tone milazzo

one monkey, no typewriters

tone milazzo


Picking Up the Ghost
a YA urban fantasy of ghosts, lies, and voodoo

tone milazzo

one monkey, no typewriters

tone milazzo


Running Wild Anthology of Stories Vol. 2
featuring ‘The Ginger Jar’

tone milazzo

one monkey, no typewriters

tone milazzo

one monkey, no typewriters

tone milazzo

one monkey, no typewriters

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San Diego writer of speculative fiction in prose and comics. Author of the YA urban fantasy Picking Up the Ghost, the upcoming E.S.P. and espionage novel The Faith Machine, and the upcoming graphic novel Dead Woman.

Open to freelance work punching up stories or homepages, script-doctoring, beta reads, or other opinion vendings. Represented by Cherry Weiner

Stories have been with us since the first hunter told another about the one who got away. Stories are what make us human. Stories lead to understanding. Stories are cooked. Fiction, religion, biographies, gossip, gaming, and history it all goes into the pot and out comes as fiction. To those ends I’ve been around, professionally speaking. Marine, taxi driver, teacher, scientist, and coder. This breath of experience has given me a little knowledge about a lot of things, good and bad.

A good story reaches beyond the scope of its words.

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I don’t gush autobiographical for a reason.

In my queries a lot of agents want to know about me. “What is it about you that makes you uniquely qualified to write this book?”

Nothing. Picking Up the Ghost is about a poor, African-American kid dealing with ghosts and voodoo in a run down Midwest town. I’m a white, software engineer from San Diego who reads too many comics. But I wrote the book anyway, I used research and imagination.

But they want to be able to market fiction like they market celebrity biographies. Someone they can sell on the talk show circuit. Like James Frey, the Million Little Pieces guy.

Are good writers really that interesting when you put them on paper? Or even better, are financially successful writers interesting on paper? Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Stephanie Meyer, Dan Brown. You know what else these people have in common? They’re not story material.

The only thing interesting about King was his cocaine addiction and that was after he’d hit the best seller list. J.K. Rowling’s life was a struggle but she kept that to herself even as the first Harry Potter book took off. She even kept her gender a secret at first. Meyer was a housewife with fantasies about 17 year old boys.

I’m not saying that these people aren’t interesting in conversation. In fact I’d love to talk to any one of them. I’m just saying their stories, the stories of their lives, like most of us, are pretty dull.

If my success as a writer is determined by how interesting my life has been then I’m doomed because I’ve been working as a software engineer on accounting software for the last five years. I have to believe that the agents are wrong. I’ve been rejected by over twenty of them so of course they’re wrong.

Or maybe I could fictionalize myself. It worked for Hunter S. Thompson, Baron Munchausen and Grant Morrison.

He can’t be promoting The Graveyard Book, can he?

Neil Gaiman’s in China which is weird to me. Because just about everything he’s written has had a ghost or spirit in it and as I understand it ghosts aren’t allowed in books or movies by the Communist government (which gave up on actual communism years ago) .

Why? Because they’ve been trying to suppress the Chinese superstition of ancestor worship and it’s easier to say “no ghosts across the board” than get into the ghost’s family tree.

This is been one of my success/power fantasies for the last couple of years; that Picking Up the Ghost is successful enough for my to afford to have it translated into a Mandarin ebook which I would distribute freely inside China.

I have politically charged fantasies.

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