Guest Post: Mark Tufo #SummerofZombie

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I have the honor of being on Armand’s blog again the problem was I couldn’t figure out what to write about, I turned it over to my fan base who thankfully came up with some awesome suggestions! So without further ado here is one such suggestion:

Twyla DeShazo I would like to hear about the impact your incredible imagination has had on your life. And a list of goals you have for the future!

Way back in the year 2000 I got the funny idea to go back to school, took a bunch of computer classes in the hopes I could leave my blue collar behind and put on what I believed to be the much more coveted white collar. It still amazes me how we always think the grass is greener on the other side. Any way I got a job right out of school really thought it was the right move, more money more bennies it made the hard work seem worth it. Yeah that was right up until I got laid off the first time. While I was looking for more work I stumbled across a story I had started back in college entitled Indian Hill. Luckily I found work at a great company but I still pecked away at the IH series finishing book 1 and 2 and even starting 3.

In 2008 my wife read the first book and was thoroughly impressed! Okay that might be an embellishment, but she did like the story. So we shopped that thing to EVERYONE, I got more NO’s than I care to count, so we slapped on a stock cover and did something that was relatively new at the time, and gave self-publishing a go. Bad editing, crappy cover equaled about zero sales. I was working a traditional job so writing was on the back burner, I didn’t even bother finishing IH3. So fast forward a bit to late 2009, I once again find myself in the unemployment line but this time the economy has tanked, what I figured was going to be a two week ‘staycation’ ended up being close to six months of panic as we struggled to pay bills and keep food on the table. I’m about as stressed as I’ve ever been, couldn’t sleep worth a shit, started reading like a fiend to divert my mind, then when that stopped working, I started writing again, it seemed that was the balm to soothe my soul.

I no sooner finished Zombie Fallout 1 and I landed a job. We once again relied on my less than adequate editing skills, got a cover and ‘published’ the book. Sold 3 copies in seven months, I didn’t give a shit, writing did something for me I’d never felt before, it energized my head, so I kept doing it. Blazing through ZF2 then ZF3 and then even finishing IH3 just to see how the series ended. As I was writing the 4th installment of the ZF series was when we began to see a shift, we were going from some extra scratch money in the house to actually being able to pay some bills. My writing was helping us financially, we turned some of the money back around, hired an editor revamped the covers and marched on. By the time we were set to release ZF5 I’d quit my job and decided to pursue a writing career full time. Did it scare the shit out of me? Oh hell yeah, it still does. I’m a blue collar man at heart, I don’t think that’ll ever change and now my livelihood and that of my family depends solely on sales, that fear roots around in my head like a persistent, relentless worm. Self doubt is a bitch.

I no longer work the grind of the 9 to 5, but oh how I miss the hours! Being self-employed I work constantly, easily amassing 80 or more hours each week and I had to will myself down to that amount just to hold on to what little sanity I still possess. So in a nutshell being an author in a few words is: surreal, awesome, and terrifying. It has fundamentally changed my life and for that I have you the readers to thank. My goals are to ultimately see one of my creations on the screen that would be the penultimate thing as far as I’m concerned or maybe get on wikipedia!

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The stench of rotting flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2015, with 30+ of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of June.

Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser…and pick up some great swag as well!

Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them!

#SummerofZombie is the hashtag for Twitter, too!


16 thoughts on “Guest Post: Mark Tufo #SummerofZombie

  1. I love reading success stories like this. It gives me hope in my own self-publishing journey. Just because my sales are small the first year doesn’t mean it’s a failure. As my husband likes to remind me (all. the. time.) “Tufo did it, so can you.” I don’t see me giving up the day job anytime soon, but knowing that a self-published author has gone the distance makes it less hopeless of a dream. I am happy you didn’t give up when things looked bleak, your ZF series became an instant favorite in our house (my husband is currently giving our daughter the stink-eye every time you reply to her tweets or any of the like lol. Jealousy perhaps) and I couldn’t imagine not having Mike’s unrelenting and brilliant snark in my life. When I started the ZF series on audio, I banned all radio in the car so I could listen to it. Write on!


  2. Great to hear how it all began, a little insight into the struggle to create! I’ve enjoyed your books for about a year now and am reading my way through your work. So glad I followed a random recommendation (which I never do) and thanks for sharing!


  3. I only found your books about a month ago, I’m that time I’ve read all the zf series (eagerly awaiting 9) and I’m now on ih 2, I am probably spending as much time reading your books as you are writing them! I hope your success continues and you can continue to write more and more 🙂


  4. Thank you for following your passion and sharing it with us all. Zombie fallout 1 for me, is the book that helped my step dad and I safely drive 12 hours to get back home. We had the audio book playing through the stereo and the excitement of the book was able to break through our exhaustion and gave us a lot to talk about. We were laughing and cringing and just generally enjoying ourselves all the way home.
    My mum has also joined the Tufo Train and they never go on a long drive without one of your books at the ready.

    So thank you very much. You quite possibly saved our lives on that long drive home on the dusty dirt roads. Your work is doing good things for people Mr Tufo.


  5. It’s obvious that being a writer is what you were meant to be – you have a great storytelling ability. I’m really glad you stuck with it because you are my favorite author and getting my next installment of any of your series is always a happy day! I love Mike Talbot and the way you’ve kept him (mostly) the same through his different incarnations and yet been able to keep the story lines (ZF, IH & LF) fresh and exciting. Thanks for all you do for us fans and keep up the excellent work!


  6. I’m so glad your wife supported you and helped you to get your stories out here to all your fans. Honestly, I can re-read theses series (and do) and not get tired of them. Thanks again to your wife and you for these wonderful series!


  7. you at least made it on to wiki lol and sounds like you might have a movie coming. But I think I speak for most ppl when I say we are glade you stuck with it. I would hate to be in the alternate universe where you never started Writing. That would suck big time!


  8. So very glad you stuck with writing. The ZF series were my introduction to the zombie genre. I have always enjoyed horror and dystopian novels and in my search for new material I came across ZF1. I was hooked, on the series and the genre. All because of you and the personality you add to your writing style.


  9. Well your misfortune, turned into our fortune! I am very impressed with your persistence to do something you loved even though it wasn’t going as you wished at first, and I thank you for what you do Mark! 🙂 Plus you are a wicked cool dude! 🙂


  10. I’m sitting out on my deck, it’s 10:47 and still sunny here in the land of the midnight sun, Alaska. Wish I could share a picture on this page.
    I always wonder how the winters, no daylight 20 plus hours a day, would affect the zombies???
    Anxiously awaiting ZF9


  11. Love it! I think the fact that you’re basically a “regular guy” who’s dealt with all the bullshit, is what makes Mike so relatable. You draw on your own life and struggles, shit we can all relate to, to create Mike and he becomes one of us, not some perfect “never screws up” typical hero. Glad you came back around to writing and made it through the hard times. I had a lot of financial trouble then too (like most of the country) and all I ended up with is a truck driving job.. Lol! At least I have Mike Talbot to keep me company! Thanks!


  12. My husband and I just love ZF series. Love Mike and family. Then we listen to IH and loved that series. All we can say is you’re an awesome writer and so glad you kept to your dream. Please keep up the excellent work.


  13. Thanx for giving us more reasons to love you. You are a real person, not some snooty imbetterthanyou snob. You care about your fans and we care about you. The fact that you can share such personal details about your life is, well, just amazing.


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