“If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go. I can’t allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative.”
—Elmore Leonard

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(pronounced Ko-Hane)
Dan is the Bram Stoker-nominated author of Plague of Darkness, Solomon’s Grave, and the critically-acclaimed Margaret's Ark. Writing as G. Daniel Gunn, he released Destroyer of Worlds and the novella (written with L.L.Soares) Nightmare in Greasepaint (Samhain Publishing),. His short stories have appeared in Cemetery Dance, Shroud Magazine, Apex Digest and many more. He and his family live in New England.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Charging Towards THE END, again!

So, yes, I typed THE END on the first draft of my latest horror novel, appropriately enough, a couple of weeks back on Halloween. Then November came along and I had two choices: begin editing Lost in the Woods (or The Woods, or The Thinning, whatever I end up with as a title) in earnest, or… I went with or…

Over the past couple of years, I’d been working on two novels concurrently: the above title, and Plague of Locusts. Where Woods is a fairly straight horror novel, and as such will be authored by my dark half, G Daniel Gunn, Plague of Locusts falls in line with my other biblical-themed suspense novels, written under my actual name. There’s a difference in this particular story though: it science fiction. I've been a sci-fi fan since I was a kid, and a few years back decided to give it a go, myself. After finishing an early version of Plague of Darkness, the idea for Plague of Locusts was spawned by a one-paragraph blurb I’d written (and subsequently forgotten about) in a notebook during a very boring meeting at work. The scene I’d written became the opening scene of Locusts….

So, anyway, I finished Woods the other day and knew that I had only 30,000 words or so left to write in the first draft of Locusts. After some prayerful debating, I decided that in honor of NaNoWriMo this month, I’d put the horror novel aside to ferment for a few weeks before jumping back in to edit, and finish the first draft of Locusts. So far I have written around 7K words, picking up where I left off last winter. I really like this novel – a lot of characters who feel fleshed out. It’s fun to write about them. This could end up being a series, as sci-fi novels sometimes end up doing, but who knows. It’s definitely open to it. Wish me luck. I may not write 50,000 new words for NaNoWriMo, but I’m aiming to at least finish the first draft of a second novel in only a month!

Sunday, November 01, 2015


Just yesterday I typed the oft-sought after words THE END at the completion of a new novel, tentatively titled Lost In The Woods (might change it to The Thinning). Now, it's just the first draft, so have a long journey of revision ahead of me, but that's OK. I like revision. Like smoothing and polishing a statue (I guess - never actually carved a statue, but allow me my metaphors). LitW is a novel I'd started a few years back.... quite a few, actually. I'd put it down, pick it up, worked on Plague of Locusts for a time, went back to Plague of Darkness and massively rewrote that novel. But kept finding myself returning to this book. It's goofy fun horror, but since no real biblical connection (loose tie to mythical concept of Purgatory, but not really), it'll be under my pseudonym G. Daniel Gunn. More as revisions commence.

In the meantime, it's November, National Novel Writing Month. I might jump back in to finish the first draft of Plague of Locusts this month, then go back to Lost in the Woods. If I do that, I'll have two complete novels, one for each name. :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Margaret's Ark Audio Book Coming Soon!

In just a couple of weeks, the Audio Book of Margaret's Ark will be released. Narrator Caroline Miller has done over and above my expectations with the reading of this novel. And I imagine it wasn't easy, considering how many characters are in this story. Her voice and style is perfect for the novel. It was very cool, listening chapter by chapter someone reading Margaret's Ark. I'm very, very excited about this release. Soon to be available at Audible.com, Amazon and iTunes. More details as we approach!!!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Next Level in the Papers

I've been promoting the anthology pretty consistently, time for a change of pace: the Worcester Telegram ran a cool article about our church - Next Level Church - the other day. We meet in a movie theater and recently merged with a large, multi-site church (we used to be called Fellowship Church). Short but nice article on us here: http://www.telegram.com/article/20151010/ENTERTAINMENTLIFE/151019938

Friday, October 23, 2015

Last Stop: Krampus

https://christinehaytonwrites.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/winterwood.jpgSo we come to the last stop on the Childhood Fears blog tour, with author Christine Hayton, author of the novella Scarecrows which is part of the collection, discussing some decidedly dark (I mean dark, people) traditions of Christmases past, in honor of J.G. Faherty's novella Winterwood. Not the spiritual side, but the traditions the world comes up with over the centuries. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Childhood Fears: L.L. Soares and I Talk Scarecrows!


In honor of the release of the novella collection, CHILDHOOD FEARS (Samhain, 2015), containing our novella Nightmare in Greasepaint, as well as J.H. Moncrieff's The Bear Who Wouldn't Leave, J.G. Faherty's Winterwood, and Christine Hayton's Scarecrows, L.L. Soares and I discuss our own childhood fears, in particular: Scarecrows...

(THE SCENE: A cornfield at night. DAN KEOHANE and L.L. SOARES meet in the middle of the stalks. DAN sees a flashlight beam and waves his arm.)

DAN: There you are. I thought you’d leave me waiting here all night. And there have been lots of spooky noises…

LL: This cornfield is so weird. I actually feel smaller. (Looks behind stalks). Hey kid, where’s Dan?

DAN: It’s me. I’m a kid again. So are you. There’s something magical in this field.

LL: (holds his hands out in front of him) Wow. This is so weird. And it must be close to Halloween, because you're dressed as… who are you dressed as?

DAN:  G Daniel Gunn

LL: Who? Oh, never mind. So why did you ask me to come here at midnight?

DAN: So we could discuss our CHILDHOOD FEARS of course. And we’ve been given a topic. Scarecrows.

LL: Like the one hanging over there (Points flashlight). I have to admit, that’s the most lifelike scarecrow I’ve ever seen. I almost expect it to jump off its post and dance around.

DAN: When I was a kid, scarecrows were usually fun. I never considered them frightening in any way, just big like pillows stuffed with leaves, with badly-made paper bag heads. Not to mention the Scarecrow from THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939) was one cool dude.

LL: If he only had a brain! Maybe he was a hungry zombie!

DAN: All was Great Pumpkin fun, until—and I’m dating myself here—I saw a commercial for the Wonderful World of Disney’s Sunday night movie THE SCARECROW OF ROMNEY MARSH (at least I think that was it, 1964… though for me it must have been a re-run since I would have been only 1 year old).

LL: Hey, I remember THE SCARECROW OF ROMNEY MARSH on Wonderful World of Disney, too. It must have been a rerun, since we would have been way too young when it first aired.  They basically took a British movie called DR. SYN, ALIAS THE SCARECROW from 1963 and chopped it up into chapters for TV. Dr. Syn was the leader of a band of rebels who dressed like a scarecrow and rode around on horseback scaring people. Or something like that. I remember the scarecrow left a big impression on me, too. At the time, I thought it looked so cool!

DAN: Not that I went running in the other direction when I saw a real scarecrow (like I did, and still do, with clowns), but suddenly there was a darker side to a normally fun tradition. During the day they were still fun, dog-pee laced leaves raked in a pile and stuffed into old pants and shirts.

LL: Ah, the joys of suburban life.

(A RUSTLING sound is heard. LL turns his flashlight beam on the scarecrow behind them, but the pole it was tied to is empty)

LL: Where did that scarecrow go?

DAN: He probably just fell down…..I hope. Anyway, years later I’d be shocked to learn the man behind the ROMNEY MARSH scarecrow mask was one of my favorites, Patrick McGoohan, from THE PRISONER TV series.

LL: Yeah, I liked McGoohan, too. He was also in the Disney production THE THREE LIVES OF THOMASINA (1963), about a cat that brings a girl and her father closer together. How sweet! DR. SYN/ROMNEY MARSH was actually the second version of the story. The first one was in 1962 and was a Hammer film called NIGHT CREATURES, which featured Peter Cushing in the lead role as Dr. Blyss. But instead of dressing up as scarecrows they dressed up as skeletons on horseback!

DAN: But back to scarecrows. When evening fell in Octobers, and the winds picked up and everything got very Ray Bradbury-ish, I’d remember that stupid, scary commercial and a sense of dread would begin creeping in. Hollywood (and all those friggin' horror writers) has a nasty way of peeling back the goofy marker faces of our childhood joy and adding a dose of our nightmares to the mix. I remember the commercial for ROMNEY MARSH more than the series. Much like the commercial for MAGIC (1978) gave me ventriloquist dummy nightmares for years, this commercial put a dark, terrifying spin on such a fun aspect of October. Granted, I was a bit of a sensitive little soul, I was.

LL: That commercial for MAGIC was amazing—and much scarier than the actual movie. I’m sure lots of kids had nightmares about that one. The best/scariest commercials when I was growing up were that one and the one for Dario Argento’s SUSPIRIA (1977), where a woman has her back to us and is brushing her hair and suddenly she turns around and SHE HAS A SKULL FACE! Ahhh, the days of great movie commercials. They don’t make ‘em like that anymore.

(More RUSTLING among the corn stalks. DAN and LL wave their flashlights around, but they don’t see anything. Now it sounds like multiple RUSTLINGS)

LL: I always thought scarecrows were very atmospheric and had the potential to be great movie monsters. There’s also a cool TV movie called DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW (1981). I always wondered why there weren’t more movies about supernatural scarecrows. They look so great. It just seemed natural to me that they should become horror icons, especially since scarecrows and jack-o-lanterns are so strongly identified with Halloween. But unfortunately, they never caught on in the movies, like vampires or zombies.

DAN: Yea, because the nature of scarecrows can be pretty frightening. String up a likeness of a man in a field, and let the wind move it about. A makeshift, rural crucifixion. There's something macabre and wild about these things.

LL: Not to mention they're so closely associated with autumn, the harvest and slow death of summer.  

DAN: So, what scared you as a kid?

LL: I remembered other kids would have nightmares after seeing horror movies. That never happened to me. I guess I identified too much with the monsters. I seem to remember seeing stuff on the news – “real life” horrors – that were scarier than any scarecrow or clown.

DAN: Funny you say that. Between us we've got the universe of fear covered. You'd peer under the shades of your bedroom at night and see a serial killer standing there, looking back up at you.

LL: Dressed as a scarecrow!

DAN: Me, I'd see a demonic scarecrow with a scythe.

LL: Or a clown.

DAN: A scarecrow and a clown?

LL: Why not? Everyone needs a friend.

DAN: Of course there was that night when I was cutting across a field as a short cut and passed a scarecrow mounted up on a stake, then heard a rustle behind me, turned and noticed it was gone. But the rustling continued, and got closer. But that’s another story. It probably just fell.

LL: Really?

DAN: No, I made that up.

(RUSTLING gets very loud, and LL turns to train his flashlight on a whole ARMY of scarecrows approaching them, some holding pitchforks and scythes)

DAN: Where did they come from?

LL: I don’t know, but they look angry. Maybe they don’t like us talking about them in the middle of a cornfield.

VOICE (suddenly very loud and close): I am He Who Walks Behind the Rows!

DAN: You don’t have to tell me twice. Let’s get out of here!

http://smile.amazon.com/Scarecrows-Childhood-Fears-Christine-Hayton-ebook/dp/B00UOL3V9M/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1445345282&sr=1-1&keywords=scarecrows+hayton(DAN and L.L. run away)

If scarecrows scared you as a kid, or still do, check out Christine Hayton's novella Scarecrows, part of Samhain Publishing's collection CHILDHOOD FEARS.

They do more than frighten birds. Much more.

Early one morning in the fall of 1964, Robert searched for his missing six-year-old daughter, Cathy. He found her asleep in a nearby cornfield, covered in blood and holding a small axe. A few feet away lay the mutilated body of her classmate Emily.

Assumed guilty of murder, Cathy lived in a hospital for insane children. She always gave the same account of what happened. She talked of murderous scarecrows that roamed the cornfield on moonlit nights. Her doctors considered her delusional. The police, her neighbors and the press thought she was dangerous. And so she remained incarcerated. No one believed her. That was a mistake.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Author J.H. Moncrieff On Killer Clowns (Imagined AND Real), and Childhood Fears

Clowns are strange entertainment for children, at least to some of us, and sometimes, they can be deadly. In honor of the release of the novella collection CHILDHOOD FEARS (Samhain Publishing), the authors of the four stories contained therein are discussing what fears affected us.

As a child, and as adults.

Because sometimes, the monsters are real. Author J.H. Moncrieff drags into the light the question: what real nightmares strike terror in the hearts of society. Killer clowns, both imagined, and real. Click Here to read a discussion about the most terrible of the bunch.....

Also included is an interview with me and co-author of "Nightmare in Greasepaint," L.L. Soares.