Thursday, November 02, 2017

Being Ready to Get More Written

I set my alarm a half hour earlier today in order to get some writing done. I find the first few minutes are often wasted figuring out where I left off or deciding which scene I want to write (I sometimes write out of sequence).

I think I'd benefit from being ready to go as soon as my ass hits the chair if I were more prepared. I'm going  to have the following ready tomorrow morning:


  • My last scene bookmarked in Word.
  • Some rough notes for myself as to where I'm headed.
  • A copy of my story notes. I use a very loose set of notes/story points when I write.
  • I also might start setting a timer again. I find I get more written when the clock is ticking.


We leave our desktop on, so I don't waste time booting up.  I'm hoping to maximize my writing time. If you have any other tips, let me know. Trying to squeeze everything I can out of each writing session.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Book Signing

I had my first book signing in years yesterday. I signed copies of The Damage Factory and a few other titles. It was a good turnout. I was pleasantly surprised to see one of my old friends from high school. We talked about old times, our families, and Star Wars, a passion of both of ours.

Trying to solve a story problem with The Walking Man that's kept me from finishing up the edits and releasing it. Hopefully will wrap it up this week.


Saturday, October 14, 2017

Excerpt of Enter the Night

I thought I'd put up an excerpt of my work-in-progress. It's called Enter the Night.

The first chapter is below. It combines reality television with a whole bunch of mayhem. I think this one's going to be fun to write.

They came to the mountain to hunt ghosts. They wound up as prey.

Enter the Night
Copyright 2017 Anthony Izzo


One

Truth be told, the mountain gives Bob Grey the creeps.
He steers the cube truck up the winding road. Hits the wipers. Snow begins to pelt the windshield. There’s a blizzard coming down from the Canadian Rockies that will hit later next week.
“Getting icy,” he says into the Bluetooth headset.
“Take her easy,” Gary Meyers says. Gary is in the Dodge Ram behind Bob’s truck.
“What’s the name of this show again?” Bob says.
“Enter the Night,” Gary says.
“How about let’s get the fuck off this mountain? I’ll star in that show,” Bob says, and Gary meets this with braying laughter.
He steers the truck around a switchback and continues up the mountain. Takes a swig of coffee from his travel mug. It’s now lukewarm and bitter, but it’s better than nothing. “Why would anyone want to film a reality show up here?”
Gary says, “Couldn’t be Hawaii or South Beach, could it?”
“Honeys in bikinis and drinking on the beach. That’d be more like it.”
They’d passed the abandoned military base at the foot of the mountain, where rusted tanks and trucks sat abandoned behind chain link fence. Bob is glad they don’t have to drive up to the abandoned hospital near the top of the mountain. He’s grateful to be stopping midway at the lodge.
“Lodge should be coming up,” Gary says.
Bob spots the rustic sign in his headlights. It reads: Iron Mountain Lodge. He brakes and turns onto the road that goes to the lodge.
The road twists and turns. He wishes for a Red Bull and maybe some caffeine pills to keep him sharp. For now, he contends with shitty gas station coffee. Dozing off at the wheel up here would be deadly.
The lodge comes into view: it’s four stories tall. Miles of roof. Hundreds of windows. He knows it was a playground for the rich in the last century. The Rockafellers stayed here on a regular basis. Howard Hughes used to rent an entire floor for himself. Now it looks like it wants to swallow people whole. At least in the dark. It’s probably fine, maybe even nice inside.
He parks the truck near the front of the lodge. A massive covered porch runs the entire length of the building.
Lights appear in his side mirror; Gary pulls up behind him in the Dodge.
He spots the maintenance garage; that’s where they are to park the cube truck. It’s loaded with supplies for the week-long shoot.
Bob has driven truck all over the country. The current gig with Blackmore Productions isn’t bad. The pay is decent. He’s home for good chunks of time. But right now, he’s shivering and wants to be back at the Holiday Inn, where he can order a Philly cheese steak from room service and watch a pay-per-view movie.
He gets out of the truck and the wind screams. He holds onto his Blackmore Productions trucker’s cap to keep it from blowing away. He wishes he’d brought a winter hat.
Gary fumbles with the keys before inserting the right one in the lock. He gives it a turn and cranks the door handle.
“Don’t just stand there. Help me lift the bastard,” Gary says.
The hoist the garage door open and Bob spots a pickup truck with a snowplow attached. There’s also a vehicle with tracks that looks like it belongs to the ski patrol.
The boss wants them to leave the truck in the garage and the film crew will unpack it.
He notices an odd smell: body odor. Like someone hasn’t showered in a month. Once, he’d gotten a whiff of a homeless guy who accosted him for a handout in Nashville. It reminds Bob of that. “Smell that? It’s really rank.”
Gary says, “Probably a dead critter got stuck in here.”
“Smells so bad I can almost taste it. I’ll get the truck,” Bob says.
“I’ll guide you in,” Gary says.
As Bob walks to the truck, Snow whips into his face. The wind moans again. His warm room back at the hotel comes to mind again.
Bob picks up his pace and reaches the truck. He hops in the cab. As he’s about to start it up, he hears a high-pitched scream. Someone in terrible pain.
He keeps a .44 Smith & Wesson in a case under the seat when he drives. Bob’s kept it there ever since being beaten and robbed on a run through East St. Louis. He gets out the revolver and loads it. There are brown bears on the mountain and he sincerely hopes he’s not about to run into one of those.
Bob hops out, bracing himself against the wind. The snow picks up and the garage is now barely visible in the snow. It’s going to be a bitch driving down the mountain in this.
He reaches the open garage door. “Gary, you okay?” he calls.
The snow lets up long enough and Bob sees the man with Gary’s body draped over his shoulder. Blood drips down and stains the snow. The man looks back. He’s wearing some sort of old-fashioned, smoked goggles. A scarf covers his mouth and nose.
He turns and continues walking, carrying Gary like a sack of dry concrete.
“Hey! What the hell?”
Bob raises the Magnum, realizing Gary is in serious trouble, but he has no shot.
The man disappears around the garage.
Bob chases after him.

He catches up with the guy behind the garage, where the ground slopes downward. The man scurries down the embankment. He’s large but moves with the grace of a big cat. Again, Bob raises the gun, but he can’t shoot without possibly hitting Gary.
He can’t believe this is happening to his buddy. He’s known Gary eighteen years. They have hundreds of war stories from the road. Like that time at the Bunny Ranch near Vegas, which was legendary.
Bob reaches the embankment. It’s steep and rocky. There’s a good chance he’ll lose his footing and take a spill, but he has to help Gary. The stranger disappears into the blowing snow. Bob follows, sidestepping down the embankment. He picks his way over and around rocks. The snow stings his face. This is crazy.
Halfway down, his foot hits a rock and he falls forward. He tumbles down the embankment. His ankle turns with a sharp crack. Something pops in his wrist. He skids to a stop and ends up on his back.
Fresh blood dribbles down his chin. He tries to push himself to his feet, forgets about his injured wrist, and howls with pain. It’s sprained at the least, and the ankle feels just as bad.
Bob looks back up the embankment; he can’t see the garage. Even worse, he can’t see himself getting back up there on one leg. He peers down the embankment; the abductor is gone.
He’s lost the gun in the fall. He resigns himself to crawling back up the embankment and calling for help.
The ground crunches off to his right. It sounds liked footsteps.
Someone materializes out of the snow; he’s hooded. Is that a fucking gas mask? The person towers over Bob. He knows this is going to end badly.
The person hunkers down and there’s a terrible, hot pain in Bob’s belly. Something stabs upward and it feels like his insides are being torn out.



He screams, but it melts into the wind and carries over the mountain.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Draft of Horror Novella is Done

The draft of The Walking Man is done. Finished at around 27,000 words (about 105 pages). I think it's a nice length for a novella. I have a small scene to add, then it's on to editing and proofreading. The cover's below. This is the first story I've written based on cover art. The artwork caught my eye (I purchase the artwork from a stock photo site) and I came up with a story behind it. I like this approach and I'm going to look for story opportunities like this in the future.


Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Walking Man Hits 20K Words

I crossed the 20,000 word mark on The Walking Man. It's looking like it might end up around 30K. I'm having a blast writing the finale. This is my first horror title in a while. The next one will be horror, as well. I'll likely alternate a few horror titles with some thrillers/crime stories.

I saw IT for the second time last weekend. Loved it even more the second time around. The film captured the spirit of The Losers' Club and the kid who played Richie Tozeir killed it. The new Pennywise was creepy as hell. There were also some nice touches, like Georgie's Lego turtle, Bill's Tracker Brothers t-shirt, and the 1990 Pennywise head in the clown room. I can't wait for the second movie.

I also have a book signing coming up. More details to come.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Die Trying by Anthony Izzo Now Available

My latest thriller, Die Trying, is now available.


John Regal doesn't know what to make of the strange auras he sees around people. He's developed a knack for spotting bad people and stopping crimes as they're about to happen.

John soon discovers he's not the only one with strange abilities. A killer with ties to John also sees auras around his victims.

As the link to the killer becomes clearer and John's strange ability intestifies, he will have to unravel the mystery of his new talents. Two competing government agencies want to make John a weapon. As he soon finds out, John is in danger from both the killer and those who want to study him.

$4.99 on all e-book platforms. Links below.




Kindle

Kobo 

Nook


Sunday, August 20, 2017

Read an Excerpt from The Walking Man

Thought I'd share a snippet of The Walking Man. To put it in context, Regina, the mom, is trying to track down her teenage sons. A killer is preying on people in the town. They've missed their curfew and she's grown worried.



The road out to the powerhouse sent a chill through her. Dark as a closet, there was trash strewn at the sides of the road. The road hadn’t been used on a regular basis since the power company was in operation back in the 50’s.
Every few years the town council had a meeting to discuss funding for demolishing the powerhouse. The cost, with asbestos and environmental cleanup, was always deemed too high. So it still stood.
Regina came to the weedy lot where employees once parked. Looking at the powerhouse, she reflected that if Dracula had designed a power plant, it would look like this. There were weird gargoyle-looking statues jutting from the upper stories. Lots of shadowy arches and ornate designs in the concrete. She thought the place dated back to the late 1800's.
The stacks were so high you had to crane your neck to see the very top. She wanted to get the boys and go home.
She pulled the Kia up to the edge of the lot. Beyond the lot was packed dirt. As she got out of the car, she saw their bikes lying on the ground. Regina ducked back in the Kia and grabbed a mini flashlight from the glove box.
After popping on the beam, she approached the bikes, stepping over broken glass and a used condom. She really needed to rethink giving them so much freedom.
“Tim! Brian! You here? You’re both in trouble!” she called.
No response.
Regina moved toward the entrance. Something went sploosh under her foot, the ground wet. She shined the beam on it.
Please don’t let that be blood.

Being Ready to Get More Written

I set my alarm a half hour earlier today in order to get some writing done. I find the first few minutes are often wasted figuring out where...