We like to think that we have control of our lives, but so much of life happens by accident. I ended up writing for the syndicated TV series Tales From the Darkside not because of any conscious plan, but due to a series of coincidences.
Tom Allen, the Story Editor for the show, liked the comic-book stories I was writing at the time for such DC Comics titles as House of Mystery and House of Secrets. He’d been talking with other members of the staff about contacting me to see whether I would consider trying to write the same sort of twist-ending tales for them.
Allen happened to work at the Village Voice, which was across the street from the SF bookshop Forbidden Planet, which sold copies of Last Wave magazine, which I published and edited. Browsing through the store on his lunch hour, Tom saw a copy of Last Wave, realized that he now had a way to contact me, and so wrote me a letter suggesting a meeting. Without this string of coincidences, the opportunity would never have arisen.
We met over Chinese food at the offices of the Village Voice, and I agreed to try to think up some stories for him. This partnership resulted in treatments for three episodes of the show. The first, “Fear of Floating,” starring Howard Sherman (pictured) from Day of the Dead and Yeardley Smith, the voice of Bart Simpson, aired on May 25, 1986.