk:  Are you a “Zombie Author4Lyfe” or are you multi-genre?  How do you keep from getting type-cast and/or pigeonholed?

Mark:  I love zombies and without a doubt the Zombie Fallout series is mainly what I’m known for, but I love a bunch of different genres, Sci-Fi, horror and suspense being among them. I plan on continually writing in all those genres with the hope that folks will move on and check out my other stuff.

Kirk:  Do you think it’s possible to write a ‘unique’ story with the classic Romero style undead?

Mark:  Yeah I think so, it’s the characters that drive the story the zombies are almost secondary. Obviously they are an ever-present evil that must be dealt with. But readers are going to fall in love/hate with the characters that have been brought to life.

Kirk:  What is the name of your latest book, and where can people find it?

Mark:  My latest is NOT a zombie book, it’s entitled Lycan Fallout and it’s available on amazon at this convenient link!

Kirk:  What is your next project?  How will we know when it is available?

Mark:  I’m currently getting ready to release The Book of Riley part 3 in July and hopefully by the end of summer John O’Brien and myself will be able to release our collaboration. A Shrouded World. And then in October Zombie Fallout 7!

Kirk:  Where can people read more, find out more, or contact you?

Mark:  Oh boy I’m about as accessible as you can get without having folks knock on my door. I’m on facebook, twitter, or if you’re old school

Thank you Kirk for this opportunity to spend some time on your blog!


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