Inquisitive: An Introduction
River Ram Press is happy to be working with Hassan Izzo on a new creative series, Inquisitive. Look forward for part 1 of 16 being publishing on November 7, and will continue every other Friday for your enjoyment!
By Hassan Izzo
The very first story that I can recall where I actually sat down and put onto paper was about two special agents joining forces to investigate a case. The lady (I can’t remember what I called her) was an FBI agent and agent Federov was her Ukrainian counterpart. They were working on a murder case that required the main characters respective governments to work together. Other than there being trust issues between the two characters, I can’t remember anything relating to how the story unfolds.
What I do know is that working on my latest story Inquisitive has been the catalyst for making me look back over the stories I’ve written over the years. It’s strange to think that the special agent story is something I wrote nigh – if not over – twenty years ago. Strange but also heartening when I think that I’m just about in my twenties.
Writing has been one of the few constants in my life, and I quickly developed a style that also became a steady comfort. Swiftly moving away from tales of FBI agents, my writing became infused and characterised by my surroundings and upbringing in South East London. The shortest way to describe the kinds of things these stories were/are about would be to give a roll call of buzz words most associated with such a backdrop: council estates, sex and violence. Of course there is more to them than that; there’s humour, friendship, hope, frustration, and as I got older, more expansive themes such as race, class, and deprivation. My surroundings were and continue to be my canvas and inspiration.
Recently though, I’ve been finding ideas coming to me that had never previously come to mind. These stories featured alternate universes, time travel, doppelgangers, ghosts, demons, heaven and hell.
That ultimately is where Inquisitive sprung from; a story born from an exploration of new inspirations. It was in embracing these new ideas that I ended up with a strange little story about a young man addicted to seeing through his inquisitive urges, even when those urges are things such as finding out first-hand what it feels like to get hit by a car.
It this inquisitiveness that drives him to try and find out if there is anything on the ‘other side’ when his grandfather dies. Unfortunately for him, in his attempt to glimpse into what lies beyond, he gets a lot more than he bargained for.
Like any other writer, Hassan Antonio Izzo is happiest when he is sat at his desk putting words down on paper; whether it be updating his blog, working on a short story, script, poetry, journalism, or wrestling with his first novel. If anything stands a chance of getting him away from his desk, a few drinks with friends would stand a good one. His biggest claim to fame is that Quentin Tarantino loved his Mr T t-shirt when he met him; which was pretty cool.
A proud South Londoner, you can follow on Twitter @Hassanizzo86