I'm incredibly excited to be part of the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour, and today it's my turn to host three awesome zombie authors - John O'Brien, Armand Rosamilia, and a return guest, Mark Tufo! And as an added extra special bonus, there's a giveaway!
I've been a long time fan of Mark's Zombie Fallout Series, and I recently read one of Armand's books, Darlene Bobich and there will be a review of John's first book in his New World series, Chaos posted during July.
So without further ado, let's meet the authors!
When did you first decide to write?
John O'Brien: I decided to write about a year and a half ago. I had read a few zombie novels and they equated with several stories that had been running in my head. The stories were more of survival scenarios but fit in nicely with the concept of a zombie apocalypse. The books were becoming prolific and the idea just entered that I would like to write my story and see how it went. It was more to write it down that it was to actually sell copies but I also wanted to get the story out. The anticipated trilogy of books turned into something much greater and the story just grew as I thought more and more about it.
Mark Tufo: I never decided to write, I just always enjoyed it. I wrote Zombie Fallout on a dare from my wife, and I DECIDED to make a career out of it after the series took off.
Armand Rosamilia: The Great Old One Shub Niggaruth compelled me to write. Actually, it was Dean Koontz books read as a twelve year old that had me hooked, and I wanted be just like him. And I am because I started getting thinning hair early as well. And that's about where the similarities end.
Why write zombie?
John O'Brien: The story is really more of a post-apocalyptic survival book and thriller but I added the zombie aspect to create a little more danger to the environment. I should note that the “zombies” in the story aren’t true zombies. They are not undead but more genetically altered; fast and agile.
Mark Tufo: I love zombies, have ever since I was 7 years old. And if the Mayans were right and an apocalypse is right around the corner, I would rather it be slow, shuffling zombies rather than a Texas sized asteroid.
Armand Rosamilia: I've always been a huge zombie movie fan, but after reading The Rising by Brian Keene I had to give it a try.
Is there something 'unique' in your writing that you think is your biggest selling point?
John O'Brien: I think the timeline of the story is unique. It has more of a “24” feel to it with each book encompassing only a short period of time. I am just finished up the fifth book and the story line is only approximately three months down the road. I also enjoy the first person aspect so the reader can get inside the head of Jack Walker and the other characters.
Mark Tufo: I think it is the every man aspect to my characters, none of them are carrying rocket launchers or holding 45 different belts in martial arts. They are just your average person trying to survive.
Armand Rosamilia: my main character, Darlene Bobich, is just your average woman: twenty-eight, a bit overweight, not a model but good-looking, and not trained in the military or a bad ass. She worked a dead-end job at the makeup counter at the mall, she cries, she has panic attacks, she is a normal person.
What has been your biggest challenge, and biggest achievement in writing?
John O'Brien: One of the biggest challenges is to keep the story line straight with regards to past events. I would also say the hardest parts of writing for me are the transitional scenes. I can race through the actions scenes but sometimes writing the transition aspects is like pushing an elephant.
I would definitely say the greatest achievement is seeing and knowing the readers are enjoying the story. I just hope I can keep delivering a story that is enjoyed. It makes my day seeing the messages and reviews from readers and knowing the story is being enjoyed. That keeps me pecking away at the keyboard. To all of those that have messaged and left reviews, thank you! And a thank you to all who have taken a chance on the books and read them.
Mark Tufo: Biggest challenge I think has been the marketing aspect of indie writing. I think a lot of folks think they can write a book and become a bazillionaire, it doesn't work like that. The work involved, the shameless self promotion everything besides the actual writing is a challenge. Biggest achievement - definitely rejecting offers from 3 publishing houses (that had initially rejected me) it was an affirmation for me that I had succeeded.
Armand Rosamilia: The biggest challenge is to keep writing no matter what is happening in the real world around me, and try to get these stories out of my head and onto the page. The biggest achievement was when I became a bazillionaire and the Brinks trucks were lined down my block… oh, wait, forget it. The biggest achievement for me is when I get personal e-mails from a reader I didn't know I had and they talk about my books and ask questions.
Has any person, or situation (or dream), inspired you?
John O'Brien: I would say it is the various survival scenarios I play out continuously in my head.
Mark Tufo: I honestly never saw myself as an author, but I can't tell you how many times I've been reading a Stephen King book and thought 'How cool would it be to write one of these!'
Armand Rosamilia: I love to eat weird crap at 2 am and then have nightmares. Then I try my darndest to write it down in the morning, but it hardly ever works. I once had a short story, "Stairs To The Ocean" (in my Skulls collection) that was exactly from the nightmare I had, so that was neat.
The old desert island question - if you could only take one book with you, which one?
John O'Brien: Can it be a series? I would have to say it’s a tie between the “Dark Tower” series by Stephen King and “The Wheel of Time” series by the late Robert Jordan. If I had to narrow it down to a single book, I would take the thickest one out so I had plenty of paper.
Mark Tufo: I'm going to cheat - John Christopher, The White Mountain Trilogy (which is now actually 4 books) But they're very small so they could be considered one book!
Armand Rosamilia: Since everyone else is clearly cheating and not taking the question's rules to heart, it's my turn: I'd grab an omnibus edition of the Lord of The Rings series, the complete collection of HP Lovecraft and the full run of RE Howard's Conan books… or I'd just load up and bring my Kindle to the island and die happy.
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All six of us - Todd Brown, Mark Tufo, Ian Woodhead, Armand Rosamilia, John O'Brien and Dave Jeffery - hope you'll keep following us on the Summer of Zombie blog tour, and comment as we go along.
And… one lucky commenter for each blog will receive a Free eBook or Print book from one of the authors! Simply leave a comment with your e-mail address and we'll pick a random winner each day! Simple as that!
Thanks guys! And don't forget to come by and pick me up when the dead rise - I totally want to be on your team!
Want to buy the books?
John O'Brien's books on Amazon
Armand Rosamilia's books on Amazon
Mark Tufo's books on Amazon