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For the last twenty-seven years, Doug Hess has been working as an administrator in high education. “I have truly enjoyed my time helping students chase their dreams,” Hess said.
A Chrisman native, Doug, his wife and two children now live in Indiana. “I had a great time growing up in Chrisman and I hope that small-town feel never goes away,” Hess told us. “I truly believe that has shaped me into who I am today.”
Things began to change for Doug when he sent in an audio audition for voice acting through JLJ Media out of Los Angeles, California. “That has really opened up a lot of doors for me, not only as a voice actor, but as a producer and writer,” Hess said.
A few weeks after sending in his audition, Hess heard back and was awarded a small part in ‘Mistletoe Road’, an audio drama that’s available on spreaker.com. Hess plays ‘Uncle Charlie’ in Season One and Season Two was just picked up. “We are in the process of recording the new season,” Hess said.
Six months ago, Hess reached out to James Lott, who runs JLJ Media to pitch an idea. “I pitched him the idea of a podcast called Forgotten Hollywood,” Doug said. “Where I talk about old movie stars and I have been fortunate to be able to interview a few family members of the stars from yesteryear who have passed.”
To date, the podcast is going very well. So well that Lott asked if Doug has thought about trying to write some audio dramas himself.
“This coming November, my short audio drama will be released”.
Lott also asked if Hess would be interested in collaborating on a few short story ideas.
These ideas would be released as part of the ‘Really Short Story Project’ from JLJ Media. “Of course, I agreed,” Hess said.
The first book released was called ‘The Life-Changing Chronicles’. Their latest release is called ‘Spooky Tales and Strange Dreams’.
The book is a compilation of short stories that have a mystical and spiritual slant. The stories are all based on true events that have been shared with Lott and Hess. “We then take the information that has been shared with us and change the names,” Hess said. “It’s interesting that individuals will share stories with us but they do not want to be tied to the events”. From there, they work out a story based on the idea that has been provided to them.
Depending on how the books sell, Doug plans to write more.
“It’s a business and I understand that a lot of things are based on how successful you are,” Hess said.
Hess, along with a good friend, Dave Boman have written and pitched a new audio drama called ‘Soul Collector’ to JLJ Media.
‘Soul Collector’ is a story about the last soul that dies for that year. When the bell strikes midnight, they have to collect souls of those that pass for the next year. “We will see if that gets picked up for 2022.”
Hess has plans to write in the future and would like to write a biography about a local person, event or place so the history could be saved. As for genre, he’s open to anything. “I think that openness helps me when I write.”
With the possibility of a new podcast and other ideas for 2022, Hess has a bright outlook for the future.
“I am working on an audio drama and who knows what 2022 could bring in the way of opportunities,” Hess said.
If you would like to buy ‘Spooky Tales and Strange Dreams’, the book is available on Amazon.