April 1, 2013

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The Darkling

I’ve always loved scary stories. Back when I was a child, our whole family watched Boris Karloff’s THRILLER, all huddled up on the sofa together. And THE DARKLING is a story that’s been with me for a long time.

The original idea came to me one night when I loved on Old Bay Front Road. I was out at night jogging with my dog, Ouzo. Old Bay Front was a dead end road that went right along the bay. I lived in an old officer’s house and could jog the three mile loop up to the old Officer’s Club (which was now the administration offices for the USA Brookley campus) and back. Ouzo was my trusty companion because this was a rather isolated area.

So I set out jogging and realized Ouzo wasn’t with me. I turned around to search from him and standing under a street light was a little blonde child. He stood so eerily that it creeped me out. And he was between me and my house. And Ouzo had disappeared.

My heart was pounding and I stood in the middle of the road and he stood under the streetlight, his blond hair highlighted. Only there were no little blond children living on my road.

Worried about my dog, I started toward him with great reluctance. And as I grew closer, I realized something was very wrong with him. And then he smiled.

And that, my friends, is when I realized that my imagination had given me a great gift!

This is the seed for THE DARKLING. I hope you enjoy the story.


“…sharp and edgy gothic thriller…”  Publishers Weekly

“In this unsettling piece of American gothic, the arrival of a 16-year-old foster child results in the unraveling of a close-knit family, arousing the suspicions of their young nanny. With its 1974 setting and slow burn narrative, The Darkling is a throwback to a time when the novels of Ira Levin and Thomas Tryon ruled bookshelves, when the most popular horror novels were both literary and scary.” —Bloody-disgusting.com

“A good storyteller – and R. B. Chesterton is quite a good storyteller – knows to lower her voice when she’s talking about ghosts…[a] spellbinding tale, offering eloquent evidence that Southern storytelling is indeed a very special art form.” The New York Times Book Review

“As the questions hover and grow more intense, it’s virtually impossible not to pursue the answers to the end. In fact, as [Chesterton’s] novel gains momentum like a fast-moving train, it’s hard to put the book down at all. Not for nothing is she one of our most decorated writers.” —Alabama Writers Forum

“Reminiscent in many ways of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels, only fresher with a bit more of an edge and none of the pretentiousness.”Providence Journal-Bulletin

“Who doesn’t love a spin-tingling ghost story? Even better, a ghost story so grounded in reality that it keeps you awake reading and sticks with you even in the daylight hours. Another winner from the author of more than 21 books in various genres.” Delta Magazine

“With The Darkling, [Chesterton] firmly reestablishes herself as a queen of darkness and suspense.” Southern Literary Review