Having grown up in the 60s and being part of the television generation, I consider I got the best in creative entertainment. Not only was radio alive with the British invasion, we had James Bond, sci-fi, and by the end of the decade we were on the Moon. It was one of the best times of the 20th century. Of course add into all of that a movie of the week in 1969 where celebrated television writer and producer, Rod Serling, was testing an idea based on his only novel, "The Season To Be Wary." This book included three Serling novellas, two of which became part of the Night Gallery pilot for NBC.
For me, Night Gallery was that show I was too young to watch because it was on so late, but that didn't stop me from sneaking and trying to watch it anyway. The idea of the stories were far scarier than they actually were. By today's standards they are campy at best. But still, you cannot help but be mesmerized by Rod Serling's haunting introductions to each of the episodes. And this was where the muse of inspiration struck me just a little over two years ago. It was 2am on a sleepless night, and I turned on television right as Night Gallery was just coming on, right from the opening credits. Excited as I hadn't seen an episode in years, and by the end, I was inspired to write my first horror anthology.
But what to write? What's scary? Stephen King is the Shakespeare of the horror fiction world, and has already written EVERYTHING! How would I be able to compete? I decided I wouldn't. I would write about things that I found eerie and disturbing. I finally settled on four tales of darkness. Each one with it's own skewed vision of death and punishment. The four stories became.
"Nobody Dies on the First Floor."
"Along For The Ride."
"Far From The Garden"
"If You Should Die Before I Wake."
Since I was a huge fan of the show and I was paying tribute to it and of course to Rod Serling, it was important to me as a fan and I knew would be to other fans of the show, that the book reflect the one thing that made Night Gallery so fascinatingly dark... the paintings. I contacted an artist friend of mine, Jeannifer, from Jakarta, and showed her Tom Wright's paintings he'd done for the show and asked if she could emulate that style. She was as excited as I was and eagerly agreed. So each story has its very own canvas to go along with it and that to me makes all the difference to the life of each of the stories. The feedback has all been positive and encouraging, and hands down the longest story in the book, the novella, "Along For The Ride" has become the fan favorite. Just this month it was published as a stand alone novella.
So, as summer comes to a close and fall makes its way into our lives. If you're looking for something creepy to read before bedtime, you may want to give "Midnight Never Ends" a try. And as you read the description of each painting before the story... you might just hear the voice of Rod Serling taking you on another journey into your very own "Night Gallery." Proving, you can still inspire long after you have gone.