Thursday, December 11, 2008

More Stories 2 - Nate Green Interview

In this second supplemental podcast, we interview author Nate Green. We discuss his short story, "Prison Darkness" as well as his upcoming novels. Brian also gives us an update on his projects. Links we discuss in the episode:

Thanks for listening!

MP3 File

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Announcement: Authorial Intrusion

I'm thrilled to say that we just recorded our very first author interview with local area novelist, Nate Green. The episode will number among our More Stories segments. I refer to it as our Authorial Intrusion episode, well, because I like really bad jokes.

In this upcoming podcast, we talk to Nate about his short story, "Prison Darkness," which you can purchase in electronic or print format here. Nate's story is part of an anthology published by Niteblade. In fact, we recommend you buy it because a) it's an awesome story and b) we speak about "Prison Darkness" fairly in-depth, so there will be spoilers abounding. It'd be better to read Nate's short story before you listen to the podcast.

We also talk to Nate about the literary concept of tragedy, the writing process in general, and his works-in-progress. It's a short, but thoughtful, discussion of writing, and Nick gets some great one-liners in during the interview.

This episode will be released shortly. Keep an eye out for it! In the meantime, go read Nate's story.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

JJ Abrams and Co. Boldly Went...

...for it and succeeded with the new Star Trek trailer. Check it out here. The film looks great. I was fortunate enough to see it in the theater so I also had the surprise factor working in my favor.

I've been worried about this movie since day one. Not because I doubted Abrams or his cadre of writers working on the picture, but because it has so many reasons to fail. Fans of the original series versus fans of the movies versus fans of Star Trek as a whole versus the general movie-going public. Everyone has an opinion on what Star Trek should be, so I was worried that it was doomed from the start because there'd be no way to reconcile the various concepts of Star Trek.

But the trailer's quieted some of those concerns for me. Could this film be what Star Wars in '77 was?

Friday, November 14, 2008

More Stories - Episode 1

In our hiatus from regular podcasts, we decided to bring you this supplemental version of Four Stories. This episode has been exclusively on iTunes for a few weeks, but we thought we'd finally put it up for our loyal blog followers. We discuss Burn After Reading, Fringe, Prison Break, The Sobriquets, Nate Green, and The Unearthed. It's a free-for-all! Enjoy!

A few links we talked about in the episode:

The Sobriquets
The Sobriquets Myspace page
Prison Darkness by Nate Green
Nate Green's Myspace page
The Unearthed at Lyrical Press

Don't forget to leave us a comment below or send us an email at to let us know what you think of
this episode!

Download MP3 File

Monday, November 10, 2008

A (Short Review) of The Dogs of Babel, by Carolyn Parkhurst

Hey everyone,

This is Brian. I'm going to be a little lazy and cut and paste a short review of The Dogs of Babel, which I wrote initially for my own Blog: I figured it was pertinent to Four Stories. In fact, I should have written it for THIS Blog, then cut and paste it onto my Blog. Don't worry, this review is spoiler free!


Carolyn Parkhurst, author of The Dogs of Babel, knows her way with words and knows her way with emotions. But even more importantly, she's able to use her words to explore emotions in all their ugliness, beauty, and ultimately, their humanity.

The Dogs of Babel is a fascinatingly strange book. The hook of the story can be a bit misleading: a recently widowed man sets out to teach his dog to speak, so she can explain to him how his wife died. Picking it up, I thought I'd be reading more about a man's scientific adventure and an exploration into the nature of language and communication.

While The Dogs of Babel is about that, it's really about something more: how each one of us grieves in our own stupid, humorous, and touching ways when dealing with something terrible.

Parkhurst does a great job at balancing the seemingly disparate elements of her story. It is part mystery, part memoir/love story, part dog tale, and even part suspense thriller. Sounds like a strange brew, and I'll admit it is, but the narrative works, and the oddity of the mixture makes the story all the more unique.

The Dogs of Babel is an easy read because of Parkhurst's command of language; but it is also a very difficult read, because Parkhurst's prose takes us to dark and sad places. And though it would have been easy, not once does her story become a sentimental journey. It's an unflincing portrait of a grieving man, deceptively simple in its execution, profound in its message.

If you're tired of reading the same old thing, I'd highly recommend picking up this book.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Where ARE you, Four Stories?

Hi everyone! Well, since Brian decided to let everyone in on what he's been working on, I (Nick) feel it's only fair to let you know what I've been doing as well. Obviously, we've been busy with a lot of other things, and it's my fault especially (aside from some technical difficulties) that we haven't released a podcast in a while.

My main project over the summer was a website that I'm working on for a former professor and good friend, Dennis Will. Please take a look at it here - his pieces use a sophisticated level of color balance and composition that, to me, is somehow peaceful and energetic at the same time. I think it's amazing work and I think you will too. Dennis is a great storyteller in his own right, and I'm proud to be associated with him and his art.

I've also joined a new band, and I'll be updating you more on that as time goes on. I'm sure we'll be talking about their songs here, as the main writer, James, has quite a few interesting stories to tell. For now you can check us out at our myspace, or the official site.

So as Brian said, in addition to our analysis of others' work, we're doing our best to create something worthwhile in those worlds. But we'll be back sooner than you think, and we thank you so much for listening. Please let us know how you feel about the podcast and if you do want to keep hearing about our other projects.

Talk to you soon!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Unearthed, by Brian O'Rourke

Dear Listener,

We're pretty good about not doing this usually, but it's time for us to give in and perform some shameless self-promotion. Alright, it's just me (Brian O'Rourke) doing this; Nick is not responsible in any way.

I've written a story. Well, three of them actually. The first one is terrible. The second has its moments. The third story, The Unearthed, is a paranormal thriller, with elements of mystery and horror. I've inundated agents and publishers with queries over the last five months, trying to get it picked up.

The story is starting to generate some interest: several agents are looking at "partials" and one e-publisher has offered me a contract for it. So needless to say, I'm very excited.

Of course, I'm here to plug my story, but I'm also telling you this for another very important reason. Nick and I (I can speak for Nick here) never wanted to be seen as just "two guys talking about other artists' works. " We're also both creators; in fact, we think of ourselves as creators first.

Here's a teaser for The Unearthed:

The Rosselli family has fallen victim to some bizarre, unsettling occurrences in their home. A stain that looks like blood continues to reappear on the carpet in the dining room. Talia Rosselli, wife and mother, has seen what she thinks is a ghost and has grown too scared to be in the house alone. Her husband, Jackie, has heard strange noises. And their son, Billy, is talking to an "someone," who has urged Billy to do violent things.

Tim and Eddie McCloskey are paranormal investigators. When Jackie Rosselli calls Tim for help, Tim jumps at the offer to ghost hunt. Because Tim knows about the history of the Rosselli house, and this could be his biggest case to date. For, three years ago, three members of the Moriarty family murdered each other in that house.

Eamon Moriarty is the boy that survived the “Moriarty Massacre.” He now lives with his aunt and uncle a town away. He is trying to get on with his life, but strange dreams keep waking him. He is unable to recall most of what happened on the night of the massacre. And for some reason, he feels compelled to draw pictures of his old house continuously. He fears there is something terribly wrong with him, but he does not know what it is.

This will prove to be no ordinary investigation for Tim and Eddie, as they soon discover they face the most terrifying foe of all: the unknown. They must figure out what type of haunting they are dealing with—residual, intelligent, poltergeist, or something else entirely—before it is too late. Because as the investigation moves forward, Tim and Eddie discover some shocking similarities between the Moriarties and the Rossellis. And Tim begins to wonder if the Moriarty Massacre is destined to repeat itself, and if he has the power to keep that from happening.

If you are interested in reading the first few chapters of The Unearthed, send me an email at I would offer to post the story electronically or put up excerpts, but in light of potential contractual obligations, I don't want to set myself up for any future legal entanglements.

Thanks for all your continued support of Four Stories!

Brian, The Guy With the Jersey Accent on Four Stories

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Important Announcement

Now that I've grabbed you with the title of this Blog post, let's get some administrative things out of the way:

First, we wanted to say thanks for all your support. Because of some wickedly cool (and wickedly scary) Big Brother-like software, we can track the number of downloads, per day, of our Podcasts. And that number has grown steadily and increased greatly over these few months. So thank you for that.

Second, we're working hard on the editing of Episode Four. We ran into some technical issues, the details of which I won't bore you with, but we're fighting our way through them and plan to release the next episode shortly. We're NOT going anywhere. We promise not to be like some other Podcasters, who quit after airing three or four episodes, just when you've gotten hooked on their show.

Third, Episode Five is in pre-production right now...and we're excited to say that we've got a very special guest appearing. Perhaps we'll lay bare one of our several inside jokes for you.

So, as always, we encourage you to keep writing us. Do you have a story (or Four Stories) you'd like to hear us talk about? Send them our way.


We would like to thank all of you that voted for Nate Green's short story, "Prison Darkness," at As it turns out, Nate received the most votes, and his story will be published in a print journal. This is very exciting for us (and for Nate, obviously) because Nate is a good friend to us and the show, and he is a very gifted writer. Thanks for your support!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

One Story Needs Your Vote!

Episode 4 of Four Stories (about Prison) will be up soon, but in the mean time, we'd like to mention a related item. Our friend (and loyal podcast listener) Nate Green has a short story called Prison Darkness published in the online version of Niteblade magazine. They're looking to put it in the print version, but to do so, he needs your help. So please drop by Niteblade's site, read Nate's story, and vote for it if you like it! We think you will. Nate is a talented up-and-coming author, and you'll be hearing his name very soon.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Episode 3 - Time Travel

This time, we mix it up a bit and take a journey in our "way back" machine. ALL the way back to 1899, then to 1960, to 2002, and finally to 2001, to pick up a slice with some friends before we return to the present. During our trip, we'll offer our thoughts on storytelling issues such as narrative vs. plot, isolation, family, suspension of disbelief, and social commentary. We also wonder how special some effects really are, and ask the question, "What IS a story?"

So before you leave, don't forget to say hi at fourstoriespodcast at gmail dot com or share your comments and/or suggestions below or on iTunes.

Subscribe on iTunes


Friday, May 16, 2008

Episode 3 Coming Soon!

It's taking some time, but we think it's worth it. We wouldn't mind having a machine that could send us back a few days to finish this quicker for you. But in the meantime, we hope you enjoyed this great Thursday night by watching Cole Hamels' shutout and/or Part 1 of LOST's season finale. If you like blogs, here are two that are worth looking at:


The Transmission

We'll see you soon. Or later?

Friday, May 2, 2008

Episode 2 - The Apocalypse

You know it. It's the end of the world. You've seen a lot of apocalyptic visions out there. We've found four of them to share with you. This episode, we wonder what it must be like to have our lives get flip turned upside-down by some crazy catastrophe. We'll also find out who's making trouble in someone's Kansas neighborhood, and where the last man on Earth has been spending most of his days. So just take a minute (or 50) and sit right there, and we'll tell you how it all comes around.

Also, a reminder that we will be talking about the end of all these stories, so if you don't want to be spoiled, skip to the next story, or check them out before you listen.

Thanks to everyone who listened to, downloaded, and commented on Episode 1 - we've been surprised by and impressed with the response!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Episode 2 On Its Way!

Fear not, loyal fans. Episode 2 has been recorded and will be posted next week. We're (read, Nick) in the process of editing it now. Here's an Episode 2 teaser for you: tune in to hear some very interesting listener feedback regarding Episode 1. Also, Nick and I get into a huge a discussion about the end of the world. That's coming next week on Four Stories with Nick (and Brian).

Monday, April 21, 2008

Episode 1 - Group Conflict

In this episode, we'll compare four stories using conflicts between groups of differing ideologies, and decide how well each example uses the genres of mystery, action, and drama to tell its story to the audience.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Coming Soon!

We're working hard on our first podcast and we will bring it to you very soon. We'll be discussing four stories from four different areas of the entertainment industry each week, and we promise to find some interesting ways to connect them. Stay tuned!