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The Uncorking a Story podcast gives storytellers including authors, filmmakers, comedians, and podcasters a place to talk about their work, but that’s not all. On Uncorking a Story we dig into what I like to call the stories behind the stories. We want to know what inspires people to create, understand how and when they got bit by the writing bug, and uncover what they’ve learned along the way so that they can pass along inspiring advice to others. Our conversations are light, fun, and there ...
 
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When I was early in my career, I had this recurring anxiety dream where all my teeth would fall out, one at a time. Later in my life, that dream morphed into being thrust back into high school unprepared for a test while naked (Freud would have a field day with me). These days, anxiety dreams take the form of doing down in a plane crash. Why am I s…
 
When I was a kid, I used to dread gym class. My Physical Education teacher was fond of picking two captains for opposing teams, typically the most athletic kids in the grade, and then they’d hand select their team members. I was typically picked at the bottom of the list because I just wasn’t that good at sports. It was embarrassing to always be pi…
 
I remember being in business school and learning about successful founders who left college to start their businesses without a degree—people like Bill Gates, Michael Dell, and Steve Jobs. There’s another name to add to the list—Chandler Bolt, and I had the pleasure of interviewing him about his latest book Published: The Proven Path From Blank Pag…
 
All families have secrets. The big one in my family, at least for me anyway, was the fact that my older brother Greg was adopted. When I was in high school, I was sitting in room with extended family and my auntie Joan, who really wasn’t my aunt but rather a very close friend of my mother, said to me, “You know, you are very special Michael because…
 
I was able to spend some time with my parents earlier this week. A last-minute business trip brought me down to Florida and, instead of staying near my clients in Miami, I decided to take advantage of the very reasonable rates at my parent’s condo on the beach in Ft. Lauderdale. Dad even through in a free rental car and dinner at my favorite spot—G…
 
When I was in college, I studied psychology because I was fascinated by the mind-body connection. I wanted to understand what made people tick and why they do what they do. My guest today had a similar curiosity into the human condition, although went about indulging it differently—by studying anthropology. Juliette Blackwell is the New York Times …
 
Matthew Fray is a relationship coach and writer who leans on the lessons of his failed marriage and divorce to help others avoid making the same mistakes he did. His writing has been featured in The New York Times, The Sunday Times, The Huffington Post, Babble, and many more. His blog, Must Be This Tall To Ride, has a dedicated following and has re…
 
Imagine that one simple, humbling question could change the trajectory of your career forever. By simply asking his clients, “What would you do if you were me?” today’s guest, John Saunders, uncorked the guidance he needed to excel in his role as a Wall Street SVP and sales team leader. He joined me to talk about parlaying his wisdom into a book an…
 
One of the biggest challenges for a new author is to find their voice while writing something that will make a difference in the world. That's why Linda Griffin decided to become a book coach and help new authors find their path through the publishing process. Linda shares her story of how she became a book coach and why she’s motivated to help new…
 
Every now and then I get a reminder that I’m only human, and that reminder came in the introduction to this episode where I mispronounce the title of my guest’s book. Thankfully, Beth Anstandig had a sense of humor about it, and we had a good laugh. It is someone apropos, as laughing is a part of the human experience and that was a big topic of con…
 
Over the years on Uncorking a Story, I’ve interviewed many lawyers who have tapped into their creative side and written a debut novel and I can now add Matthew Necci’s name to that list. Who is the inspiration behind the story? What motivates him to write? How important was his wife’s support in moving him from aspiring to published author? Listen …
 
The stories my father has told me about his childhood are ones that have stayed with me. There are stories about the ice cream shop he worked in, the pranks he played on his bus driver, and the trouble he used to get into with his partner-in-crime Bobby MacGyver, but the one that always stuck with me was one he’d tell about his mother. My grandfath…
 
Imagine walking into a newspaper editor’s office, interviewing for a job as a sportswriter having never written a sports related article before, getting the gig and totally rocking it. That’s just what Carol Finizza did and I’m very excited to share her story with you today. MEET CAROL FINIZZA Carol has had a passion for storytelling since crafting…
 
I have a confession to make–I always wanted to be a gameshow host; unfortunately, I have a face for radio. That said, a guy can dream and I always saw myself hosting Jeopardy and if there was a clue about today’s guest it would be, A Pulitzer Prize winning author who does not identify as a writer. The answer, of course, would be ‘Who is Debby Apple…
 
I’ve been following Cindy Gallop for some time on LinkedIn—she’s one of those LinkedIn influencers who certainly takes the boring out of the platform. If there is one word that I would use to describe her, it’s provocative, and I know that I’m not alone in feeling that way—she caught the attention of my moderator friend and colleague Laura Nozicka …
 
Many of you long-time listeners know that I’m the proud father of triplets—the fact that they are turning twenty in a few short weeks is mindboggling to me. What many of you don’t know is that my wife was on supervised bedrest in the hospital for six weeks before giving birth to them. I spent all but two nights with her in the hospital during that …
 
I’ve always been fascinated by tales of demonic possession. I fully realize that is an odd thing to admit, but it’s true. I’ve seen The Exorcist more times than I can count and include similar movies such as The Exorcism of Emily Rose, The Rite, and anything from the Conjuring series as classics. Maybe it’s my Catholic upbringing, but if we believe…
 
Have you ever had a chance encounter with someone who changed your life forever? Nita Prose did and wrote a bestseller about it. Allowing herself to follow her curiosity was key and it paid off—The Maid is a #1 New York Times Bestseller and is deserving of every accolade it has received. MEET NITA PROSE Nita Prose is a longtime editor, serving many…
 
Imagine having a tool at your disposal that could help spark innovation and that this magical tool didn’t require capital investment. Now imagine that we are all capable of possessing this tool, if only we were able to open ourselves up to the vulnerability that makes it possible. What am I talking about? I’m glad you asked. I’m talking about empat…
 
INTRODUCTION Are you someone who has a hard time putting themselves first? Do you have a hard time vocalizing what your needs are? Many of us who answer yes to both of these questions often struggle with our interpersonal relationships, especially romantic ones. We do things for other people while ignoring or not even realizing what it is we really…
 
Welcome to the first ever best of episode of Uncorking a Story. Today, we revisit our first ever episode with Fr. Dave Dwyer, who talks about how he pivoted from working in comedy to becoming a Catholic priest after hearing a calling at a World Youth Day. I hope you find this story as inspiring as I did. Check out Fr. Dave on Instagram @fatherdaved…
 
William Sullivan, known as Sully to his friends, is a former Division 1 basketball coach who discovered a love of Shakespeare later in life. He penned his first novel back in 2001 and kept his fans waiting for two decades before publishing his second—Tilting with Lips, a comedic mystery to setting four friends on an adventure to uncover who William…
 
Growing up without a father figure can be difficult for someone who has no other male role models in their lives. Author Kendall Smith, son of a single mother, joins me to share the wisdom he has gathered from his own experience as a father, from observing other dads, and from interviewing various generations of men. How did being raised by a singl…
 
An editor should be an author’s best friend, but oftentimes authors view editors as taskmasters. Editor and author coach Claudia Volkman wants to smash this notion! Editors not only help correct errors in grammar and spelling but can also provide valuable insights to make a story stronger and polished to perfection Claudia joins me today and we exp…
 
There is a rise in anxiety and depression among teens resulting from several factors including increased pressures on kids to succeed, unrealistic expectations set through social media, and, of course, social restrictions due to the pandemic. In this episode, Jay Reid joins me to uncork an intense story about teenage suicides with a personal story …
 
Is it possible that a simple phone could change your life? This is where Lori Jean Glass’ story begins, in a Chicago hotel room where she had suicidal thoughts and a timely call to her therapist saved her life and started her on the path to becoming a better version of herself. Join me and Lori Jean as we uncork her story from being suicidal to bec…
 
C. Frederic John enjoys a global reputation as a strategic researcher with a career spanning over forty years. He specializes in melding profound insights into concrete recommendations for clients, and in crafting compelling research deliverables using story-telling techniques. Fred and I have a few things in common: we both work in the market rese…
 
One of the biggest misnomers in publishing is that there are overnight successes. Being a writer requires hard work, creativity, and persistence. All authors, including new and experienced, will face setbacks and many challenges. Rea Frey was a former boxer who became an Author, and she joined me recently to share the story about how she became a s…
 
Is it possible to experience healing after having a traumatic childhood characterized by neglect, sexual assault, and crime? The answer is yes, but it takes a brave soul to stare down the trauma of their past only to come out the other side stronger and able to love oneself. Join me and Lauren Dollie Duke as we uncork the story about how writing, t…
 
As the daughter of a college professor, Kaira Rouda moved around a lot as a kid. Being constantly thrust into new environments helped her develop the resilience that she’s carried with her throughout her life; which is a good thing because it's a big requirement for becoming an author! Kaira is a USA TODAY, Amazon charts, and international bestsell…
 
What happens when you skip doing your chemistry homework so that you can read historical romance novels? You might not learn about the substances of which matter is composed, but if you are Jill Shalvis it just might set you up to become a bestselling romance novelist. What proof do I have (and man, I wish proofs were used in Chemistry and not just…
 
Authors get to play God when writing a character. We shape them, give them characteristics to make them memorable, and ultimately control their destiny. Elizabeth George knows this well, and takes the role of God seriously when writing her mysteries. If you love a good mystery but aren’t familiar with her work, allow me to introduce you to Elizabet…
 
Art is medicine—that’s the core message that poet, musician, and artist Aliana Kann Michals wants to convey with her forthcoming poetry collection entitled In Defense of Science. What valuable life lessons did a relationship coming to an end during the pandemic teach her ? Why does she believe that vulnerability is her superpower? What words of adv…
 
I’ve had many different types of storytellers on Uncorking a Story including authors, comedians, and filmmakers. What I haven’t had yet is one of the most popular types of storytellers these days—fellow podcasters! That changes with today’s episode featuring Kathy Kay, the host of Strictly Anonymous. I came upon her show by accident. Over the past …
 
Out of the many guests I’ve hosted on Uncorking a Story, Michael Macari may have one of the most varied tales to tell. The son of immigrant parents, he was in Adonis, an up and coming rock band that was just about to feel the sensation of stardom with a record contract until a kidney stone sidelined his musical ambitions and put him on the path to …
 
Nadine Crocker survived a suicide attempt when she was 23 years old. After leaving home at 16 to pursue a career in front of the camera, maybe she thought she could leave the intense feelings of loneliness, depression, and anxiety back in Fresno. Also, really pretty and talented people aren’t supposed to have those kinds of feelings, are they? Well…
 
Cindy Finch is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) who specializes in helping people through their darkest times. She trained at the Mayo Clinic and has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, HuffPost, and CURE magazine. A survivor of traumatic life events, Cindy writes and works from lived experiences. She's helped thousands of people throug…
 
C. Frederic John enjoys a global reputation as a strategic researcher with a career spanning over 40 years. He specializes in melding profound insights into concrete recommendations for clients, and in crafting compelling research deliverables using story-telling techniques. Fred and I have a few things in common; we both worked in the market resea…
 
In her 30+ year career as an author, Laura Davis has written seven non-fiction books that have changed peoples’ lives. The Courage to Heal paved the way for hundreds of thousands to heal from the trauma of sexual abuse. Becoming the Parent You Want to Be helps parents develop a vision for the families they want to create. And I Thought We’d Never S…
 
Kris Clink is the author of Goodbye, Lark Lovejoy and Sissie Klein is Completely Normal, which have received praise from Bustle, Midwest Book Review, Kirkus Reviews, Women.com, Lone Star Literary, Brit + Co, Travel and Leisure Magazine, and Entertainment Weekly, among others. Set in middle America, her novels are laced with love, heartbreak, and ju…
 
Have you ever wondered why there are so many legal dramas on TV? I know I’m dating myself here but off the top of my head I can think of LA Law, Boston Legal, Law and Order, and Night Court. Okay, so maybe that last one isn’t a drama, but it was damn funny. Maybe it’s because so many authors I’ve interviewed recently have fled the legal profession …
 
When I was presented with the opportunity to interview J.M. Thompson about his memoir, Running is a Kind of Dreaming, I sprinted to say yes for two reasons; I’m an avid runner and wanted to know what inspired the title and it deals with mental health issues, specifically men’s mental health issues. A few years ago, my twin brother was suffering fro…
 
Imagine you are a father of two young children going through your morning routine of getting them—and yourself—ready for the day when there’s a knock at the door and the intimidating people right out of central casting on the other side are about to share news that will rock your world. John Vandemoer doesn’t have to imagine that; in fact, I bet he…
 
Jay Jay French is an American guitarist, manager, record producer and founding member of the heavy metal band Twisted Sister. He is a columnist, author and motivational speaker who oversees licensing and intellectual property rights for the Twisted Sister brand. His new book, Twisted Business, is part memoir and part business book follows French’s …
 
After a brief hiatus between seasons, I’m happy to report that Uncorking a Story is back for its 5th season. Our first episode features a great conversation I had with Heather Frimmer whose second novel, Better to Trust, will be released on Tuesday, September 21st. As a young woman, Heather was a bookworm who used to write short stories for her own…
 
Dani Klein Modisett is a comedian, actor, and author of the book “Take My Spouse, Please,” about how to create shared laughter to keep your marriage happy and healthy. That book was preceded by 2009’s “Afterbirth...stories you won’t read in Parents magazine.” Additionally, her writing has appeared in AARP, NY Times, LA Times, Parents Magazine and o…
 
Jessica Chiarella is the author of And Again. She holds an MA in writing and publishing from DePaul University and an MFA in creative writing from the University of California, Riverside. In this interview, I learned that she wanted to be a writer when she was seven years old so, when she told me that she had a degree in Political Science, I had to…
 
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