The Writer’s Lens – Interview 18: Despite Popular Belief, “Story and THE Story Are Connected”

My latest interview is with a couple of gents I got connected with recently. Erik Marti and Stephen Lauterbach are the voices of Despite Popular Belief, a podcast that tackles several interesting topics, like the Leviathan, the Salem Witch Trials, and predestination; doing so through a Biblical worldview.

I was on Despite Popular Belief talking about the power of storytelling. Now, I get to ask Erik and Stephen about their own stories. How they came together, how they developed the idea for Despite Popular Belief, and how they see the podcast in the future.

You can check them out on Spotify, Google Play, and iTunes. Or follow them on Facebook and Instagram @DespitePopularBelief.

The Writer’s Lens – E62: “It” and Fear Through the Lens of Children and Adults

I’m not a big fan of scary stories. They aren’t the type of story I indulge regularly.

However, that’s not to say that I’m antagonistic towards scary moments. If a story is good; if a story is intriguing; if it seems to be headed somewhere other than just another scare, then I’m better at accepting the scares when they come.

That being said, I wanted to comment on the recent reimagining of Stephen King’s “It”. Not the story necessarily, but whether or not the onset of terror is more intense when a) it’s a child or b) it’s an adult. The answer might be obvious, but what does this mean outside of fiction? What is the truth behind a child’s helplessness and the responsibilities we have as adults to watch out for them? This episode is an attempt to scratch the surface on perhaps several more conversations.

Check out my latest episode here.

The Writer’s Lens – E61: “The Lion King” and What Redemption Looks Like

One of my favorite films of all time. Arguably one of Disney’s greatest works from the past 30 years, The Lion King is the coming-of-age tale of Simba, a lion cub destined to be King of Pride Rock, who is framed for murdering his own father, Mufasa. Whose evil uncle, Scar, takes over in Simba’s absence, runs the Pride Lands into famine and death, but is confronted by an aged and courageous Simba, who has spent years running away from his problems.

It’s a great story, further accentuated by its iconic music and iconic voices (James Earl Jones, Jeremy Irons, and Nathan Lane, to name a few). And though its popularity is undeniable, does The Lion King truly offer up a redemptive narrative? Simba regains what was rightfully his – the throne of Pride Rock – but is that all there is to a good redemption story? This is my analysis episode for Disney’s The Lion King.

The animated one. Not the live-action-which-wasn’t-live-action version of 2019. Enjoy.

The Writer’s Lens – Interview 17: Sam Eldredge, “Our Stories Are Epic, Not Perfect”

A few years ago, I read through a book with several friends called Killing Lions, a coming-of-age book for young men, co-authored by John Eldredge and his son, Sam Eldredge. Today, I am fortunate to interview one of the voices behind that book, Sam, and pick his brain on the genesis behind it.

Sam is co-host of the podcast, And Sons, which continues the spirit of Killing Lions by focusing on the rites of passage young men face. Sam is a lead content creator for their magazine publication of the same name as well. My interview with Sam covers his story as a budding writer, his initial struggle with co-authoring a book alongside his already-published father, John (author of bestseller Wild at Heart, among others), and how imperative it is to learn from our own stories, lest someone else define our stories for us.

You can find more about Sam and his work at andsonsmagazine.com or follow him on And Sons, which is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and other podcasting platforms.

The Writer’s Lens – E60: “Dark” and What If Time Travel Was Possible?

In the first episode of a new series, I take a look at themes supporting popular books, shows and films.

First up is the Netflix original, “Dark”; a show that puts a twist on time travel. Or rather, puts its audiences minds in a twist with its complex characters and increasingly complex plot developments. Great writing aside, it made me wonder something – which became the catalyst for this episode – What would we do if time travel was possible?

My Theory on Conspiracy Theories

Who loves a good conspiracy theory? I know I do. In the wake of the #EpsteinSuicide, it seems all manner of conspiracy theorists have weighed in on what might have really happened. And hey, I’m one of them. Which is why I wrote this piece. What makes us gravitate towards stories that don’t have all the facts yet? Here are some of my thoughts on this phenomenon.

The Writer’s Lens E59: The Exalting and Glorifying of Ideas

After a couple weeks’ break, we’re back to finish this small series on Exploring, Exposing, and now, Exalting Ideas. What does it look like when an idea is glorified? And how might we be more cognizant of the ideas we are ingesting?

This one got a little ranty, but that comes with the territory.

The Case of Jeffrey Epstein and a Lesson in Temptation

Jeffrey Epstein’s crimes are despicable. But what else needs to be discussed in the wake of his arrest?

My latest article talks about temptation and how none of us are immune to its hooks.

Narrative Wars: 09: “Why Is It So Hard To Change People’s Minds?”

Ever have a conversation where you couldn’t convince the other party of something? You have all the facts. You have all the information. But for whatever the reason, the other person just won’t see things from your perspective.

Never? Yeah, me neither (insert sarcasm).

Changing someone’s mind is hard. We aren’t really as open as we’d like to think (cruel irony there, is it not?). New ideas can rock our worldview. And it can make for some rather uncomfortable situations if we’re discussing them openly with another who thinks differently than us.

From a writer’s perspective, storytelling – effective storytelling – is a powerful means by which to change the course of someone’s mindset. A great story can make someone aware of something he never knew or even cause him to consider making a 180 on his own thinking.

This episode of the #NarrativeWars is a deep dive so be sure to stick with me till the end.

The Writer’s Lens E58: Can Telling A Story Expose Something?

In my last episode, I talked about exploring ideas in story. In this one, we’ll talk about how stories can bring to light something that might be wrong. Whether it be from a personal, subjective experience, or from a seemingly large scale issue.

And I also give some insight into what I used to binge on when I was a poor college student.