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On May 10th, 2011 at 11:00 p.m. I typed “The End” on the manuscript for my first novel, currently entitled, THE SHIFT.  In many ways, this work was over 30 years in the making.  Following are thoughts on my first foray into the (extra) long-form narrative:

heer terror.  That is what prevented me from attempting to write a novel until I made it past the golden age of fifty.  Although I had been a die-hard reader since childhood, a movie fanatic since what has seemed like fetal-hood and a would-be writer since the age of seven, I could never quite bring myself to take on the novel.  Yes, I was well aware of the dramatic form, particularly after a thirty-year career in the theater as an actor and stage manager, and especially after watching what must be well above five thousand movies in theaters and on television during my half century of life.  Surely I had more than a passing understanding of what it took to formulate a long, three-act literary piece complete with, as Aristotle advised:  plot, character, meaning and spectacle.

As much as I’ve been a man of ideas since back in the day, I could never wrap my mind around fulfilling an entire breakdown of chapters and scenes.  It was simply too massive an order, and I was not confident enough in my abilities as a writer to believe that I could come up with that much step-by-step material.

I had a recurring dream in college, circa 1977, that forever haunted me. View full article »

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THE KEENING MAN was finally released as a Kindle e-book during Saint Patrick’s week in both the UK and the United States.  This entertaining chapbook contains both the title story, concerning the legendary Irish apparition known as the Banshee haunting a couple of visiting American lads, as well as the Science Fiction invasion story, TUESDAY NIGHT’S PICK.

This second offering takes place during the late shift at an isolated Massachusetts distribution plant, as a lonely worker discovers that View full article »

THE KEENING MAN Book Cover illustration by Neil Jackson!

The Keening Man, will be released in Winter 2010-11 by Ghostwriter Publications as part of their popular Penny Dreadful chapbooks.  A creepy modern Irish tale of the Banshee, the spirit whose mournful cries can be heard when death is in the air.  The volume will also contain Richard’s take on a Science Fiction invasion story, Tuesday Night’s Pick. Read excerpt here.

At age twenty-one, Rhode Island’s most famous master of the macabre, H. P. Lovecraft, was a high school drop-out; an awkward and emotionally crippled shut-in who wrote all night and slept by day.  His only pleasures came from weaving his own bizarre, fledgling stories and composing his science column for The Providence Journal.  A request to edit a U.S. edition of Bram Stoker’s Dracula emboldens him to investigate Rhode Island’s own vampire legend, Mercy Brown, resulting in a showdown that would forever change the literature of horror!


s he reversed the car, I couldn’t help but look back at the pitch black graveyard.  There was a round, blue orb of light hovering over the area where Mercy Brown was buried.  I didn’t bother alerting Bernie to its presence.  I knew it was there expressly for me.

*     *     *

On the ride home, even after I’d calmed, I could not shake the distinct feeling that we were being followed.  There wasn’t another soul on the road, and I felt silly as I looked behind us for the fifth time. View full article »

An American businessman’s best friend tags along for an assignment in Ireland, where he encounters a legendary, frightening Banshee.

hey settled into the little cottage the first day.  Todd had company on the second; Billy already had to report to work.  Barclay Fowler, renter of houses and used furniture, was the contact for Todd in Clare, and quite the character.

He was a short, cheerful Irishman with light curly hair and gold spectacles.  He was talking to Todd and fixing a small problem with the peat stove, while, of course, enjoying a few cans of stout.  Annie O’Halloran, a short, cheerful Irishwoman with light curly hair, whom Billy had employed as sometime housekeeper, was also there.  Her 12-year-old boy Shane accompanied her, and Todd let him use his handheld video game.  Annie was busy washing and hanging curtains while the pack of them had a breezy exchange. View full article »

Published in Issue #7 of Shroud Magazine, The Journal of Dark Fiction and Art


Brooke and Dorian are a golden couple who’ve had all of life’s favor until their car inexplicably breaks down on their return home from the Halloween celebrations in Arkham, Massachusetts.  They would get stuck in creepy Innsmouth in the middle of the night!  Could rumored legends of the transformation of Innsmouth’s seafaring residents be true?  They’re about to encounter some disagreeable denizens in this Lovecraftian assault.

alloween’s lookin’ up.  We’ll take this one inside, won’t we love?” said the older woman.

“Yes Mommy,” said the younger female, who’d been quiet up to now.  She smiled at Brooke as if to say, I’m about to do your boyfriend. Brooke had the silly thought of liking her bracelets. View full article »

The world was unaware that Edgar Allan Poe had written a sequel to one of his most famous tales of terror, The Cask of Amontillado, until the ghost story was found in the home of one of his erstwhile fiancées, thirty years after his death.

A descendant of Montresor has moved his family into the palace, and the young teenage son is checking the place out.


it was much affected by his parents’ obvious unhappiness.  He tried a new start in the home, attending his lessons and playing with two-year-old Alice.  He had yet to begin his new school –Oh the dread!  On this lazy afternoon he ached for word from the mates he left behind.

The palazzo did hold wonders.  He would again have to create his own amusement.

He bounded off the bed to jaunt about the place.  Kit never got very far.  His overactive imagination precluded venturing toward the dark nooks of fascination.  Nowhere in the vastness could he escape the notion that one was always being watched.  He confined himself to well lit hallways.  After dark, chandeliers emblazoned every room in gilded splendor, but an overcast afternoon set the palazzo in dull gray, allowing one to imagine all sorts of phantoms among the relics. View full article »

The tiny Puritan settlement of Piety, Massachusetts, in the year 1692. For a solitary practicing witch like Susanna Blood, not the most tolerant atmosphere to live in. But it could be far worse. In the nearby town of Salem, for instance, things are about to get very nasty!


usanna Blood performed her Mabon ritual late that night.  She thanked the Goddess for the bountiful harvest.  She sat cross-legged on the ground and began to concentrate on the point of light from one of her candles.  She breathed deeply in and out, rhythmically.  She imagined herself coming out of her body for an excursion.  She felt the sickening ooze and dimming of her consciousness which always occurred as she started an astral projection.  She knew by now that this was normal and would pass; it used to unnerve her and render the projection unsuccessful.  She began to sense the sludgy, milky feeling that accompanied this magic.

She saw herself put on her coat and walk out her door.  She saw herself move along the stone path, out to the village thoroughfare.  She thought about the Parker kitchen- and was instantly there.  She had to exercise incredible control in these instances as whatever was thought took place immediately.  She moved past the sleeping family toward a small curtained area that had been set up for the baby, to keep the others from infection.  Josiah and Elizabeth were lying awake and a few candles were lit.  They were listening for something. View full article »

STOKER’S BENEFACTOR

Years before writing his most famous novel, Bram Stoker is working as the business manager of the famed Lyceum Theater Company of London.  Wishing to make a hefty donation to the company: a mysterious, dapper Slavic gentleman visits the theater with plans to mix business AND pleasure.


Letter (By Hand), Actress Lillian Adams to Her Mother
Dublin, 12 August

D

earest Mother,
I pray this finds you well and that your terrible gout is not too discomforting this week. I shall be home soon, and I am well tired of this summer run. Coming directly off the season as it did, my fatigue is beyond measure. I am sure most people would think it quite glamorous, being an actress with London’s famous Lyceum Company, la-tee-da, but it has been mostly tedious for me here. Mrs. McBride at the rooming house, though, has been so very kind to me, as I have said before. She takes the time to ask what food would be to my liking. I know how you tease at my fussiness, but I cannot help it.

The house at the Theatre Royal here in Dublin has continued full, and the people are very appreciative. Hamlet is so damn long. Sorry, but ‘tis a burden I cannot describe waiting for my few scenes. Mr. Henry-Bloody-Irving drones on and on with his speeches and I would rather sit backstage watching paint dry. I know you and all of London adore him; he is our illustrious leader and I should be grateful for the exposure. Miss Ellen Terry generally keeps a good spirit with us girls, but the same cannot be said for Mr. Irving. Oh, my dear, he frightens me so. You recall that time he railed at me when I was behind in my entrance. Remember, Lord how I cried. Thank God I still got me looks, as they say at home. He mostly leaves me alone. View full article »

Richard Alan Scott  is a writer of dark yet accessible fiction which explores aspects of the human experience that remain unexplained, as well as those worlds which haunt our dreams or excite our imaginations.

About his writing, Richard says “I have been a huge fan of Horror, Fantasy and Science Fiction my whole life.  No one can stay on top of all the writing that exists, but I certainly have been reading and viewing these genres for nearly fifty years.  My goal with  writing is to create work that I, as a fanatic, would like to read.  I try very hard not to spend time on a piece if I can’t bring to it something I have not encountered before. View full article »