Terri Spaugh of Illuminandi Media has announced the film and television rights acquisition of the “Zombie Fallout” book series written by Maine author Mark Tufo, who lives in Swanville.

The series follows the Talbot family and their fight to stay alive after the zombie apocalypse. Family patriarch Michael Talbot, a germaphobic veteran who will do all that it takes to keep his family and friends safe in a world rapidly devoid of humans.

“This is not your typical zombie story,” said Spaugh. “This is really a story about an average family and all the normal life drama that comes with it, living day to day with jobs and a dog and an aggressive Home Owner’s Association and suddenly they’re hit with the Zombie Apocalypse.”

Illuminandi Media partner Shannon Jimenez agreed that in Tufo’s novels, zombie horror comes secondary to the human component of the family. Michael Talbot is gruff and flawed and does not think too much before acting but he loves his family and has a big heart, even though he won’t admit it. He is definitely a complex hero, someone to root for.

Boston-born Tufo has been obsessed with zombies since a cousin introduced him to “Dawn of the Dead” when he was 7 years old. After writing the first book on a dare, Tufo quickly became enamored with the human element of the story.

“This isn't an elite SEAL team with futuristic weaponry, it's just the every man trying to protect his family and friends the best he knows how,” Tufo said.

Fans agree that the engaging characters are part of the appeal. The Illuminandi Media partners think that, with its combination of horror, humor and heart, “Zombie Fallout” is a natural successor to television shows like “Buffy and Supernatural.”

“In a lot of ways it’s like ‘Modern Family’ meets ‘The Walking Dead.’ We are very pleased and excited to work with the author to bring his fantastic series to life on screen,” Spaugh said.

“Zombie Fallout” has a wide and loyal fan base. The first book in the series, “Zombie Fallout,” received high praise from the likes of nationally best selling author John Ramsey Miller. “Zombie Fallout 4, The End Has Come and Gone” reached No. 13 on the Amazon Best Sellers Horror List for 2011, only three spaces down from horror master Stephen King; and Book 2, “A Plague Upon your Family,” was among Amazon’s top-wished for audio books earlier this year.

Tufo attended UMASS Amherst, where he obtained a bachelor of arts degree, and later joined the US Marine Corp. He was stationed in Parris Island S.C.; Twenty Nine Palms, Calif.; and Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. After his tour he went into the human resources field with a worldwide financial institution and has gone back to college via Colorado Technical University to complete his master’s degree. To read his blog, visit zombiefallout.blogspot.com.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115 or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.