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, marktufo.com or if you’re old school mark_tufo@yahoo.com

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

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