Interview with Mark Hacker, Author of Infliction Point (A Zach Axton Thriller)

22 May 2024

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Infliction Point (A Zach Axton Thriller)?

In 2007, my professor from UCLA’s Film, Theater & Television department, Tim Albaugh, gave me notes on a screenplay I’d written called The Devil’s Nightmare in his class. Because of my involvement with the Austin Film Festival, I was able to bring Tim down as a panelist, and he and I became great friends. Six words Tim said at the festival regarding The Devil’s Nightmare stuck like inflation: “This would make a great novel.” A short fifteen years later…

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of Infliction Point (A Zach Axton Thriller), what would they be?

“Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

I have always been an avid reader and gravitate toward books that cross genres. I love thrillers with heavy doses of science fiction and horror.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

Next on my TBR list is The Year of the Locust by Terry Hayes. I Am Pilgrim is one of my favorite books. I highly recommend it!

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

In a scene toward the end of the book, Jimmy Holly, a NASCAR driver from New Jersey who desperately wants to be accepted as a Texan, dodges hellfire missiles launched from a perusing Apache Attack helicopter. Jimmy Holly is a minor character, but this scene was major fun to write. It is over-the-top and funny. Anytime you get to blow up a KFC in a scene, it is a good day.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

I write with a border collie every day. Kiwi is her name. She is even on my book jacket and credited as co-writer. The canine character Koko in Infliction Point is based on Kiwi. Also, I have a drum set behind me. I play; Kiwi barks and howls … Not completely sure it helps with productivity.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

Life really is short, so say the things you need to say. Also, I have a mantra: Sit your butt down and write something, Mark. And stop playing soccer with Kiwi!

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

All the scenarios in Infliction Point were exhaustively researched and based on existing or emerging science. I met with over a dozen experts in the fields of neuroscience, computer science, biology, chemistry, and physics. I also worked with a military consultant from a top defense contractor.


Mark Hacker is the author of the new book Infliction Point (A Zach Axton Thiller)

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