I remember watching old black and white episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents when I was a kid, and then as a teenager and even now as an adult. Then there are the movies that I love – Psycho. The Birds. Rear Window. Vertigo.
Whether it’s a full-length movie or a twenty-three minute short story, one thing they all have in common is eeriness. Each one brings you into a seemingly normal situation with normal people living their lives, but then strange things start to happen. Unexplainable things. Creepy things. Murderous things.
As Hitchcock so famously said, “I think everyone enjoys a nice murder, provided he is not the victim.” But it’s not always just a murder. Sometimes it’s the mere threat of such. The looming knowledge that something’s wrong. Something’s lurking and escape is limited or, even worse sometimes, unknown. When the person isn’t sure how they’re going to get out of a situation, yet they know it’s imperative that they do, panic can ensue, and with it a great drive to do something – anything to fix what’s gone so horribly wrong.
Enter Felix Todd. When I started writing MACHINES, I had those old black and white, twenty-three minute episodes from Alfred Hitchcock in mind. I wanted to tell a short story that had the punch, suspense, looming terror, and the sickening twist of something Hitchcockian.
It wasn’t just about putting Felix in danger. It was about showing his world and then adding an element of worry. Of panic. It was dabbing suspicion throughout his life to make him doubt the people around him and their motives.
And so MACHINES was born. Felix Todd is living a happy life. He has a career going. He has a stable relationship with a man he feels he owes everything – a man he’s endlessly loyal to. Even when the media labels Nigel Maxton things like “mad scientist” and “recluse mastermind”, Felix is supportive of the inventor’s endeavors and the machines he spends so much time working on, even when the one starts to become a little too life-like for Felix’s taste. But then sickness enters their house and their somewhat secluded lives. Shortly after, Felix finds out that there’s a murderess on the loose. The infamously named Murder Maid takes advantage of – and eventually kills – her employers, which leaves Felix wondering if maybe their new maid isn’t who she claims to be. Now it’s a race against time and the poison he knows has invaded the life he cherishes so much.
Coming out on Valentine’s Day 2017: MACHINES – dedicated to everyone who ever LOVED a night in with Alfred Hitchcock.
*Update* MACHINES is out now! Get your copy HERE!