Mark Tufo was born in Boston Massachusetts. He attended UMASS Amherst where he obtained a BA and later joined the US Marine Corp. 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 and has gone back to college at CTU to complete his masters.
He has written the Indian Hill trilogy with the first Indian Hill – Encounters being published for the Amazon Kindle in July 2009. He has since written the Zombie Fallout series and is working on a new zombie book.
He lives in Maine with his wife, three kids and two English bulldogs. Visit him at marktufo.com or http://zombiefallout.blogspot.com/ or http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mark-Tufo/133954330009843 for news on his next two installments of the Indian Hill trilogy and upcoming installments of the Zombie Fallout series.
TDBW: When did you start writing?
Mark: From my earliest remembered school days I’ve always loved to write. Thinking on it now I guess I really began to write stories in my Freshman year of college during a Creative Writing class. The only downfall was it was at 8 am and I really liked to party. That was definitely when the bug struck though. I started a book I would finish some twenty years later. (I know VERY prolific)
TDBW: What was the first story you remember writing?
Mark: I think I still have it somewhere but I wrote a story about a dream I had, surprise surprise it involved running from cops. I have no idea how that could have happened. (see earlier reference to partying.
TDBW: What genre is your most preferred?
Mark: I honestly don’t know if I have a preference, I know in terms of audience an author really isn’t supposed to float around, but I love sci-fi, horror and the supernatural. Who knows maybe next I’ll do a romance! I’m pretty sure I could rock a kilt.
TDBW: What challenges you the most in your writing?
Mark: Distractions, they are the biggest effen challenge, there is ALWAYS something else that needs to be done. Personally I don’t think there’s so much a thing as writer’s block as there is lack of time, that elusive measure we use to see how many things we can’t get done in a day.
TDBW: What is your favorite thing about being an author?
Mark: I feel like I’m living a dream really, sometimes I’m paranoid that at some point I’m going to wake up. People tell me that they enjoy the stories that come out of my head, and the missus just thought I was certifiable. I’ve been trying to tell her that the paperwork wasn’t signed! I’m my own boss which on one side is totally awesome the downside is I’m my own employee as well and there’s always so much to do and no one else to delegate to.
TDBW: What do you like least about being an author?
Mark: Everything else that goes with the writing process. Writing is creative, I just go with the flow. It’s when I get to the editing, proof-reading and re-writing phase that it becomes more like work.
TDBW: How many books do you currently have available?
Mark: This is always a source of debate with me and the missus. We haven’t figured out if I should count the Riley novellas as one book (which it is now available as) or the four stories it was originally produced. I want to say it’s about 19 right now.
TDBW: What projects are you currently working on?
Mark: At this moment I am working on Dystance: Winter’s Rising, it’s my first foray into the Dystopian genre.
TDBW: Do you have any books coming out soon?
Mark: Actually I have just released the long awaited sequel to the Indian Hill trilogy. Indian Hill IV: From the Ashes. (It’s long awaited for me at least, I haven’t written anything is this universe for close to five years. Was apprehensive and excited at the same time to write this)
Click on Images below for details
TDBW: Which book, or series, is your favorite?
Mark: Man that’s like asking who your favorite kid is. They all are in one way or another. (Is that a cop-out?) Indian Hill was most first and like all firsts it’s tough to forget that. I love the Zombie Fallout series as it really got me into the joy of being creative (it doesn’t hurt that it pays the bills as well). The Riley series is basically modeled after my dog so I have to love that. See how I said a lot but didn’t really answer the question. I’m thinking about going into politics.
The Book Of Riley Series by Mark Tufo:
A few other books by Mark Tufo:
Visit Mark Tufo’s Amazon Authors page for a complete list of his books.
TDBW: Who are some of your favorite authors?
Mark: This is another brutal question, it would almost be easier to name who I don’t like. The great one Stephen King was my first read of horror and I was enthralled immediately. J.R.R. Tolkien my first into fantasy. John Christopher in sci-fi. It goes back to the firsts for me. But honestly I have read so much great stuff from so many talented authors it really is who can pull me in so I can either root for or against the characters if they make me care then they’re my favorite.
TDBW: Which book(s) inspire you the most?
Mark: They all do, I’m not trying to give an easy answer here. I’m always fascinated how each author approaches their craft. I’m constantly analyzing what I read, like ‘Whoa that’s awesome!’ or ‘I wish I’d thought of that!’, I’ve read some authors that have just amazed me with their talent and make me strive to be better than I was on the last book.
TDBW: Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what band(s) do you play?
Mark: This one is easy! The radio or my playlists are on constantly (and loudly) to the point where my wife bought me a nice set of headphones for my office! It was that or I had to go work out in the garage. As far as type of music, I’m pretty eclectic, I’ll go from Zeppelin to Brahms to Katy Perry without batting an eyelash. The music is there to keep me focused by pushing everything else away.
TDBW: Any hobbies?
Mark: I tend to limit myself in the hobby department because I am the definition of OCD and once I start I’m compelled to go until completion, whether building a puzzle or finishing a home project. I know my limitations.
TDBW: Tell us some more about yourself including your website and where we can find you on social media sites:
My website: marktufo.com
Other contacts/social media sites: http://zombiefallout.blogspot.com/
TDBW: Care to share a bit of one of your books with us?
Mark: This is as of yet unpublished and not completely polished but here is the Prologue to IH4
My name is Michael Talbot and I’m a Colonel in the United Earth Marines Corps. (Okay, Lieutenant Colonel but it sounds way cooler to say Colonel.) It has been three years since I was part of a revolution of Genogerians (a supposed sub-species to the Progerians) and more importantly, the repelling of a hostile alien takeover of our planet. We were able to overthrow the command inside the Scout Ship Julipion and take control.
Once the necessary repairs were completed, we renamed it the Guardian. For three years we (and I use that liberally—I really mean man in general) have torn apart and rebuilt damn near the entire ship as we learned the Progerians’ advanced technology.
The Genogerians we have come to ally with have proven far more useful than the Progerians ever thought them capable. They had only ever used the Genogerians for basically the grunt work—lifting heavy stuff, guarding things and ground troops as planets are discovered.
Earth had the unfortunate luck of being found by the Progerians some five years previous. During the attempted takeover, I spent nearly two years aboard the Progerian scout ship competing in fights to the death with my fellow humans, all of whom had been attending a Widespread Panic concert at Red Rocks.
At first, I had fought merely for survival, then I fought to save the lives of my “spoils”, human women the Progerians had given to me after every round. Then ultimately I fought to win back the Queen of the Games, my girlfriend, Beth.
Before my final bout I had hatched a half-assed plan (famous for that, by the way) to escape, never truly believing in any success. The alternative, however, was to fight a man that I probably couldn’t have beaten with a grenade launcher. I had been more successful then I could have ever imagined due to the ultimate sacrifice of the Space Shuttle Liberation and her brave crew as they detonated a nuclear device inside the hold of the scout ship. I thought the nightmare was over as we landed on terra firma only to discover I hadn’t even fallen asleep yet.
I had no sooner decided to throw my lot in with the Marines and hook up with my best friend on the planet, Paul, who had formed a highly organized militia in Colorado when I found myself whisked off to France where I received some tracker removal surgery. I was still in recovery when Paris was leveled in an attempt to find me.
I had given myself up before they could kill any more innocent people. I was going to have my dance with Durgan; a human that had been taken in the initial invasion on Red Rocks and forced into battle along with the rest of us. The aliens had quickly fallen in love with his success and willingness to shed blood on the arena floor.
Come to think of it, he’d probably been subjected to the same chemicals the Devastator mutants had. Durgan had been pretty muscle laden when he’d started his first bout but by the last one, he was freakishly large to the point where I was convinced he could take out a Geno in a straight up fight.
(Look in Journal One for more about the psychotic steroid ingesting, murdering megalomaniac.) A higher power apparently deemed me worthy the day we fought. I bested him and my reward was not another woman but the right to fight Drababan, the Genogerian champion. Drababan was somewhere in the neighborhood of eight feet tall and six hundred pounds, which made Durgan look like a hobbit in comparison. The beast probably ate meals that weighed more than me.
The Progerians had circled our planet long enough to pick up some tricks, drama being one of them. Our fight was to be aired worldwide as we fought in the crater where the Eiffel Tower once stood. Our weapons of choice for the match were swords and we parried for a few moments. Okay, scratch that, Drababan had parried and I was blocking his potential deathblows.
Somehow I had found an opening in Drababan’s attack and was able to cut him, nothing that would require more than a stitch or two, but it had enraged him to no end.
For the sake of my honor Drababan had been prolonging the fight so that I would die well. (Stopping there for a second, who the fuck dies well? Dying is dying, the end result being death, right? To die with dignity is what Dee wanted for me. Oh, and while I’m already on a tangent I started calling Drababan, Dee because he was sick of me butchering his name, it’s a hard ‘D’ with a rolling ‘R’ it was ridiculous trying to say it properly.
He seemed alright with it, this I know because he hadn’t eaten me yet. And back to the original tangent, I fucking basically wanted to live with indignity if it came to that.
There is no recovery from death—no laughing, no loving, no nothing! Sorry, had to get that out.) So there I am, holding up this sharp toothpick as a charging T-Rex is barreling down on me when all hell broke loose. I know you’re thinking what more could happen. Well, plenty actually. My buddy Paul, who had forsaken me in France, picked the most inopportune of times to attempt a rescue.
Or opportune, really depends on how you look at it. Marines had attacked the ring of Genogerian guards who had been completely caught unawares. And this is where it gets strange; Dee, the charging T-Rex I told you about earlier scooped me up like a bellhop grabbing a valise and ran full tilt for the opening the Marines had blown in the side of the crater.
Bullets whined by me, as did the blue arcing fire of the Genogerian rifles. I remembered this all vividly as I bounced around on Dee’s back. I probably should fill this in a little more. I had been in recovery after the fight with Durgan for, maybe a month and in that time Dee had visited on numerous occasions.
We talked many times during my recovery and even played some games, which he consistently trounced me in. I learned that he was a truly spiritual being; he had been imprisoned and forced to fight due to his beliefs. He was as much a victim as me. It was there and then that I learned the Genos were not so enamored with their lot in life.
When Dee saw a chance to escape he took it, no questions asked. I hadn’t realized that at the time and neither did my rescuers who almost shot him to death (he had already been shot a couple of times). A sub picked us up off the coast of France and while we were traveling back to the U.S. the Progerians released their military might.
To give you an idea of the enormity and severity of the attack, picture the U.S. in its heyday with all of its military might going on a full-scale invasion against the island nation of Guam. There was nothing we could do and no way to stop it. We were helpless as destruction was unleashed upon our planet.
It was that brutal. The only thing that most likely saved the planet was that the Julipion in its truest form is only a scout ship meant to find habitable planets and report back to the home world. Devastator ships are then sent to complete the job.
The Julipion did not have enough ground troops to effectively control the planet and at least for now they wanted to protect Earth’s most precious commodity – people. We were the perfect slaves, ruthless in war and apparently tasted delicious.