Sunday, July 15, 2018

Vacation and Progress on the Next Book

We got back last Friday from a family trip to Cleveland. The highlight for me was The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The coolest things for me were seeing Muddy Waters' '58 Telecaster and the outfit John Paul Jones wore in The Song Remains the Same. They also had his bass he played in the late 70's (pretty sure he played this one during the '79 Knebworth shows).

We ate at The House of Blues one night. They make an amazing pulled pork sandwich. I recommend it. My wife and sons enjoyed the ribs and beef brisket tacos, as well.

I've piled up 170 or so pages on The Last Ride. Shooting for a September release on this one. I'm also working on a horror short story that I might release in a newsletter.

Just getting started on a military horror novella, as well. Might shop this one around in the small press, or might indie publish it. Not sure yet.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Back to Writing

Getting back to writing after not doing much the past few weeks. Continuing on The Last Ride, plus I started a military/horror novel. I'm considering shopping the military/horror novel around in the small press. The possibility of being a hybrid author is becoming more appealing.

Saw Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom last night. It was entertaining, but offered nothing new.

Sunday, June 03, 2018

Hitting the Movies and Writing Updates

On Friday night, I took my 16-year-old son and three of his buddies to see Deadpool 2. It was our second time seeing it. The first time for his friends. I liked the movie just as much as the first time I saw it.  Hilarious, vulgar, and action-packed. Can't go wrong with that combo.

I also realized teenagers speak a language I don't understand. They were battling each other on their phones the whole way there. Not sure what game it was, but there was talk of gems and spells. My son remarked that I was quiet. I didn't tell him it was because I had no idea what the hell they were talking about.

I'm continuing to make solid progress on The Last Ride. I thought this one would be a relatively quick novella. I'm finding the characters all had more stories to tell. I'm winding up writing a lot more about them then I initially planned, which is fine. I tend to agree with Stephen King's analogy that stories are found things, like fossils. As King has said, it's the writer's job to dig them up, and sometimes the size of the fossil varies. In this case, I think I found a full-sized T-Rex.

I finished up a few sketches this weekend. May post them here. I'm still toying with the idea of an Etsy store for my drawings. Might be something I do in the next few weeks. I should probably just pull the trigger and upload everything for sale on a weekend.

That's all for now. If you'd like more updates from me, my newsletter signup is here.

Also, Enter the Night, my latest horror novel, is available here.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Movie Nights and Book Progress

Last Sunday, my wife and I attended a special screening of Jaws. Richard Dreyfuss was on hand and spent about an hour telling stories and answering questions. He went to great lengths to dispel the notion of a feud between him and Robert Shaw on set. He did say that Shaw had a way of having his number, and that he was in awe of the more seasoned actor.

It was a blast watching the movie with fellow Jaws fans. The crowd cheered when Shaw and Dreyfuss' characters made their respective first appearances on screen. Scheider's "bigger boat" line also got a cheer. Plus, the crowd screamed when Ben Gardner's severed head appears in the ruined boat.

Monday,  we saw Deadpool 2. I liked it even better than the first. Ryan Reynolds' smart-ass remarks combined with action and gratuitous violence make for an entertaining movie. Next up will be Solo.

I didn't get a whole lot done on The Last Ride this week.  Hoping to ramp up the writing this coming week.

Overall, I've had one of my best sales months in a while. I attribute this to increased blogging and paying for some ads.  Always a challenge trying to get eyes on the books and gain new readers.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

The Last Ride and Notebook Number 3

I've been writing The Last Ride in legal pads. Just started the third notebook (50 pages each). I like the notebooks sometimes because I can write anywhere. They're also free from distraction, as it's sometimes too easy to pop onto the Internet.

I'm looking at having The Last Ride done by the end of summer, barring any complications. I had originally envisioned it as a novella, but it's growing into a novel. Deciding to just let the story go where it wants.

Will probably play some God of War with my oldest son in a bit.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Blood on the Mountain Continues: Enter the Night, Chapter Three

Tonight I'm posting Chapter Three of Enter the Night. It's got an abandoned asylum and madmen running around in a snowstorm stalking the contestants on a ghost-hunting show.

If you like what you see, you can purchase Enter the Night here

Copyright 2018 Anthony Izzo


Dan Harris staples the poster with Lindsay’s photo onto the telephone pole. It also has his number and a number for the state police. He’s in a small town called Slate Falls. It’s twenty miles from Iron Mountain, where Lindsay disappeared. 
He looks at the photo. Her hair is tied back. The sun is shining on her face. She’s so damned beautiful. He chokes back the tightness in his throat and wipes his eyes. Tears feel like they’ll freeze out here.
A woman in a ski jacket stops. She’s sipping something from a cup labeled Java Joint.
“Your girlfriend?”
“FiancĂ©,” Dan says.
“What happened?”
“She was abducted on a camping trip at Iron Mountain. I had proposed the night before,” Dan says.
“Aw,” she says, and clucks her tongue. “I hope you find her.”
“Don’t suppose she looks familiar?”
“I’m sorry. She’s very pretty though.”
The woman goes on her way, sipping her beverage. Dan has a website set up dedicated to Lindsay’s disappearance. He regularly posts photos of her on social media and asks people to share. Lindsay’s disappearance was in the news for a bit, then the story faded. The cops searched, said there were thousands of acres of wilderness. No luck.
He’s going back to the mountain to look for her. Back in Buffalo, he’d made a promise to Lindsay’s father. The old bastard doesn’t like Dan, but the guy is dying from pancreatic cancer. Has months left. He hopes to see his daughter again before the end.
He’s shivering. The temperature is hovering around twenty and the wind whips up snow in mini-cyclones. 
He decides to head back to the hotel.
The hotel lobby has a fireplace that would heat the great hall of a castle. It’s a giant stone thing with a beam for a mantle. Dan stands in front of it, rubs his hands together. A couple in matching ski sweaters are sipping wine on a nearby couch.
He feels a pang of bitterness. That should be Lindsay and him.
Once his hands are warm, he goes back to his room. Takes off his coat and sets it on a chair. 
His pack is ready to go, with enough supplies for a week. He’s got a tent and sleeping bag. In a case under the bed he has a Remington twelve gauge and a .45 semiautomatic. 
Dan will have to be careful. There’s some reality ghost hunting show being shot on the mountain. He doesn’t want too many questions from people.
He picks up the phone receiver and dials. Sheila, his future mother-in-law, answers.
“It’s Dan. How’s Howard?”
“About the same. Pain’s a little worse.”
“Tell him I’m heading up to the mountain in the morning,” Dan says.
“Do you think you’ll find anything?” she says.
“I promised I’d try. And I have to know.”
“She’s gone Dan. I’ve accepted it. Why can’t you?” Sheila says.
“I guess that’s what makes me different,” Dan says.
“She didn’t want to go,” she says.
A stab of guilt hits him. “I know. I’m going to make this right.”
“She’s gone,” Sheila says, and begins sobbing. Dan waits a moment.
“Will you tell Howard I’m heading out to search?”
“He’s groggy from the pain meds, but I’ll tell him,” Sheila says.
“Appreciate it. Thanks,” Dan says, and hangs up the phone.
He considers ordering something from room service, or maybe heading to the hotel bar for a beer. Instead, he settles for a protein bar from his stash and plops on the bed. 
Big day tomorrow.

Sunday, May 06, 2018

More Horror: Chapter Two of Enter the Night

Here's chapter two of Enter the Night.

If you like what you're reading so far, you can purchase it here.

Copyright 2018 Anthony Izzo


The first thing Heather Benson sees is the truck sitting in the lodge’s parking lot. She’s not in charge of logistics. She’s the host. It’s her job to look good and encourage drama between the contestants on the show. Oh, and sell America that this mountain might be a little haunted.
“Seems odd they left the truck out here,” George Sampson says. He’s wearing a pea coat with a colorful scarf wrapped up under his thick beard. 
“The door’s open, too,” Heather says. 
The man driving the SUV parks it. The rest of the crew vehicles pull in behind them. The cast is scheduled to arrive tomorrow. 
Heather gets out. It’s snowing lightly. The powers that be at Blackmore Productions and the network are worried about the blizzard. Worried about it affecting production. “Have you seen the radar lately?”
George rounds the SUV. “Projected to hit late next week.”
“Well, we wanted extreme conditions,” Heather says.
“It’ll make for better television,” George says.
A red pickup truck pulls up next to them. The man who gets out is mountain-sized and wearing a stained Carhartt coat. He’s got a clipboard tucked under his arm. “What the fuck?”
There’s a second pickup, a Dodge Ram, parked behind the cube truck. Heather hadn’t noticed that at first.
“Heather, this is Don Larsen, he’s the crew foreman. You want something built or moved, Don’s the man.”
Larsen grunts hello and heads for the truck. He hoists himself up into the cab and examines something. He gets down, takes out a cell phone, and punches in a number.
Heather, curious, heads over where Larsen is talking. She tries to look casual, peering up at the lodge. 
“Bob, it’s Don. Where the fuck are you guys? And why’d you leave the trucks out here? Call me pronto,” Larsen says, and hangs up. 
“Where’d your guys go?” Heather asks.
“Fuck all if I know,” Larsen says. “Sampson, got a minute?”
George comes over. The wind whips the tail of his scarf. “Problem?”
Larsen moves in close to George. Heather sidles up next to George. Larsen either doesn’t notice or doesn’t mind.
“Bob Grey keeps a .44 in his truck. Everyone knows it. No one talks about it. The case was open on his seat. The gun’s gone,” Larsen says in a low voice. Steam puffs from his mouth each time he talks.
“Maybe he saw a bear,” Heather says.
“I don’t know what possessed him to bring out the gun,” Larsen says.
“How about we have a look?” George says.
“Maybe they were drinking. Probably passed out in the garage,” Heather says.
Larsen shakes his massive head. “They like to party, but when it comes to work, they’re rock solid. They wouldn’t leave the trucks out here like that.”
“The garage is open too,” George says.
They move over to the maintenance garage. Six inches of snow have piled up in the doorway. There’s no sign of the men. 
“I’m calling the Highway Patrol,” Larsen says.
“Now wait a second,” George says. “I have to check with the powers that be at the network and the company. It could ruin our shoot.”
“Fuck your shoot,” Larsen says.
“Look, sponsors put up a half a mil as prize money. Not to mention all the advertisers. This is going prime time,” George says.
“Those are my guys out there,” Larsen says.
“It can’t hurt to have the cops come up and take a look. What if a bear did get them?” Heather says. “Just play it safe.”
“I suppose you’re right,” George says.
“Told you so,” Larsen says.
Engines rumble behind them. More trucks carrying camera equipment, the crew, and their belongings roll into the parking lot. 
“Have someone move the trucks,” George says. “We don’t want panic.”
“I’ll move them myself,” Larsen says. “Make sure he calls the cops.”
“I’m calling now,” Heather says, taking her phone from her pocket.

Heather and George are in the lodge’s lobby. There’s a massive front counter with an elk’s head hung over it. A chandelier made from antlers hangs above the leather furniture in the lobby. A stone fireplace dominates one side of the room. There’s a faint hint of wood smoke in the air. The lodge has been closed for a few years, but Heather imagines that smoke smell won’t entirely diminish.
This is the third show she’s hosted. The first was a blatant ripoff of the Bachelor called The Single Guy. The second was a ghost hunter show that took her to abandoned prisons and asylums. The ghost show lasted three seasons. Got good ratings. Hence, she has the job here.
The crew is moving camera and lighting equipment into the lodge. A moment later, the lights flick on. They got the power going. She’s hoping for hot water so she can take a bath later. 
The Highway Patrol is on the way up. George has called them.
“How long till they get here?” Heather says.
“Should be here any minute. Don’t think they were thrilled. They don’t want anyone up here, let alone some numb-nuts Hollywood crew.”
“You’ll smooth talk them, I’m sure,” she says.
He’ll get his chance, because a Highway Patrol officer comes in. His hair is shaved close and squared away. He wears a dark brown winter jacket over his tan uniform. 
He approaches them. “Which one of you called?”
“That’d be me,” George says.
“The trucks are out there?” the officer says. The name sewn on his jacket says Wendel. 
“That’s where we found them,” George says.
Larsen comes in the door and joins the group. 
The officer asks for ID from all three of them. They take out their licenses and hand them over. 
“Come outside with me,” he says. 
To Heather’s dismay, they follow him outside. She just wants to go up to her room. She figures the truck drivers probably wandered off drunk somewhere. 
The trooper takes their licenses to the patrol car and runs checks on them. A few minutes later, he gives them back the licenses. He’s carrying a clipboard with a form attached. “When’s the last time anyone heard from these men. Names?”
Larsen rattles off their names. He takes a pen from his breast pocket and begins writing on the form.
“Bob didn’t answer his phone. I called him about an hour ago,” Larsen says. He goes on to tell the trooper about the missing gun.
“Trucks were abandoned. Gun missing. You checked the lodge for them?”
Heather winces. They didn’t. “We didn’t.”
The officer rolls his eyes. “I’m going to have a look in the cab of the truck. Where is it?”
“I moved it into the garage,” Larsen says.
“Would’ve been better to leave it out here undisturbed,” Wendel says. “I’ll be right back.”
“The pick-up truck too,” Larsen says.
Wendel doesn’t answer. He strides toward the garage as if daring it to give him some shit. Heather thinks Trooper Wendel is short on humor and long on being a hard-ass. She watches the cop climb into the truck’s cab. He looks around. Then he does the same with the pick-up truck.
He comes back, stops, and writes more on the form. “Any footprints would’ve been covered by snow last night. We got a good eight inches. I’ll have a look in the lodge. If we don’t find them, we’ll get a search party out here.”
“Why would they need a gun?” Heather wonders. 
“I think we told your people someone disappeared up here a few months ago. Not crazy about having a film crew up here. Too much can happen,” Wendel says.
George says, “We’re aware of the Highway Patrol’s stance.”
Wendel gives him a long stare. “I’m going to go walk the lodge. I hope you don’t need our help while you’re up here.”
He walks off toward the lodge. 

Vacation and Progress on the Next Book

We got back last Friday from a family trip to Cleveland. The highlight for me was The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The coolest things for m...