So, today I am thrilled to have the author of the hit series Zombie Fallout sop in as a guest. But, as you can see, the Coffin Hop is now in full swing. So what does that mean to you? Well, if you want a free ebook a month from the May December catalog, all you need to do is visit Coffin Hop and tell me who resides at slot number 95. By doing so, you will be entered in the drawing mentioned yesterday. And while you are there...check out some of the other Hoppers. You might win some very cool stuff. And now, I give you Mel...I mean Mark Tufo. (Sorry...inside joke.)
What has led you to writing?
I’ve always enjoyed writing, I mean as far back as I can remember. When all my classmates were complaining about writing book reports or short stories I was like ‘sounds good to me!’ But if you’re asking why am I writing full time now, well that’s obvious, it was on a dare from my wife.
Has your experience thus far been all you expected?
Three years ago when we (the missus and I) posted our first book Indian Hill, it was just something cool to say ‘LOOK what I did!’ It was awesome, those first seven months we sold 3 copies and I couldn’t have been more proud. Then a couple of years ago I wrote the first book in the Zombie Fallout series, and not much happened at first, and then everything kind of went crazy. Not in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought that a year later I would be writing full time and that would be my career.
Poor editing seems to be a big issue in the Indie scene. What is your take on the subject?
If you want to put a book out HIRE an editor, HIRE an editor! (Written twice for dramatic effect) I read and re-read my first book 9 times, thought I had it NAILED, go look at some of my early reviews on ZF1, I didn’t have it nailed. I got hammered for my lack of editing, my writing has improved since that first book but no way on God’s green earth would I trust myself to ever put anything else out again without an editor.
The writing community can be its own worst enemy at times. What are some of the problems (if any) that you see today?
There’s more pettiness in the industry than I would have imagined, but there are also some awesome folks out there that will do all they can to help out whenever and wherever they can. I have learned to quickly separate myself from the groups that I see tearing at each other. I’m a very reserved person, believe it or not, and I belong to maybe two writing groups, having gone through and totally eliminate the ones that were just a drain on my psyche.
The social media is…
My bread and butter.
Share some information about your work with us:
My first book ever is called Indian Hill, it is now a trilogy and I will be working on IH4 come 2013 (if the Mayans were incorrect). I have the Zombie Fallout series which consists of 1,2,3,3.5,4,5 and 6 which was just released on October 1st.
I have a paranormal book entitled The Spirit Clearing, a zombie novella from the perspective of the zombie ‘Timothy’ and a zombie novella from the perspective of an American Bulldog, ‘My Name is Riley.
What is one question you are sick of being asked—not in interviews, but by individuals who know you write?
I get a lot of folks who wish to write a book (and I applaud them for that) and they will ask me to read their work and critique it. I am truly honoured that folks would want me to do that BUT I am not a critic, you could send me the ingredients for Frosted Flakes and I’ll tell you ‘THEY”RE GREAT!’ I don’t have it in me to tell folks usually what they need to hear.
How do you deal with negative reviews?
Not well apparently, so much so that I have completely stopped reading reviews. I can take constructive criticism, hell I know I’m not perfect, but I’ve got a fair number of reviews where the folks are just down-right nasty, I can’t imagine what goes through some folks minds that they need to be so vindictive against others but I guess that’s what makes the world go round.
How much reading do you get in, and can a writer excel at his or her craft if they do not read?
I get in WAY less reading than I should. I love to read but usually after a day, of writing and proof-reading I’m just kind of torched and I watch mindless television at the end of the day. I’m not going to lie it bums me out. As an author I think it’s imperative to always keep reading.
Share some promotional wisdom with the writing community.
Tough to share what you don’t have! Sorry had to. If you know me then it’s no secret what I do, I treat EVERY reader that contacts me as I would like to be treated. If they take the time out of their day to write, then I do the same. Without them, I’m merely some guy that bangs away on a keyboard. I am appreciative of every single one of them.
What other projects are you currently working on?
I just wrapped up My Name is Riley part 2. And now I’m moving on to Indian Hill 4, a detective novel starring fan favourite BT, I have a project I’m working on with author John Ramsey Miller and another with John O’Brien, and I just had a dream last week that has completely morphed into a book idea I cannot wait to write. So I’ve got a few things going on.
What is one thing about you that would surprise the readers who do not know you personally?
I’m pretty reserved, I don’t generally like to be in large groups.
If you could team up with any Indie author, (no fair if I let you choose from one of the big names), who would you choose, and what would be the subject matter of the book?
I honestly haven’t read a lot of indies, from who I have though and just because I know him relatively personally, I’d love to do something with Armand Rosamilia.
Is there anyone you’d like to give a mention?
I would like to give a mention to you Todd for all your hard work in polishing off some of the rougher edges on the Zombie Fallout series, thank you for that.
I think most folks think this is a pretty easy field to be in. ‘I’ll hammer out a book and make a million! J.K. Rowling did it how hard can it be?’ My wife and I work over 160 hours a week, between the two of us to do what we do, it’s a hard life. Don’t get me wrong, I friggen love it, but it‘s a hard life.
What is in your “to be read” pile right now?
Oh crap, this question bums me out, because I literally have over 50 books in this pile. And since I have a pretty advanced case of O.C.D. I feel like I need to read all of them by yesterday.
Hey Todd, thank you for allowing me some time to spend on your blog! Much appreciated.