Anne Serling, daughter of 'Twilight Zone' narrator, to attend second annual Short Story America Festival and Conference in Beaufort

abredeson@islandpacket.comSeptember 20, 2013 

  • SHORT STORY FESTIVAL

    The Second Annual Short Story America Festival and Conference is scheduled for Sept. 26-29 in Beaufort. It will feature seminars, workshops, readings, discussions and signings. Authors planning to attend include: Richard Hawley, Mathieu Cailler, Ray Morrison, Eric Witchey, Marjorie Brody, James Goertel, Joy Hilsman Thomas, Gregg Cusick, Katherine Tandy Brown and Warren Slesinger. An all-events pass is $50 and may be purchased at www.shortstoryamerica.com or at the venues listed on the website. Details: 843-597-3220

  • 'AS I KNEW HIM: MY DAD, ROD SERLING'

    Anne Serling will be at the University of South Carolina Beaufort Center for the Arts, 801 Carteret St., Beaufort, at 11 a.m. Sept. 28 to discuss her new book, "As I Knew Him: My Dad, Rod Serling." The discussion is part of the Second Annual Short Story America Festival and Conference. Serling's book can be found at www.amazon.com or www.barnesandnoble.com. For a list of independent book stores that sell the book, go to www.anneserling.com.

Anne Serling said her father was nothing like the somber voice heard narrating "The Twilight Zone."

She said Rod Serling, who wrote and narrated the popular old TV show, was actually a very funny, down-to-earth man and a loving father.

"Anyone that met him would tell you that they just felt instantly comfortable in his company," Anne said.

She said she and her father had a lot of laughs together. He would make her laugh at inappropriate times, such as right before people got on an elevator with them.

"We appreciated each other's humor," she said. "And I was a great audience for him. My mother used to always tell me, 'Stop laughing at him. You're only encouraging him.'"

Anne wanted people to see that side of her father so she decided to write a book about him. "As I Knew Him: My Dad, Rod Serling" tells the story of Rod as a writer, narrator and father.

Anne said she also wrote the book as a way to cope with the grief of losing her father. She said he died in 1975 of heart complications at age 50.

Anne will be in Beaufort on Sept. 28 to discuss her book and her father's career writing short stories at the Second Annual Short Story America Festival and Conference. She will speak at 11 a.m. at the University of South Carolina Beaufort Center for the Arts.

Anne said people have been very receptive to her new book. She said she hears two things from readers -- that they are getting to know the other side of her father and they can relate to the grief she feels about losing him.

She said a woman came up to her after a book reading and said her father was dying and after hearing Anne read, she knew she would be OK.

"It was like this unexpected gift," Anne said. "Something I had said helped her, and all I could do was hug her."

Follow Amy Coyne Bredeson at twitter.com/IPBG_Amy.

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