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“In Twilight Zone reruns, I search for my father in the man on the screen, but I can’t always find him there. Instead, he appears in unexpected ways. Memory summoned by a certain light, a color, a smell – and I see him again on the porch of our old red lakeside cottage, where I danced on the steps as a child.” – Anne Serling
“To Anne Serling, the imposing figure the public saw hosting The Twilight Zone each week, intoning cautionary observations about fate, chance, and humanity, was not the father she knew. Her fun-loving dad would play on the floor with the dogs, had nicknames for everyone in the family, and was apt to put a lampshade on his head and break out in song. He was her best friend, her playmate, and her confidant. After his unexpected death at 50, Anne, just 20, was left stunned. Gradually, she found solace for her grief by talking to his friends, poring over old correspondence, and recording her childhood memories. Now she shares personal photos, eloquent, revealing letters, and beautifully rendered scenes of his childhood, war years, and their family’s time together. Idyllic summers in upstate New York, the years in Los Angeles, and the myriad ways he filled their time with laughter, strength, and endearing silliness–all are captured here with deep affection and candor. Though begun in loss, Anne’s story is a celebration of her extraordinary relationship with her father and the qualities she came to prize through him–empathy, kindness, and an uncompromising sense of social justice. As I Knew Him is a lyrical, intimate tribute to Rod Serling’s legacy as visionary, storyteller, and humanist, and a moving testament to the love between fathers and daughters.”
It was a privilege to interview Anne Serling as she releases her long anticipated book and memoire. As an interesting side note, Anne and I were classmates at Elmira College, having graduated together. This interview has a very personal connection for me, I am so honored to have the opportunity to talk to Anne about her book, her dad Rod Serling, The Twilight Zone and the role the home movies played in creating a personal family legacy.
Bio: Although Anne was raised in Southern California, she has always preferred the East Coast, the change of seasons and the slower pace of small college towns. Anne remained in upstate New York to attend college. First Alfred University and then transferring to Elmira College earning a degree in Elementary Education with a minor in English. Upon graduation Anne substitute taught, worked at a school for children with special needs, and then was a preschool teacher at Cornell University’s Early Childhood Program & Cooperative Nursery School.
Anne has always loved writing. If her father liked her writing he said so. Conversely, if not, he would declare it “interesting.” Anne wrote predominately poetry until she was published in The Twilight Zone, The Original Stories, an anthology, in which she adapted two of her father’s teleplays, One for the Angels and The Changing of the Guard into short stories. The latter was subsequently published in The Twilight Zone Magazine. Additionally, she has had poetry published in The Cornell Daily Sun and Visions.
Anne is currently writing a novel titled AFTERSHOCKS and continues to promote her father’s legacy as a Board Member of the Rod Serling Memorial Foundation.
Anne is represented by Erica Spellman-Silverman at Trident Media Group.