I started July with an idea, which is more than I can say for the previous two months of writing. What I lacked was ambition, due to my recent return to work. But hey, I got shit done. Now I’m here in the final week of the month with a story. It’s called “The Phantom of the Podcast” and I think it’s just what summer requires.
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark
It being summer, of course HBO had to toss out a spooky series for me to devour. Not sure if you’ve been watching I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, a six-part documentary series, which follows true crime writer Michelle McNamara’s quest to identify the Golden State Killer, but it’s good.
Based off her book of the same name, the series follows both the case of the killer, known as the “East Area Rapist” (later known as the “Original Night Stalker”), while also following Michelle’s painful mission to write her book on the subject. It’s an odd mix of tales that weirdly works and has definitely left me creeped out on Sunday nights.
I identified with the details of Michelle’s writing. It’s funny how one never focuses on how this hobby can have such a draining effect on their own life until they see the same struggle in another.
Inspiration Lurks in Dark Places
Weirdly enough, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark coincided with my new idea of writing a story about a podcaster who interviews women attracted to serial killers, otherwise known as “hypristophiliacs”. I don’t know where this idea came from. It just popped out of nowhere one night at the end of June.
And, well, hey, here we are!
I needed magic and I got a little.
“The Phantom of the Podcast” follows Mitchell, the host of a podcast called “Dear Murderer”. After two and a half seasons of interviewing hybristophiliacs in an attempt to understand them, he finds himself at odds with the ravenous growing fanbase.
The story focuses a bit on “fangirl” culture and the attitudes it perpetuates.
Of course, I watched some Youtube videos on the phenomenon of hypristophilia, which proved informative. BUT then I came across this video that I didn’t realize was made by the man inside the “manosphere” community. He attempted to explain why some women like serial killers but then took his understanding to some very women-hating levels.
He basically just tuned it all down to a woman’s “cave desire” to have a dominant man who can kill threats and provide for her.
It was disgusting.
But also inspiring.
The Lure of the Podcast
I’ve been wanting to make a n00b podcast for a while now. While still tempted by the idea, I realize that I need some time to cement things. I have a microphone and a very basic understanding of Audacity. I follow Dan Bell on Patreon and he has an exclusive podcast there that’s been a fun listen for me when I get sick of listening to politics 100% of the time.
My podcast will likely be about whatever. Just fun stuff. Stupid stuff. Content for people who actually read my blog, probably. Rants and such. Book reviews? I dunno.
“The Phantom of the Podcast” was just my way of having fun with the idea of making my own podcast. The title is stupid. I know it is. Some of my stories have punny names. A guy once ranted about it in a Goodreads review of Vile Men that amused me.
So here I am, still doing it.
But “The Phantom of the Podcast” makes a couple nods at The Phantom of the Opera, so there. Yesterday I bought a copy of the book, because I am nothing if not dedicated to reading more gothic literature.
I asked Facebook the following:
Is the Phantom of the Podcast a bad name for a short story or do you wanna read it?
The best response came from my pal Joe, who responded:
It was the right answer. Because this story is dark and horrifying but it’s also just fun, which is kind of what summer requires. Right?
Wanna read the “Phantom of the Podcast”?
I know you do. And you can! On Monday, July 27th.
Boom! That’s it.
I’ll see you on Monday, folks!