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The Story Blender
51 minutes | Jun 25, 2022
After spending half her life living in diverse cultures throughout the world, Nova McBee spent seven years studying writing before penning her first Young Adult novel, CALCULATED, which is now in development for film. In this interview she shares her passion for complex stories, the importance of fractals, and how to write young adult novels that also appeal to 80-year-olds! You’ll also be amazed to find out how many times she reads through her books while editing them.
39 minutes | Jun 18, 2022
John Gilstrap’s first novel, Nathan’s Run, hit the market in 1996 and set the literary world on fire. Publication rights sold in 23 countries, the movie rights were scooped up at auction by Warner Brothers, and John changed professions. A safety engineer by training and education, he specialized in explosives and hazardous materials, and also served 15 years in the fire and rescue service, rising to the rank of lieutenant. That “first” book was really his fourth, and that one call from an agent (after logging 27 rejections) changed the trajectory of his life. Twenty books and seven movie projects later, it’s been a good run, and it’s still running. John has spoken at events across the country and his YouTube channel, “A Writer’s View of Writing and Publishing” has thousands of subscribers and more are coming aboard every day.
48 minutes | Jun 11, 2022
Danielle Girard is the USA Today and Amazon #1 bestselling author of Chasing Darkness, the Rookie Club series, and Exhume, Excise, Expose, and Expire featuring San Francisco medical examiner Dr. Annabelle Schwartzman. Girard’s books have won the Barry Award and the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award, and two of her titles have been optioned for movies. A graduate of Cornell University, Girard received her MFA at Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina. She, her husband, and their two children split their time between San Francisco and the northern Rockies. Far Gone, book two of her Badlands Thriller Series, is available now.
45 minutes | Jun 4, 2022
Alma Katsu is the award-winning author of seven novels. She’s mostly known for historical horror, including her latest The Fervor (Putnam), and The Hunger, which was recently named by Esquire as one of the top 50 horror novels of all time. She’s also written Red Widow, her first spy novel. She drew on 30+ years in intelligence with CIA and NSA to write this book, which was named a NYT Editors Choice and is in development for a TV series. She lives in the greater Washington DC area.
49 minutes | May 28, 2022
Comedian Bob Smiley has been doing standup for over 20 years all over the United States and Arkansas. He’s written three books for Focus on the Family in the series he created called “The Adventure’s of Average Boy.” The books, as well as his “The Average Boy Podcast” is aimed at making kids laugh while encouraging them to be the best God created them to be. Bob is also very good at mowing and has a massive hotel shampoo collection.
49 minutes | May 21, 2022
Kim Weitkamp is an award-winning storyteller, author, singer-songwriter, and humorist. Kim used applied storytelling in her work with adjudicated and at-risk youth for 12 years and now tours full-time and performs regularly at festivals and theaters around the country. She has been a guest editor and contributor for various publications and her material gets regular airplay on Sirius XM and NPR Affiliate Stations. In addition, she has recorded 8 award-winning albums and hosted a morning show for a DOVE Award-winning radio network. Kim has been honored with leadership awards for her coaching and speaking work with internationally known companies like Purina and Edward Jones, as well as nationally recognized nonprofits like Feeding America, Habitat for Humanity, and Conflict Resolution Centers.
45 minutes | May 14, 2022
Annette Simmons is the CEO of Group Process Consulting and author of five books, including her bestselling book The Story Factor, which was named as one of The 100 Best Business Books of All Time. She has been featured on CNBC’s Power Lunch, NPR’s Market Watch, and on numerous talk radio programs. In this episode, she unpacks the six stories we all need to be able to tell as we share our messages or pass along our values.
45 minutes | May 7, 2022
Artem Mushin-Makedonskiy is a worldwide leader on using storytelling in organizations and has been studying the field for years, sharing his insights with others. Artem consults on the topics of communication and leadership and is the founder of the Academy Historia, which is dedicated to excellence in communication and storytelling. He also serves as a board member of the Storytelling In Organizations international group and is planning an upcoming international conference called Storyify Your Culture on May 18-20.
51 minutes | Apr 30, 2022
Some authors have lived incredible adventures that they can tap into in the stories they tell. That’s certainly true of this week’s guest. First, Don Bentley spent a decade as an Army Apache helicopter pilot. Then, as a decorated war hero, he spent time as an FBI Special Agent, SWAT member, and security consultant for the U.S. Special Operations Community. These days, Don writes riveting action stories that will take your breath away. On this week’s show he shares some of his inspiration for the thrillers he writes and gives us an inside scoop on his latest release, HOSTILE INTENT.
33 minutes | Apr 23, 2022
Elizabethton High School - Part 2
Over the last few weeks I've had the honor of working with the creative writing students at Elizabethton High School in Tennessee as an author in residence. We explored the elements of all great stories, how to write organically (without an outline), and how to critique each other’s work. So, this week on The Story Blender, I decided to take a break from interviewing other storytellers or authors and give the students a chance to share their stories. So, sit back and enjoy some entertaining (and frightening!) stories inspired by the simple prompt: Earth Day. This is Part 2 of 2. (We’ll be back next week with an interview with NYT Bestselling author and former FBI agent, Don Bentley.)
41 minutes | Apr 23, 2022
Elizabethton High School - Part 1
Over the last few weeks I've had the honor of working with the creative writing students at Elizabethton High School in Tennessee as an author in residence. We explored the elements of all great stories, how to write organically (without an outline), and how to critique each other’s work. So, this week on The Story Blender, I decided to take a break from interviewing other storytellers or authors and give the students a chance to share their stories. So, sit back and enjoy some entertaining (and frightening!) stories inspired by the simple prompt: Earth Day. This is Part 1 of 2. (We’ll be back next week with an interview with NYT Bestselling author and former FBI agent, Don Bentley.)
46 minutes | Apr 16, 2022
Carol LaChapelle is a writer, teacher, and the author of Finding Your Voice, Telling Your Stories from Marion Street Press. She received her B.A. in Psychology in 1971) and M.A. in English in 1988 from the University of Illinois/Chicago. From 1986-2011, she was adjunct faculty in writing at UIC, DePaul University, North Park University, and Truman College. She has been teaching workshops for adults in memoir writing and journal writing since 1990. Beginning in 1992, Carol’s essays and articles have appeared in a variety of publications, both in print and online. These include Notre Dame Magazine, Virginia Commonwealth University/Medical Literary Messenger, and nextavenue.org. She is currently at work on her second book, a memoir.
55 minutes | Apr 9, 2022
Carter Wilson is a USA Today bestselling author who has written eight critically acclaimed standalone psychological thrillers as well as numerous short stories. He is an ITW Thriller Award finalist, a four-time winner of the Colorado Book Award, and his works have been optioned for television and film. Carter lives in Erie, Colorado in a Victorian house that is spooky but isn’t haunted. …yet.
52 minutes | Apr 2, 2022
Eva Marie Everson
Eva Marie Everson is a multiple-award winning author and speaker who hails from the picturesque Southern town of Sylvania, Georgia. She is president of Word Weavers International and the director of Florida Christian Writers Conference. She enjoys coaching new authors through her company, Pen in Hand. Eva Marie and her husband make their home in Central Florida and are the parents of three fabulous children who have blessed them with the world’s greatest grandchildren.
48 minutes | Mar 26, 2022
Christopher Riley is a professional screenwriter who co-wrote the award-winning German language courtroom thriller After the Truth with his wife, Kathy Riley. The Rileys have written scripts for Disney’s Touchstone Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Mandalay Television Pictures, the late Sean Connery’s Fountainbridge Films, and Robert Cort Productions. Christopher produced the independent action-thriller Red Line and executive produced the web series Bump+. He is the author of the classic screenplay format guide The Hollywood Standard, now in its third edition, and teaches screenwriting at the undergraduate and graduate levels. His latest book, which he co-wrote with his wife Kathy, is “The Defining Moment: How Writers and Actors Build Characters.”
42 minutes | Mar 19, 2022
Eric Wilson is the author of over twenty books, both fiction and nonfiction, as well as five movie novelizations including Facing the Giants and Flywheel. His third novelization, Fireproof, earned him a spot on the New York Times Bestseller list for 13 weeks. Eric has released two suspense novels with Bay Forest Books, One Step Away and Two Seconds Late. His nonfiction includes Taming the Beast: The Untold Story of Team Tyson, released in 2014, as well as From Chains to Change, a memoir he co-wrote with Steven Allen Young, founder of Home Street Home Ministries. He is finishing Six Little Words: How One Simple Question Transformed Lives Around the World, as well as American Leftovers: Surviving Family, Religion, & the American Dream, a family memoir written with his younger sister and brother. Eric was born in California, but now lives in Nashville with his wife, songwriter Carolyn Rose. Together they have two grown daughters and two grandchildren.
51 minutes | Mar 12, 2022
Will Storr is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared in the Guardian, Sunday Times, New Yorker, and The New York Times. He is the author of five critically acclaimed books, including the Sunday Times bestseller The Science of Storytelling. His latest release is The Status Game: On Social Position and How We Use It.
52 minutes | Mar 5, 2022
Playwright and debut novelist Jennifer Fawcett grew up in rural Eastern Ontario and spent many years in Canada making theatre before coming to the United States. She holds an MFA from the Iowa Playwrights Workshop. Her work has been published in Third Coast Magazine, Reunion: The Dallas Review, Storybrink, and in the anthology Long Story Short. She teaches writing at Skidmore College and lives in upstate New York with her husband and son.
52 minutes | Feb 26, 2022
New York Times bestselling novelist Kate Elliott has been making up stories about escape into worlds of adventure and transformative change since she was a child growing up in rural Oregon. In this conversation, we talk fantasy, world building, and her latest book SERVANT MAGE. (Plus what outrigger canoes can teach you about characterization in fantasy stories!)
51 minutes | Feb 19, 2022
Jonathan Gottschall is a distinguished research fellow in the English Department at Washington & Jefferson College and is the author of The Storytelling Animal, a New York TimesEditor's Choice and finality for the LA Times Book Prize, and The Professor in the Cage, one of the Boston Globe's Best Books of the year, as well as his latest release, The Story Paradox. He has written for or been covered in the New York Times, Scientific American, the New Yorker, the Atlantic, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and The Millions. Gottschall has also appeared on popular podcasts like Star Talk, The Joe Rogan Experience, and Radiolab. He lives in Pennsylvania.
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