Short Stories

My Writing & The Best of Old Time Radio

My Writing & The Best of Old Time Radio

Over the past several weeks, a number of people who have read or have heard me read aloud some short stories from my upcoming collection of fiction, What Lies In Wait, have commented that the stories would make intriguing radio plays and they remind them of those old time radio shows that aimed to give listeners a late night chill. There’s likely a good reason for this, as old time radio has long been a quiet passion of mine. Over the years I have been listening to a wide variety of suspense, mystery, horror, and crime radio programs from the 1930s through the late 1960s, using the Old Time Radio Internet Archive, which has hundreds if not thousands of episodes available for streaming or downloading. To say they have affected my storytelling in recent years is probably not giving them enough credit, as I’ve become absolutely fascinated with the eerie tension within these stories

If you like podcasts like Serial, or if you are an audio-book junkie, you’ll love some of these old programs, and many are complete with their original commercials for everything from Wheaties to wine, coal to car batteries, and even U.S. war bonds. I throw them on my iPod and ride the subways of NYC listening to some of the best actors and writers to ever lend their talents to radio, people like Ray Bradbury, Humphrey Bogart, Vincent Price, Dorothy L. Sayers, Lucille Ball, Orson Welles, and many others. Below are my Top Five favorite programs that I highly recommend for all of you out there. 

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What Lies In Wait: Crawling Closer Every Day

I'm getting closer to having my next collection of short stories - What Lies In Wait - ready for all you eager readers out there, if only to help you level out your uneven coffee tables and couches. In all seriousness, I'm hoping you'll enjoy these fifteen eerie, pulpy, humorous, and memoir-ific tales, exploring all kinds of genres and stories, everything from a young boy's adventures while running away to the circus, a woman's struggle to decide what to do when the ghosts in her house portend a coming evil, and even a lumberjack stranded in the deep woods who finds himself hunted by an unspeakable, writhing beast. I'm getting back some fantastic edits and feedback from test readers, and there's some proofreading left to do, but the book is getting closer to a release with each passing week. Stay tuned! 

What Lies In Wait, a New Review, and Other Updates!

What Lies In Wait, a New Review, and Other Updates!

I have so many new writing updates that I'll present them to you in lightning-round format. Ready? Let's go!

1. What Lies In Wait will be the title of my upcoming collection of short stories, and I'm aiming for a mid-2015 release. I'm extremely happy that all fifteen stories are now finished, or finished enough for beta readers to finally give them a look. There's still tweaking and proofing to do, but the final lineup is set and it feels like a relief. All fifteen tales share elements of apprehension, fear, and a challenge to face, whether it's something out there in the dark or something within that must be put down. Half are straight-up horror, while others blend mystery, noir, and survival tropes into tales that fall between literary and genre-driven stories. I'm looking forward to feedback, and I'm always open to new test readers! 

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The Cards We Keep - Signed Copies Available

Signed copies of my short story collection The Cards We Keep will soon be available again! The book includes ten stories of down-and-out private detectives, bounty hunters on the run, disgraced celebrities, crumbling marriages, and boxcar hobos heading for the end of the line in search of love, redemption, and maybe just a little peace in this crazy world. Author Bud Smith recently said the books contains "wonderfully written short stories that take on a wide variety of genres, purposefully, and carries them through to succession with some sharp writing, interesting characters, and non-formulaic plotting." (See the full review at the link.) There are also a growing number of great reviews over at Goodreads. If there are any presses or magazines that would like to review the book, I have free PDFs and e-reader files I can send along. Just shoot me an email at jhdwriting@hotmail.com for details. Thanks for all of your support!  

Up The Staircase Quarterly's Book Review of 'The Cards We Keep'

Author, poet, and Up the Staircase Quarterly editor April Michelle Bratten has posted a great review of my collection of short fiction, The Cards We Keep. In part she says, "Duncan’s characters are genuinely interesting and relatable in all of these ten stories, no matter what strange or dangerous predicaments they might have gotten themselves into… (continued) 

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