31 Nights of Fright: An Interview with Tales To Terrify Podcast

By Jordan Gerdes

Today we have Drew from Tales To Terrify Podcast! Tales makes excellent, well researched audio horror, which is becoming my favorite new form of podcast!


FOF: First and foremost, tell us about yourself

DS: I’m the host and current owner of Tales to Terrify podcast. My day job is running the creative team of an advertising agency. But by night, I can often be found behind the mic or the computer researching, recording and producing creepy tales.

FOF: What do you do? And why do you like it?

DS: I research, write and host the intro to weekly frights of Tales to Terrify. But that’s just one part of what makes the podcast run. Couldn’t do the podcast without our editor Seth Williams, and the help of Peter Morsellino (our associate editor), Julie Zelman and Meredith Morgenstern. They make this infernal engine run. I think I speak for all of us when I say I do this because I love the genre. Not just horror, but audio horror in particular. I grew up falling asleep to Stephen King and others on those old school books on tape I’d borrow from the library. And it’s always stayed one of my favourite mediums. It’s an amazing honour to be able to be part of bringing those kinds of stories to life for others.

FOF: Explain a little bit of your process? Where do you find your inspiration?

DS:

As much as the episode intros are just appetizers before the entree, there’s a lot of research and reading that goes into them. I try to get the details of each story, then find sources that tell the tale from different angles or perspectives. Then finally, I marry those with my own narrative take on it.

As for the body of the podcast – the fiction stories – we’re really fortunate in our format that a lot of the inspiration actually comes to us. We open for submissions a couple of times a year and invite authors of all experience levels to submit. Our slush readers help sort through and pick the best, then we match them with one of our volunteer narrators. 

FOF:   What drew you to horror in the first place?

DS: I’ve been a fan of dark fiction for as long as I can remember. If I was feeling poetic, I’d probably say something like, “reading about evil and fear and darkness makes real life feel a little lighter.” Which I suppose it’s true. But I also think there’s that little twisted creature deep within each of us that just needs to be fed to keep it quiet.

FOF: What is your favorite horror work? (Movie, Show, Art, Book, whatever you want)

DS:

That’s a really tough one. There have been lots of inspirations over the years. I’ve got a huge soft spot for Stephen King’s short story collection Night Shift. But a book that’s always staying with me (although maybe not conventionally horror) was Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. 

Movies? I’d have to say The Conjuring is up there. But in terms of lasting impressions, Event Horizon might have to top that list.

FOF: What has been your favorite thing you have gotten to work on doing this?

DS: I love hosting, and being able to put my own spin on a show I’ve admired as a listener for a long time has been hugely rewarding. Now, starting to evolve the sound (especially the intro)  has been a lot of fun. That said, I still love to narrate stories, too. And some of the early ones I did for the podcast (as well as one I did for StarShipSofa) have been some of the most fun I’ve had.

FOF: What role do you think your specific style of art plays in the community overall?

DS: I’m still shocked at how many people out there don’t listen to podcasts. Or think that they’re all conversation/interview style. Fiction – in particular horror fiction – works so amazing well in this format. It makes it so easily digestible without ruining the exercise for imagination you get from a good book. Plus, you can listen while you do yard work, do dishes or laundry, or even while driving. Good luck trying that with a book. (P.S. please don’t).

FOF: Anything you are working on that you want to highlight?

DS: We’re working hard on trying to build out some great exclusive content for Patreon supporters. Our first story, the classic Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, is releasing now. But we’ve got some great other stories planned. As well as some incredible ideas for video. There’s swag in the works, too.

FOF: :      If you could do anything with any horror franchise, what would it be?

DS: Maybe less of a franchise, but I’d love the chance to collaborate with some of the other amazing horror podcasts out there. Shows like No Sleep and Pseudopod. Or even the Drabblecast. We’re such a small community, I think it would be amazing for our listeners if we made something happen!

FOF: Anything else you’d like to say?

DS: Just a huge thank you to all of our listeners. I’m dead convinced we have the absolutely best audience a podcast could hope to. Their support and encouragement means so much.

Massive thanks to Drew Sebesteny for taking the time to sit down and talk audio horror!
Keep up with Tales to Terrify on Twitter and Facebook, and their website at www.talestoterrify.com

Stay tuned for more creators this month!

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