Hello, Thriller!  I'm Jeff Schmidt - the creator of Ominous Thrill. Thank you for checking in.  This first post is all about how this crazy little indie-audio-fiction series came to be. Hopefully you'll find a bit of inspiration in here too.  Here we go. 

In 2019, I challenged myself to develop a few story ideas for a potential “horror anthology” fiction audio series that could be “pitched” to publishers. 

They were very simple logline ideas with no deeper story or even characters attached.  It was simply a matter of, getting a few ideas down, plopping them into a fancy pitch deck, sending it out to “market” with an agent “shopping it” to publishers and platforms. I figured if someone (anyone??) wanted to pick up the series, the “story” stuff could be developed at that point.  

Well, even back then, in the halcyon days of “stupid money” sloshing through podcasting, there was no “stupid money” to be found for this horror anthology idea. People generally distrusted fiction, horror, and anthology as a monetizable podcast format. This pitch was all three - and to be fair… they were mostly correct. Of these kinds of shows (fiction/anthology/horror), only a few earn back their expenses and more, and they are by far the exceptions. Most projects like this are lucky to make any money and are purely a “labor of love” or a hobby.  Nothing wrong with any of that, just the reality of the “market.”

At the time, I was extremely busy working on client projects, so it was all too easy to set the whole idea aside and forget about it—except I never really forgot about it. 

It wasn’t that specific project idea that kept burning in me, but the idea of becoming a creator—of moving from being only a service provider to other storytellers and becoming a storyteller myself, developing my own ideas. 

It would take far too many years for me to finally carve out space to do that. But in late 2022, I decided i could put it off no longer. The result is “Ominous Thrill.” 

The idea of making my own series stretches back even further; so far, in fact, it’s embarrassing for me to admit how many years I let go by without acting on my own artistic impulse. 

If there is any lesson to be gleaned from Ominous Thrill, let it be this: no matter your age or station or whatever real or imagined limits you face, do not ignore your own artistic impulse. Do not set it aside to focus only on the needs of others for extended periods. It's frightening how quickly days become weeks, months, and years.  

Carve out space in your life, even if only a few minutes a day—steal back that time for yourself and explore your artistry. And yes, I want you to call yourself an artist. Give your effort the time and dignity you deserve. Leave expectations of success and external validation behind and just DO. What you “end up” with is not the point because you’ll find no end. Trust that the process and journey of doing, making, and exploring is enough to nourish your spirit in ways few other pursuits can.

I'll create more specific posts about the inspiration behind individual episodes in the coming days/weeks/months.  So subscribe and or check back every so often.

Of course, I'd love to hear from you. Send me a message directly HERE.