The first episode of The Twilight Zone I can remember watching (at age 10) was Season 2, Episode 6: “Eye of the Beholder.” Have you seen it?
It’s about a woman who has undergone eleven surgeries to make her face look normal. This is her last chance. The room is dark, except for the harsh lighting directed at the woman’s head, which is completely covered with bandages. The medical staff is sympathetic to her plight. It wasn’t her fault that she was born with a hideous face.
The doctor begins to carefully remove the bandages while warning the woman not to get her hopes up. Tension builds gradually throughout the show until it reaches a fever pitch.
Then her face is finally revealed AND…nothing. She’s beautiful. I’m so disappointed. I was expecting her to look like something dredged up from the bowels of inner earth.
Then they reveal the faces of the doctors and the nurses for the first time, and I absolutely freak out! They’ve got yucky pig faces, and they’re running after her. Yikes!!!
Rod Serling’s ground-breaking show was so much fun!
FYI: The beautiful woman was played by Donna Douglas (yes, that Donna Douglas, of Beverly Hillbillies fame).
Nightmares of a Novelist
Fast-forward to today. I’ve written ten novels and novellas and dozens of short stories. So I wanted to try something a little different. I thought, how about an audio podcast? I could write short stories specifically for the podcast. I could read/perform them myself.
And what if I wrote each story in first person? What if that person was me? What if I told them as things that actually happened to me?
I was liking it. It sounded fun.
And what if I composed and recorded my own eerie orchestral theme music? Yeah, I could do that too.
So, I did it. I created Nightmares of a Novelist, an audio podcast. Each episode is a brand new, stand-alone short story told by me.
I’m not saying it will be ground-breaking like The Twilight Zone, but I’ll do my best to make it fun!
Here are the titles and descriptions for the first three episodes (which will be released on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016):
Episode 1 – THE MAGIC COIN – A man discovers a way to get rich quick. He’s got a silver coin that can grant wishes. He just needs help with the magic words. But his good fortune may be tragically reversed merely because he’s forgotten one simple truth: that there are two sides to every coin.
Episode 2 – THE AFFAIR – A woman hired me to write a book about her husband, who is an inventor. She also wanted me to spy on him. Thought he might be having an affair. I’ve often wondered why in the world I allowed myself to get dragged into their personal lives. The money was good, but not good enough.
Episode 3 – ONLY IN HIS DREAMS – His four sons have betrayed him and destroyed his world. Now, on his deathbed, he invokes supernatural powers to get revenge. But how could this frail old man turn himself into a dangerous sorcerer? Is the magic real or is it merely an illusion?