Sunday, May 09, 2021

Preliminary Cover Art for Season of Crows

 Season of Crows is nearing the 30K word mark. Worked on it a bit this morning. I also got in a quick workout. When Jenn gets up, I'm going to pick her up her favorite smoothie for Mother's Day. Have a seafood dinner planned for her later.

I thought I'd reveal the preliminary cover for Season of Crows, also. 

Planning on spending the day with Jenn and our boys to celebrate Mother's Day.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Progress on Season of Crows Continues

Season of Crows is currently around 22,000 words. I spent most of this morning's writing session looping back and tying things together. By that I mean making sure details are consistent in terms of backstory, character names, etc. 

I like to loop back and make small revisions rather than spill the whole first draft on the page and fix everything later. I end up with a fairly clean first draft which usually only needs some smoothing out and fixing of typos, etc.

I'm reading Richard Laymon's One Rainy Night. Hoping to catch Nobody with Bob Odenkirk later. Heard from a few people this was a good one.

My wife and I are heading out later to grab some lunch on the go. It's dreary today, so might be a good day to read and hang out inside. The weather yesterday was beautiful. Jenn and I got in a walk, and I cut the grass for the first time this season. 


Friday, April 09, 2021

Painting Pennywise and Progress on Season of Crows

I'm working on the first draft of Season of Crows and nearing the 20,000-word mark. For some reason, this one was stressing me out at first, figuring out various plot and timelines. Have to remember to relax, have fun, and trust the story. As far as finishing books and stories goes, that approach hasn't steered me wrong yet. I don't outline anymore beyond making a few cursory notes, if necessary. I'm not sure I could write a book based on an outline anymore.

I like to get the main premise/situation set (in this case, a small town haunted by unusual disappearances), put a few sets of characters together, and let the story roll. Not saying that's necessarily the best way, but it works for me. Every writer is different. 

Still working on teaching myself acrylic paints. Here's a Pennywise painting in progress. Still quite a bit to do on this one, but I'm happy with it so far. 

Tuesday, March 09, 2021

Writing the Foundation and a Reason for Evil Deeds

The Foundation, my latest horror novel, is going on sale this week. It's available on Amazon and Kobo, thus far. The Foundation is my 25th book since 2004, and I had a blast writing it.

I wanted to write a story where the characters were looped into playing a deadly game run by shadowy people. I'd explored this theme somewhat in The Damage Factory, and wanted to revisit it. I figured people would need strong motivation to initially participate in such a game.

What would be an evil reason to loop people into such a game? I came up with preying on those with medical debt. A character with crushing debt might be tempted to respond to a strange foundation offering money for their bills. Meeting with the foundation would seem a little odd at first, and things would really get nasty in short order. 

The Foundation is a short novel, just under 50,000 words. I find myself writing shorter books these days, as well as reading slimmer novels. I'm comfortable writing longer works (my longest novel was Evil Harvest, at 165,000 words), but these days, I'm inclined to stick to shorter novels. Looking back at some of my longer stuff, I'd probably cut a great deal of words. Reading shorter novels also fits a little better into my schedule, as I don't have as much time to read as I used to.

So here's the cover blurb for The Foundation. It's a fast-moving, nasty little novel that I hope horror readers will enjoy.

Dylan O'Connor's life is about to be turned upside down. Saddled with medical debt from his daughter's cancer treatments, he receives a letter from a mysterious Foundation offering financial assistance. All he has to do is complete some seemingly routine tasks and the Foundation will help with his bills. Dylan soon finds out the required tasks are dangerous and illegal.  The Foundation begins playing a twisted game with him. A game that could cost him and his family their lives.

The only way out for Dylan is to play the game to its gruesome end.

A thrilling novel of dark suspense from the author of Nightshade and The Lacerated Sky.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

What Are You Willing to Give Up for Writing?

I finished the draft of my 25th book yesterday. I've been writing since I was a teenager, and writing professionally since 2004. While writing professionally, I've held a full-time job and helped raise a family. The one thing that's helped me produce 25 books is consistency.

In order to be consistent and prolific, this requires giving things up. People often tell me they'd write if they had time. I usually smile and listen to them, thinking to myself that they probably do have time. If you want to write, you can carve out some small of time amount during your day. The question is, what are you willing to give up?

If you'd like to write, but can't find time, I've listed some suggestions below. Some of them involve giving things up, while others are just general ideas.

Cut back or eliminate binge watching shows

Eliminate/cut back on a hobby in order to write more

Used timed writing sessions to focus. Set a timer and go. No stopping. No checking social media. You'll be surprised how many words you can get using this method.

Put away your smart phone for an hour and write.

Get up earlier

Stay up later

Give up that happy hour (probably not occurring as much with the pandemic)

Write on your lunch break

Write in waiting rooms

If you use public transportation, write on the bus/subway/train.

Use writing sprints (15 to 30 min) during the day. Waiting for that load of laundry to finish? Hammer out some words. It all adds up after a while. 

Treat writing like it's a job. Don't be afraid to say, "I'm sorry, but I'm writing right now, can it wait?" 

Make appointments to write during the day (20 min before work, 30 min before bed, etc) and put them on a calendar/planner/planning app. Look at your schedule and find pockets of time when you could be writing.

I like to refer to one of Brian Keene's sayings: "Ass in chair, fingers on keyboard." Carve out that time. Set your ass in the chair. And get writing. 

Thank you, as always, for reading.

You can follow me on social media here:

Twitter: @Aizzo
Facebook: Anthony Izzo (author)
Instagram: AIzzo73

Sunday, February 07, 2021

Enter The Night Gets a New Cover

 I've been playing around with book covers, refreshing some of my older ones. I've been wanting to try my hand at creating some art for one of my books, so I settled on Enter The Night. I did the gas mask with Micron pen and ink/brush. I used an old toothbrush to splatter some red ink, and dirtied the rest up with photo editing. 

If you read the novel, you'll see how the gas mask ties in. You can get Enter The Night on all e-book platforms. I'll be uploading the new cover soon. 

Click here to purchase Enter The Night.

They came to the mountain to hunt ghosts. They ended up as prey. The Iron Mountain Asylum once housed the criminally insane. The worst of the worst. Four men escaped the asylum and were never caught. The legends grew. Some said they lived on the mountain, killing anyone who crossed their path.The contestants on a reality show called Enter the Night are about to find out if the legends are real. Six people. Non-stop filming. A week exploring the abandoned asylum and a military base near the mountain. The contestants will discover that there are things far more frightening on the mountain than ghosts.

Enter The Night has a lot of bloody, slasher horror. What are some of your favorite slasher/psycho killer novels?

Thursday, January 28, 2021

New Tattoo Time

 I got my first new tattoo in about 12 years. This is the result of the first session. I have to go back for the artist to add shading. I'm really happy with it. I wanted something themed around the Riders of Rohan from The Lord of the Rings. The quote is one of my favorites, spoken by King Theoden right before the Ride of the Rohirrim. Also incorporated is his sword and one of the rider's helmets. The skull I just liked. Thanks to Sommer at Artemis Tattoos for a great job.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

New Cover Art For a Horror Western

 I like to refresh cover art every so often. I'll be doing this with some of my titles this year. I'm updating the cover art for my gunslingers vs. monsters novella, Vanished. 

Here's the latest cover. You can buy Vanished here. 

And a synopsis:

Sheriff Will Barnaby is summoned when a member of the missing Hanson party stumbles into the mining town of Wilton, Colorado. Tommy Hanson is dazed and muttering about terrors in the valley near Wilton. The Hanson family disappeared six months prior while setting out in wagons for a new life. Will realizes he'll have to round up a posse and investigate the Hanson boy's story. With the help of his deputy and two hired guns, Will sets out to discover what lurks out in the valley near Wilton.

He will find death and terror waiting for him outside Wilton. And an investigation into missing persons turns into a fight for survival.

An action-filled novella from the author of Murderland and the Last Ride. 

Monday, January 18, 2021

When Social Media Is Bad For Writers

Social media can be a great thing for writers. It allows us to touch base with fellow writers, bloggers, reviewers, and publishers. Writing can be a solitary, lonely endeavor, and social media lets us connect, especially during this time of social distancing. 

Recently, I learned of two anthologies looking for submissions. I promptly wrote some stories and sent them off. Both calls for submission were on Twitter. Had I not been on Twitter, I would've missed the opportunities. As much as social media creates opportunities, at times it can be a detractor.  For myself, I find social media (Twitter, in particular) can bring me down at times. Sometimes, when the following start to happen, I feel the need to unplug from social media for a bit:

1. The news is making me anxious and depressed.

2. I find myself repeatedly doomscrolling instead of spending time reading books.

3. I'm spending more time on social media than writing new books and stories.

4. I'm constantly comparing myself to other writers, wondering if/when I'll have the same success.

One of my goals in 2021 is to read more (I've already read four books) and focus on writing, art, and music, rather than repeatedly refreshing my feeds and scrolling. Social media can be amazing for keeping up on the writing business, but none of us should be afraid to take a break.

And I still believe the most important part of writing is writing. The best marketing you can do is to write the next book or story.  

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Ramping Up the Writing

I didn't write much between New Year's Eve and January 6th. Didn't write at all in the few days following the attempted coup. The news and the state of the country have been pretty much a horror show. I've been ramping up the writing the past few days. I guess, as a writer, you need to go to work, the same as any other profession. Writing also provides a distraction from things.

I'm working on the last third of The Foundation. Not sure which book will come after The Foundation. I'm debating writing a sequel to The Island, which would tie into the Nightshade World. I'm also considering writing in some series/shared world series. 

I finished up this pen and ink horror piece yesterday. You can buy prints here. 


Preliminary Cover Art for Season of Crows

 Season of Crows is nearing the 30K word mark. Worked on it a bit this morning. I also got in a quick workout. When Jenn gets up, I'm go...