In the latest "Dialogue With Brandon," Brandon and I discuss what it takes to make a great novel. We are both attempting to write a novel and so we hammer out what makes for great plot and great characters. Is it OK to use cliches? Should our characters be composites of real people we know? Should we use brand names of different products and stores? On and on we go in pursuit of the Great American Novel.
Eric Olsen is the author of Why Every President Sucked, and is putting on a Kickstarter campaign until the end of August in order to get the book published. In our conversation we talk about looking at America's presidents with fresh eyes, even the ones we love the most. The book isn't as negative as it sounds, but is an attempt open us up to the simple idea that our presidents were people too and they all made mistakes. To find out more and to support the Kickstarter campaign please visit: http://www.whyeverypresidentsucked.com/
In our second Dialogue With Brandon we discuss the question "How Big Is Your Soul?" Are you a small-souled person? Most people wouldn't want to think so, but it's a question worth pursuing the answer to. Brandon and I discuss the thoughts of Douglas Hofstadter and his book I Am Strange Loop and I end up getting more confused and frustrated by the end then when I started. Maybe that means I'm small-souled after all.
Our fifteenth episode features Mike Foster who is known mostly for his knowledge of J.R.R. Tolkien and Middle Earth (because of a famed Illinois Central College literature class and numerous essays and interviews on the subject), but who has also been a hardworking writer and journalist for over 50 years. While the questions eventually always wind their way back to hobbits and strange elvish (or is it elven?) names, Mike also has lots to share about teaching, music, and writing a good obituary. Shaped by a lifetime of reading and intensive study Mike speaks with a gentle eloquence always tinged with the wonder of faerie. This is our longest episode yet, but stick around to hear some great stories about the people he has met and dialogued with in the Tolkien Universe.
When author Caleb Kruse was in college, singer/songwriter Rich Mullins stayed in his house for 3 weeks. Mullins talked with him and his family, gave brief mini-concerts, and even put on a full concert with his touring band. The night that Mullins and fellow artist Mitch Mcvicker left their house, however, was the night he got in a car accident and was killed. Now, nearly twenty years later Kruse decided to write out his experience of those 3 weeks, which he put into the book Meeting Rich.
Pop Quiz: Someone walks into your church on a Sunday morning or even a week day, gives a story about the awful situation they are in, and asks for money to help get them by. What do you do?
Pastor Luke Edwards has the right answer: DON'T GIVE THEM ANYTHING. Tell them God helps those who help themselves and send them on their way.
Actually no. Luke wrote an article called "Churches Should Stop Giving Away Stuff and Do This Instead" which intrigued me so much I had to interview him about it to learn more.
For more info and links to the articles and books Luke mentions visit www.postconsumerreports.com and click on the "episodes" tab.
Mike Condo is the general manager of Superfan Vinyl (www.superfanvinyl.com), an online record store and record label in the making. Along with DC Talk they have also released a number of Relient K albums on vinyl and have plans to do much more in the future. We talk about the 20th anniversary release of DC Talk's Jesus Freak and about the process of first acquiring the rights to an artist's music to getting it pressed on those beautiful black discs.
The PostConsumer Reports Podcast is just getting started. There are many questions to be asked and we will listen to many answers.
Artists, thinkers, pastors, interesting people of all sorts. They already exist. We just need to get them in front of a mike and ask them questions.