Mark Zaslove Writing Biography
Mark Zaslove’s path to writing Death and Taxes winds from magazine to television work, from movie scripts to other writing disciplines. Fortunately, Mark enjoys the varying challenges of every form of writing, from tight script structure to free form poetry, all of which have honed his skills. Basically, Mark loves to write.
Mark studied astronomy and applied math at U.C. Berkeley (two disciplines he never followed through on because, well, that stuff was hard). At the same time, he and a buddy spent their summer breaks writing movie scripts on spec. They even wrote a “Columbo” episode for Peter Falk, who was taking art classes from Mark’s father.
After college and some low-paying options on feature scripts, a friend who worked at LFP, Inc. (the Larry Flynt organization) asked Mark to write short stories for the company’s various magazines. And write he did, three stories a week, but the job didn’t last. Mark joined the staff as an associate editor, got promoted to senior editor, and got fired by Althea Flynt for “artistic differences,” all within seven months.
Fortunately, Mark was already writing scripts for Hanna-Barbara and Marvel Studios. Mark’s first produced script was “Challenge of the GoBots.” More cartoon work followed, then a staff gig at Walt Disney Television Animation, where he went from writing for “Adventures of the Gummi Bears” to story editing and producing “The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh,” for which he won two Emmy Awards, the Humantias Prize, and other awards. In one year, Mark moved from Hustler to Pooh… keeping his karma pretty darn balanced. In short order, Mark helped write the pilot mini-series for “Duck Tales” and co-created “Tale Spin,” as well as working on various other Disney projects, including some live-action.
At the same time, one of Mark’s friends asked for help in getting published, so Mark co-wrote a story (“Let’s Do Lunch”) that appeared in a Jane Yolen and Martin Greenberg anthology called “Things That Go Bump In The Night.” Coincidentally, Mark later co-produced and story edited a stop-motion TV series for ABC called “Bump In The Night.” A year later, Mark was asked to contribute to an independent publication, “Flash Fiction (When Genres Collide)” edited by Maggie Roth.
Mark went independent and created/developed/produced/story-edited various shows like “Cro,” “Mighty Max,” “The Legend of Calamity Jane” (with the honor of directing Jennifer Jason Leigh in the starring role), the aforementioned “Bump In The Night,” some live-action shows like “Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad,” and then live-action and mixed-media feature films for the Hyderabad film industry after meeting with the legendary Indian filmmaker, Singeetam Srinivasa Rao. Mark became the undeclared King of Tollywood.
Next was a producer/writer stint with a feature-length, live-action book-turned-movie,“Maniac Magee,” along with lots more animation and stop-motion. Mark then spent a year in Iceland working on a crazy live-action/puppet/CG series called “LazyTown.” (He had major fun there: nice people, great scenery, fantastic coffee.) Trips to Barcelona for a Gaudi project followed, as well as a gig as a regular contributing writer to Astronomy Technology Today. For the almost complete list of Mark’s credits, visit:
And finally, mired in structure, structure, structure and tired of workin’ for The Man (or, whoever was willing to pay him), Mark finally just wanted to be free and recalled how much he always loved writing prose. And, well… here he is, introducing his new thriller, Death and Taxes.