About T.C. Zmak

T.C. Zmak is an award-winning author, beach enthusiast, craft beer drinker, oenophile, foodie, and dog parent.

T.C. is a lifelong writer and native Californian who has never lived more than 15 miles from the ocean.

She graduated from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) with a bachelor of arts degree in communication. T.C. launched her writing career in public relations, working with companies across a variety of industries. She now lives in Marina, Calif., on the picturesque Monterey Bay—one of the world’s most beautiful and inspiring places to write.

T.C.’s novels include DARK SURF and RISING, books 1 and 2 in the DARK SURF series. Up next is a women’s fiction novel. (Actually, T.C. has ideas for several books, short stories, movies, and TV series…)


When writing…

Coffee is essential. Morning is the best time to put words to the page. The beach is the best place to brainstorm. And nothing beats a writer’s retreat in a scenic location to get an insane amount of writing or editing done in a short span of time.

When not writing…

During rare moments away from the computer, T.C. enjoys:

  • Wine tasting, especially bold Zinfandels and Petite Sirahs.
  • Sampling craft beers, like West Coast-style red ales, coffee stouts, and pale ales. The best beer city? T.C.’s hometown of San Diego.
  • Cooking at home or dining out (bonus points for an ocean view). Sidenote: T.C. is not a food snob—except when it comes to Baja-style fish tacos.
  • Adopting rescue dogs. After watching border collies herd sheep into an elevator on Late Night with David Letterman, T.C. fell in love with the black & white smarties. When she found a border collier/dalmatian on a local rescue website, it was love at first sight. A border collie/Queensland heeler followed soon after. T.C.’s current pup? A border collie mix from a Central Coast herding dog rescue.
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What book critics & reviewers say about T.C.’s work…

T.C.’s debut novel, DARK SURF, was called a “towering masterwork” by Paul Goat Allen, a highly respected genre critic who has reviewed more than 8,000 genre fiction titles for companies such as The Chicago Tribune, Publisher’s Weekly, BN.com, and BlueInk Review.

Kirkus Reviews hailed the “the speedy, page-turning rhythm of the chapters” in DARK SURF and described RISING as “a real treat to read” and “everything a sequel should be.” Reviews of both DARK SURF and RISING were selected by the Kirkus Reviews indie editors to be featured in Kirkus Reviews magazine.


What the entertainment industry says…

DARK SURF was optioned for a movie before it was published. (That option has expired, so it’s back on the market!)

A story analyst for the ScreenCraft 2023 Cinematic Book Competition said, “DARK SURF is a highly engaging, conceptually strong vampire thriller. This swiftly paced, suspenseful novel also features a very original premise … by combining a surfing-themed action-thriller with a dramatically gripping vampire story.”


What award competitions say…

Both DARK SURF and RISING have earned awards in national and international competitions including the Book Excellence Awards, National Indie Excellence Awards, USA Regional Excellence Book Awards, and several others.