Chapters? Check. Outline? Check. Query letter? Check.

Filed under: Book Stuff — Tags: — Tone @ 8:45 AM
Chapters? Check. Outline? Check. Query letter? Check.

A new year and a new phase for The Faith Machine. Finished the outline and the first three chapters yesterday. I’m waiting on some last feedback for the chapters before I submit. I plan on posting the chapters to my Deviantart account, in the meantime here’s the query letter:

The Faith Machine is a science fiction tale of international action, espionage and E.S.P. Imagine James Bond leading the Alphas against a being that claims to be God.
Ken Park is the field commander of Project Dead Blind, a team of powerful, but unruly, psychic government agents, sent on an investigation of the remnants of a Soviet psychotronic weapon program in Africa. But the investigation goes bad, and the agents find themselves scattered and pursued by the FBI, China’s 13th Bureau, a cult of America’s political elite and the mysterious Casemen armed with weaponized brains. They dodge arrest and murder while figuring out what put them on everyone’s hit list, undertaking an investigation that leads them to an underground laboratory in North Korea.
My first novel, Picking Up the Ghost, was published by ChiZine in 2011, is available as an audio book on Audible.com and was optioned for film by Breaking the Cycle Films LTD.
Thanks for your time and consideration. I hope to hear from you at your earliest convenience.

Sincerely, Tone Milazzo



Da’ Fest

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Tone @ 7:54 AM
Da' Fest

San Diego Comic Fest 2013 is over and I have my life back. Let me tell you, after being on the inside of a convention at Assistant Programing Director I’m never complaining about a convention ever again, either as an attendee or panelist. I’ve seen how the sausage is made.

I landed on four panels overall:

Comics You Should Be Reading I did a similar panel last year and now I’m out of current comics to recommend. If I try again next year it’ll be “Comics You Should Have Read but can’t because the came out years ago and haven’t been collected in trade.”

The Implications of Supermen and Superwomen in the Real World was fun, but ultimately as futile an exercise as being a superhero comics fan. Steve Barnes is a very smart guy.

How Do I Draw This Which I was in no way qualified to be on, but none of the artists wanted to moderate and I knew enough about how comics work to keep the conversation going. Russ Heath’s hearing aid was dying so he’d answer whatever question he thought I asked, the guy is hilarious.

And then I filled in on Writing in Someone Else’s Universe where I asked Marv Wolfman and Nancy Holder about specific problems of writing freelance and their answers were almost always “You suck it up and you do it.”

And now, a weekend of sleep.


56 Steps Forward.

Filed under: Book Stuff — Tags: — Tone @ 12:14 PM
56 Steps Forward.

I know I’m supposed to blog more but it’s almost been two years since Picking Up the Ghost and it’ll probably be another two before The Faith Machine sees print. So building an audience doesn’t feel like a real priority. The more blogging I do, the less writing gets done. And between the day job, night classes, the PMP certification and working with Comic Fest, time for writing has gotten precious.

That said, writing is happening. I’m 56 pages into the current draft/redraft. Melissa and I were invited into a new writer’s workshop which means I have to produce ten or so pages every two weeks or I feel like a slouch.

Workshopping as I go has already been helpful. On Ghost I pounded out the whole novel without any input. Consequently, when it hit the workshop I had to rewrite the second half. On Faith I’ve already cut three scenes that failed to move the plot forward resulting in a faster moving story. The feedback has also made me take a closer look at some of the scenes that remain. Did I really need the Soviet clones, frozen brains of psychics, the Gnostic poem and the personality upload operation all in the first 6 pages? Nope.

On the horizon, a deadline looms. I plan to land an agent at SDSU’s Writers’ Conference in January. Having at least 40 polished pages ready to go is part of that plan.

So less blogging, more writing.


This has, by far, been my most popular Tweet to date.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tone @ 7:42 AM

I still get people favoriting it.



Filed under: Book Stuff — Tags: — Tone @ 2:04 PM

Picking Up the Ghost is now on Audible.com.

Beyond signing the contract I wasn’t involved in the process. I was worried that they’d get an English woman to do the reading but thankfully Audible is smarter than that. After listening to it I’ve some thoughts and feelings:

This is proof that someone has read the book, that is unless Brandon Massey is some kind of sophisticated AI.

Boy, I used the n-word a lot. Brandon Massey’s a black man so every time I think “I just made him say that.” This may not be a unique emotional experience but I’m guessing you can count the number of us who’ve felt this way on one hand.

A lot of the names were pulled from African folklore and I honestly had know idea how Akotun, Eshu Wara, Olamide and others were supposed to sound so now I have a pronunciation guide.

There were three sentences that made me cringe. “In the hallway the goatman was asleep at the end of the hallway.” was one of them. The other two were worse. I’m going to be more careful when I proof read next time.

Getting my story out there in another medium is a damn good feeling.


Did you Know April is National Poetry Month?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tone @ 9:30 AM

There once was a Captain named Atom.
Quantum power was his to fathom.
He fought evil too
’til the last Crisis threw
a continuity reboot at him.

Time traveler Chronos the second,
audience he couldn’t quite beckon.
Cut short was his series
“Low sales” read the theories
But DC’s poor patience we reckon.

Behold a writer named Tone.
To write DC comics he would bone.
But the luster went out
when the news did come out
that DC had a bone of their own.

Dreams of 4 color glory were dashed
Never that sweet DC cash.
He’ll have nothing to do
with the New 52.
“I’ll burn all of my bridges with slash.”

Captain Atom and Chronos ‘came lovers
Their bodies each in turn did discover
of the pictorial
kept their man love under covers.

Corporations don’t take story chance-ahs
But you can find here in these stanzas
Scifi sodomy,
a man love odyssey
and super gay extravaganzas

They went at it, the sexual demons
Their genitals unbound and free, man.
Buttocks were spread
and events soon lead
to a crisis of infinite semen.


Reader in Peace

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tone @ 8:19 AM

You tell ‘em, Hitler.

While it might have been a financial loss for Google I think they underestimated how much good will Reader was buying them. It was a sign that Google was promoting an open web with a variety of creator owned sites. The opposite of the “Everyone get a Facebook page” attitude that’s turning the web into a Zuckerberg owned enterprise.

Yes, it was more popular among the tech savvy and yes, the tech savvy were less likely to click on their ads. But we’re the ones who help the rest of the population with these kinds of services. We’re also the early adopters. And after losing Reader I’m less likely to invest my time and energy in any future Google projects. At least Gmail is probably safe for now, as long as Google+ keeps flailing it’s the only thing it’s that keeps people logged into their Google accounts.

Well I’ve switched my feeds over to The Old Reader. At least for now. With no adds and no subscription I have no idea how their business model works but they are what Google Reader was and that’s good enough for me.


The Faith Machine Milestone 2, the Faithening

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tone @ 7:30 AM

The Faith Machine - first draft

You’re looking at the first three chapters and prolog; 1439 pages at approximately 100 words per page. Handwritten because at the early stages of a story being one a computer is too distracting. If this were to go to print now it’d be about 56 pages in a book. But it won’t be printed. It’s not worthy. Because inside these pages there’s a meandering storyline that needs tightening, sentences that need restructuring, paragraphs that need tightening and spelling that needs some serious correcting.

But there’s some good stuff too. For one there’s a lot of action. Picking Up the Ghost was criticized as a slow starter. That won’t happen again. Also an ensemble lets me play with a diverse series of challenges and I’ve already started thinking about writing a series of short stories featuring members of the supporting cast.

In the meantime I’m going to take the weekend off to let the pages settle. And then on to the second draft, my favorite draft of all.


Code of Silence

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tone @ 3:20 PM

Some guy who isn’t Tone: In Words With Friends ‘Jem’ isn’t a word! J. E. M.

Some girl who isn’t Melissa: No, honey, that’s from Jem and the Holograms.

Some guy who isn’t Tone: … You are never to tell anyone of this.


A pair of horrible gems; XTRO and Pontypool

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — Tone @ 12:23 PM
A pair of horrible gems; XTRO and Pontypool

There’s no fighting the 40s and I choose to age gracefully. That means coming to terms with; I’m no longer in DC Comics target demo, cholesterol is not my friend, and I’ll never be scared by a movie again.

Actually, horror movies haven’t scared me in a long time because most are written for teenagers and I’ve written them off as such. But I’m trying to appreciate horror the same way I do other media. As jaded as I’ve become I now find satisfaction in the pleasant little surprises. The stories that impress me now are the ones that make me think ,”Where’d they come up with that?”

Here are two:


I discovered this one from a segment on Red Letter Media where they go looking for the worse movies for mocking diagnosis. They had to admit that XTRO was a pleasant surprise.

And who can blame them for thinking that this was 100% bad. Judge that movie by it’s poster. Instead XTRO is a well conceived, crafted and really creepy film about abandonment by a father. If they had bigger effects and promotions budgets this would be considered a classic.

There’s no messing around from the start. Dad is abducted by aliens in front if his son. Years later he returns as a psychic parasitoid, like you do, with a plan to take his spawn to the stars. The father rapes himself back to his human form by way of an innocent woman who just wanted to feed her dog and steps back into his old life so casually it makes him more alien rather than coming across like sloppy storytelling expediency.

Xtro on DVD


I’m burnt out on zombies. But this is an excellent execution of Our Zombies are Different… well I don’t want to spoil it.

What if Talk Radio was a horror movie? And like Talk Radio this movie owes a lot to its lead, Stephen McHattie, as the charismatic Don Imus type.

The setting is a news radio station in a small Canadian town. Which makes for a locked room horror movie. Instead of excessive rampaging hordes the news is trickling into the scene. Calls from listeners, reports from their helicopter reporter. Like the shark in Jaws they don’t show the monster too soon.

But the spin isn’t pure novelty and by the end you see why a man with a mic is humanities best hope.

Pontypoolon DVD

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