THE TWISTED, UNFORGIVING AUDIO-COMEDY NIGHTMARE THAT IS “PETE’S PARANORMAL CHRONICLES”

The last two years have been the most prolific for me as a writer. I finally learned to discipline myself to read and write as much as possible and since 2015 I’ve written two feature-length screenplays, a novel, and roughly 400 pages of audio comedy for a podcast called “Pete’s Paranormal Chronicles” 

 

I’ll continue to produce new episodes of PPC throughout 2017, but I’m backing away from the project for now, and I’m excited to start work on a new science fiction novel next month.

PPC was never supposed to go this far, but I’m enjoying the ride. It started as an idea for a short story - a drama/mystery about a guy who hosts a paranormal radio show, set in the nineties, and he gets a tip about a fabled videotape that supposedly has footage of some fabled creature. So Pete follows the lead and the story ends with a sort-of sobering realization that Pete is wasting his time with all this paranormal nonsense, and all the important things in life have passed him by due to his obsessions. Or something like that. The short story didn’t develop much beyond that and I’m glad it didn’t because it was this abandoned concept that sparked something much cooler…

Pete's Paranormal Chronicles became a comedic horror podcast, set in the 1990s, about an amateur paranormal investigator. Episodes are presented as recordings of a radio show that Pete produced at the time. It is by definition an audiodrama but it's 90% comedy. As an independent podcast recorded in my apartment, it breaks a lot of rules in terms of the way these things are usually produced and casted. It's raw with rough edges, closer to sketch comedy than literature. It’s very silly, stupid, and at times, inexplicably insane. 

Initially I was just going to produce this thing as a limited 8-episode series, and move on. I didn’t think PPC would find an audience so quickly, I was really just doing it to amuse myself and my friends. Since last February, we're up to 5000 monthly subscribers and it blows my mind that such a weird show is connecting on this level.

Here’s an interview I did on the Sheldon MacCloud show last April, where I talk a little more about the origins of the project:

 

It’s a very different show than it was last February and it's constantly evolving. The cast is expanding and the overall quality is improving (I’ve gotten much better at editing audio) but somehow I think we’ve managed to maintain a certain tone throughout the series that stays true to the spirit of the first batch of episodes. The #1 goal of this show is to make people laugh and smile, but we also try to take the listener to unexpected places. After all, the series started out as a comedic riff on Atlantic Canada’s maritime mysteries and since then it’s travelled around the universe and back. 

The next season will put the spotlight back on local ghost lore, while still dipping its toes in other horror genres like slasher films and creature features.