This page provides background on me as a fiction writer.
I began writing my first novel at the age of 9. I soon concluded I couldn’t compete with Edgar Rice Burroughs and stopped. At the age of 16, however, I began writing again, and submitted stories to editors, especially in the science fiction field.
Harry Harrison was the first editor with the honor to reject one of my stories. But far from the last.
Within a few years I sold a few short stories to what were called semiprozines. “Prozine” is short for “professional magazine.” Therefore, a semiprozine is a publication that pays, but not enough to be fully fledged professional.
At the age of 21, I made my first “prozine” sale — an American Indian fantasy short story to FANTASTIC.
I sold a few more stories, to both prozines and semiprozines, then focused on writing novels, where the real was (and is), but never sold any to traditional publishers.
My best novel of that period was a near-future dystopian SF story featuring a hardboiled detective. At the Boston Worldcon of 1980, I met an associate editor for a major publisher who told me he liked it and would have bought it, but the main editor said SF mystery/detective novels didn’t sell well.
My fiction career failing to get any traction, and with more life happening, I wound up married and working for the federal government, then divorced and working a zillion part time jobs as well on top of the civil service gig.
Now I’m retired from the federal government and back to writing.
Thank you, Amazon, for Kindle. And Smashwords, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Apple, Kobo, and Sony.
My first published novel is Virgin Blood, a horror thriller. I recently published a young adult science fiction thriller, Assassin Years, under the penname Melody Ryan.
My previously published short stories, and few that never sold (but should have), are now available.
I enjoy reading and writing thrillers, horror, paranormal, dark fantasy, contemporary fantasy, science fiction, suspense, mysteries of all kinds, young adult, and whatever else is both thrilling and out of the ordinary.
I am published by In Dreams Extreme Press.
I am published on Amazon’s Kindle and CreateSpace (their print on demand unit, for people who prefer paper books), Barnes & Noble’s Nook, Kobo, Diesel, Smashwords, Sony, Apple, Diesel, Page Foundry, and Baker-Taylor’s Blio.
I hail from the Mississippi River town of Alton, Illinois.
Rich in history, Alton provides a combination of the idyllic Illinois background Ray Bradbury wrote of; the Mississippi River and bluffs of Mark Twain; and a rich, unique history — often violent.
From the Indian legend of the Piasa Bird, to the tallest man who ever lived (Robert Wadlow), to the assassin of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., James Earl Ray.
FATE Magazine terms Alton “The most haunted small town in America.”
My childhood home stands close to the route where Union Army wagons once carried the corpses of Confederate prisoners who died of smallpox. At 8 years old, I first heard of James Earl Ray, (who later assassinated Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) Ray robbed a grocery story owned by the grandparents of close neighbors and friends.
In 1974 a still-unknown murderer abducted one of my friends from a record store and killed him. He was newly hired as a clerk in the store, which was owned by the father of one of my college friends. Several years later, the father of other childhood friends went on a jealousy-inspired, mass murder spree, killing three people — including my high school class president — before committing suicide.
My over 30 years for a social service government agency gave me a broad background of dealing with both the worst and best people in modern society.
When I write, I realize the horror and joy of every day life inspire dark fantasy stories.
My job history includes 30 years with a government social service agency, walking the toughest streets of St. Louis as a door-to-door cable TV salesperson, and delivering pizzas in and around Rock Hill.
Published Fiction of Richard Stooker:
1. CATALYST Vol 1, No 7 1970: “In the Still Water a Candle Burns”
2. MOONBROTH 6 1972: “The Other Man, The Other Side”
3. IRRATIONAL 1 1971: “Road to War-El”
4. BREAKTHROUGH 4 1974: “Genesis Sutra”
5. SPACE AND TIME 13: “The Enchanted City”
6. BREAKTHROUGH 3 4/ 1974: “Ann’s Song’s”
7. FANTASTIC December 75: “The Pi-A-Saw Bird”
8. AMAZING February 79: “The Copper Quarter”
9. ARCHON 7 Program Book July 1983: “The Wrong Bettor”
10. STARWIND Vol 2, No 2, Autumn 1977: “To Fill the Starry Abyss”
11. THE TWILIGHT ZONE March 1982: “Breakthrough”
12. science fiction radio play broadcast May 17, 1981: “The Day”
13. DREAMFLOWERING (by “Ryan Davison”)
14. VAMPIRE’S CRYPT 5 Spring 1992: “BloodFire”
15. “Mirror Maze” by “Ryan Davison”
16. BARDIC RUNES IX: “Stick and the Lion”
17. “Heaven’s Burning”
18. “Light of Tina”
19. “The Moon Queen”
20. “The Sin You Take” by “Ryan Davison”
21. “Mabini Shadows”
22. VIRGIN BLOOD
23. ASSASSIN YEARS (by “Melody Ryan”)