Monthly Archives

January 2024

Jonathan Maberry

By Author, Film, Movies, Sci-Fi No Comments

This week on the Here’s What We Know Podcast, join us for a riveting episode as our host, Gary Scott Thomas, sits down with none other than the master of thrills and chills, Jonathan Maberry! They dive deep into his fascinating life and work as a prolific author whose career spans across novels, short stories, comic books, the big screen, and more. Jonathan’s life reads like one of his novels—from martial arts expert to bestselling author. Our host couldn’t get enough of his Joe Ledger series and Pine Deep trilogy. And neither will you once you dive into those heart-pounding action scenes!

So tune in to this incredible episode and discover the passion and stories behind your favorite Maberry books! Also, brace yourself for spoilers!

This episode is sponsored by:

(Be sure to use code “Gary20” to get 20% off your order!)

In this Episode:

  • A Life Full of Stories: Jonathan shares his wildly varied bio, proving that his life is just as captivating as the worlds he creates.
  • The Joe Ledger Series: Get ready to dive into the mind of a master storyteller as Jonathan discusses the completion of the 13th book and his preparations for the 14th. 
  • Crafting Fight Scenes: Find out how Jonathan’s martial arts expertise translates into gripping combat sequences that are packed with physiological and psychological layers. It’s like watching a high-octane fight scene on the page!
  • Character Depth and Evolution: Hear Jonathan’s insights on the development of his book protagonists and how they evolve throughout his captivating stories. 
  • Hollywood Adaptations and Casting Challenges: Get the inside scoop on past discussions about adapting the Joe Ledger series into TV shows or movies. And let’s not forget the all-important casting choices.
  • The Future of Joe Ledger: Join in on the excitement as they talk about possible future adaptations and Jonathan’s appearances in other book series. The possibilities are endless!
  • Narrative Technique Discussion: Discover how Jonathan’s ideas are born from current events or scientific advancements, weaving impactful storylines that center around character experiences. It’s like a masterclass in storytelling!
  • The Story of Our Fathers: Take a nostalgic trip down memory lane as Jonathan shares stories from his upbringing. A glimpse into his past that adds an extra layer of depth to his work.
  • Comic Book Morality: Explore the intricate world of comic books, including the beloved Marvel and DC comics, as Jonathan delves into the moral complexities they tackle. 

Quotations:

“It’s always annoyed me when I watch movies or TV shows where the hero, you know, gets in a gun battle or fist fight and, you know, either brutalizes someone or kills someone. And then in the next scene, there’s no emotional resonance to it. It’s like, it’s like, that’s just another day. And I know a lot of guys in law enforcement and the military, including a lot of guys in the special forces. And even, you know, even though a lot of them keep good game faiths, you know, there’s a reason why PTSD is such a big thing. Because, you know, you are crossing that barrier of, you know, that taboo barrier of ending human life in a combat situation.” ~ Jonathan Maberry

“Even though you may have 100 percent justification, there is still a part of you that’s always going to be the moral, empathetic human being who just killed someone, and if you don’t have that moment, then there is; that’s the real cry for help. When you can pull a trigger and not have it affect you at all, that’s symptomatic of a pathology that is very frightening.” ~ Jonathan Maberry

“Fact that violence always, always leaves a mark.” ~ Jonathan Maberry

“That humanism matters far more to me in an action hero than any kind of politics ever would.” ~ Jonathan Maberry

“Our job as writers is not to give a bunch of good characters a nice bed. So we think of, like, whose lives would be most dramatically impacted.” ~ Jonathan Maberry

“It’s all about character experience,  picking different people and seeing how their lives will be impacted by something, and then building the story around that rather than just focusing on the big, central conceit of whatever the theme is going to be.” ~ Jonathan Maberry

“Having had a horrible father, I know what not to do; you know, I know what I don’t want as part of my life.” ~ Jonathan Maberry

“A father’s, a blood father, can be the family we’re born into, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the family, um, that we want to have, especially since that person has to be the father where a stepfather chooses to be the father.” ~ Jonathan Maberry

“Professional daydream is what I should put on my business card because it is the best job in the world.” ~ Jonathan Maberry

Guest’s Bio:

Jonathan Maberry is a New York Times best-seller, five-time Bram Stoker Award-winner, anthology editor, comic book writer, executive producer, magazine feature writer, playwright, and writing teacher/lecturer. He is the editor of Weird Tales Magazine and president of the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers. He is the recipient of the Inkpot Award, three Scribe Awards, and was named one of the Today’s Top Ten Horror Writers. His books have been sold in more than thirty countries. He writes in several genres, including thriller, horror, science fiction, epic fantasy, and mystery, and he writes for adults, middle grade, and young adults.

Jonathan is the creator, editor, and co-author of V-WARS, a shared-world vampire anthology from IDW Publishing that was adapted into a Netflix series.

He is the editor of many anthologies, including The X-Files, Aliens: Bug Hunt, Don’t Turn Out the Lights, Nights of the Living Dead, and others. His comics include Black Panther: DoomWar, Captain America, Pandemica, Highway to Hell, The Punisher, and Bad Blood.

Jonathan and his wife, Sara Jo, to whom he dedicates all of his published works, and their dog, Rosie, live in San Diego, California.

Guest’s Contact Info:

Matt Stell

By Music, Personal Growth No Comments

This week on the Here’s What We Know Podcast, host Gary Scott Thomas had a fun and candid conversation with the country music singer, guitarist, and songwriter, Matt Stell. Join us as Matt shares stories from his roots in Center Ridge, Arkansas, to the bustling streets of New York City. Matt isn’t just carrying his guitar on tours; he brings along memories, aspirations, and heartfelt stories that resonate across every destination he has been to! We are sure that this podcast episode has something delightful for everyone. Tune in now!

This episode is sponsored by:

(Use code “GST” on their website and enjoy an exclusive 10% discount on your favorite shoes!)

(Be sure to tell them Gary sent you so you can save 20%!)

In this Episode:

  • Discover how people from small towns like Center Ridge “round up” when explaining where they’re from.
  • Get a taste of city life through Matt’s eyes and why he appreciates visiting places like New York but prefers living elsewhere.
  • Learn about being a “professional traveler” as part of a singer’s job and why sometimes life gets in the way of exploring new cities.
  • Gain insight into his record label experience with Sony in Manhattan and how his authentic style resonates beyond traditional boundaries.
  • Pizza talk! Find out if New York really does have better pizza and what constitutes an acceptable topping, according to Matt.
  • Explore destinations still on Matt’s bucket list.
  • Understand the allure behind festival shows both as an artist performing for large crowds and as a fan enjoying other musicians’ sets.
  • Delve into who inspired him growing up (hint: ’90s alternative bands) and who he’d love to collaborate with today.
  • Peek into the creative process behind hits like “Prayed For You” starting with just one line that sparks an entire song narrative.

Quotations:

The thing about New York is their bad pizza is good. You know what I mean? Like the floor is so high.  You can walk into anywhere and get a slice and it’d be amazing. Uh, and quick and ready to rock.” ~ Matt Stell

“I really want to go to Japan. I want to see, I want to see, uh, Tokyo. I want to, I want to just see how other people do it.” ~ Matt Stell

“Even on the other side of the world, you know, we’ll have some things in common for sure.” ~ Matt Stell

“Well, it’s better to be lucky than good. Sometimes for sure.” ~ Matt Stell

“It’s just such a vibe when people show up to listen to the live music and I want to be there all day and you get to be a part of it. And then also I get to be a fan. You know, I get to see these bands that I’m a fan of that. I usually don’t get to see ’cause we’re on the road.” ~ Matt Stell

“It just makes you appreciate all different kinds, you know, and I always make you appreciate how, uh, a lot of people can like a lot of different things, which is, you know, variety is the spice of the spice of life.” ~ Matt Stell

“I always love to get a ball in my hand and, uh, get some shots up for sure.” ~ Matt Stell

“Most of the time you start from the chorus and kind of work your way out.” ~ Matt Stell

“When I have kids, they’re not gonna have any choice. They’re going to love those garden greens.” ~ Matt Stell

“That’s just great to see music resonate with people all over the place, man, for sure. I didn’t know that song was going to do that when I wrote it, but man, I sure love it when it does.” ~ Matt Stell

Guest’s Bio:

Matt Stell is an American country music singer, guitarist, and songwriter. Matt began releasing music in the early 2010s after teaching himself guitar while in college. He had a breakthrough with the streaming hit “Prayed for You” in 2018, which topped the Country Airplay charts in 2019, a position matched by “Everywhere But On” that year. After a couple of quiet years, Stell delivered the One of Us EP in February 2023.

Raised mostly in Center Ridge, Arkansas, with some time spent in Central Florida, Matt Stell grew up listening to a mix of classic country, country-rock, blues-rock, and rap while making a name for himself in basketball. He went on to play college basketball at Drury University in Springfield, Missouri, where he started playing guitar between school and team obligations. As soon as he could play barre chords, he began writing songs and performing at a local bar. Music quickly became a passion, though he finished a master’s degree in communications at the University of Arkansas, made missionary trips to Haiti, and considered medical school before deciding to pursue it as a vocation.

Talking about the beginning of his career as a singer, he was the lead singer of the band “The Crashers” in the late 2000s and early 2010s. This personality released three albums independently while being involved with the said band. Those albums were The Sound & the Story, Vestibule Blues, and A River Through It. Followed it with the single “Country Love Song” in 2015. In the meantime, he opened shows for headliners including Luke Bryan and Eric Church. An offer from Wide Open Music in Nashville, Tennessee, led to the release of the single “Prayed for You” and the EP Everywhere But On in 2019. “Prayed for You” went viral, amassing over ten million streams across platforms before the end of the year. The single’s success translated to the charts: it topped Billboard’s Country Airplay chart, as did “Everywhere But On.” Another EP, Better Than That, arrived in October 2020 and included the song “Look at Me Now.” The non-LP single “That Ain’t Me No More” followed in 2021, with 2022’s “Man-Made” teasing the early 2023 release of the One of Us EP.

Guest’s Contact Info:

Randy Hahn

By Community, Fun, Personal Growth, Sports, TV No Comments

This week on the Here’s What We Know Podcast, host Gary Scott Thomas had a wonderful time sitting down with the legendary television play-by-play broadcaster of the San Jose Sharks NBC Sports California National Hockey League, Randy Hahn. They dive into a reflective conversation about their long-standing careers in broadcasting. With over three decades behind the mic for the San Jose Sharks, Randy shares his journey from radio beginnings to becoming an iconic voice in sports.

So, join us as we skate through memory lane with one of hockey’s most enduring voices! Tune in now to this episode filled with fun and nostalgia!

This episode is sponsored by:

(Be sure to tell them Gary sent you!)

In this Episode:

  • Randy spills the beans on how his broadcasting career started in 1991, and never in his wildest dreams did he imagine staying put for over 30 years. Talk about passion and dedication!
  • Discover the challenges and unexpected twists of longevity in the industry from two veterans who have seen it all. These guys know the ins and outs, and they’re ready to dish out all the behind-the-scenes stories.
  • Ever wondered why certain game moments stick out to fans? Randy shares his thoughts and reveals why those interactions during live broadcasts hold a special place in the hearts of broadcasters like himself.
  • Uncover the importance of connecting with fans and creating unforgettable experiences during games and events that resonate beyond the final buzzer. Get ready to feel that sense of community and camaraderie we all love about sports.
  • Randy opens up about making tough career moves, handling rejections early on, and eventually finding stability in a turbulent industry. His journey is one of resilience, which aspiring broadcasters can learn from.
  • Find out what ignited the passion in these seasoned pros for the world of broadcasting, from the magic of AM radio to influential figures like Johnny Carson‘s producer, Fred de Cordova. Inspiration awaits!
  • Learn how growing up Canadian shaped Randy’s path toward becoming a hockey broadcaster. Discover the unique influences that made him the voice we all know and love today.
  • And of course, you won’t want to miss the valuable advice these experienced voices share on building authenticity and self-confidence, essential traits for success in the media industry.

Quotations:

“You gotta move around to move up the ladder, and then sometimes you take a step down or go sideways or whatever, and you’re right, to be in one spot for 30-something years.” ~ Randy Hahn

“Thousands of times you’ve done that job, you kind of focus on that day and then you do it. And then somehow parts of it just leave you because you have to make room in your brain for the next game the next day and the next show. So it’s a lot of, do the material, flush it, and move on.” ~ Randy Hahn

“It’s part of the great thing about the job that fans remind you of moments that maybe weren’t the iconic big moments for the Sharks in their history.” ~ Randy Hahn

“To them, that was a special moment. And you may have forgotten it. And it does remind you of it. And it just shows you that it’s a journey. And it’s a thing that means a lot to a lot of people. And for me, it’s a job. But to the listener and the viewer, it’s their joy, it’s their fun, it’s their escape, and they remember those special things that might not be iconic to anyone else, but to them. And it’s fun when you get reminded of that.” ~ Randy Hahn

“They’ve heard the same two voices for 30 years. And to just change that for no good reason, most people wouldn’t do that. So we’re very blessed in that the longer we’re around, in some ways, the more valuable we become.” ~ Randy Hahn

“And for anybody to just come in and decide to make a change for change’s sake, they better be very careful with that.” ~ Randy Hahn

“It’s not instant; it takes a long time, but when you have it, it’s a great, great thing. And it’s what I always tell the young broadcasters: you have to get comfortable enough to where you are yourself on the air.” ~ Randy Hahn

“It’s a process and it’s just about any walk in life. It takes repetitions. You just have to keep your nose down and grind out day after day, week after week, year after year of getting good at something.” ~ Randy Hahn

“It’s very hard to be instantly authentic. That takes reps. You’ve got to repeatedly do what you do for a while and get comfortable and get confidence. You know, our business is crazy. And I’ll bet you I’m singing to the choir here when you have to have a lot of self-confidence and believe in yourself because not many people pat you on the back. There are a lot more people who are waiting for you to stumble or look to criticize. So, you know, you have to have that self-belief and you have to have that level of self-confidence to keep doing what you do every day and every game. And that’s where the authenticity comes in.” ~ Randy Hahn

Guest’s Bio:

Randy Hahn is a Canadian-American play-by-play commentator for the San Jose Sharks on NBC Sports California and has held that position for over 30 seasons. He has over 40 years of broadcast experience, mostly in hockey. Celebrating a milestone, he called his 2,000th Sharks game on December 13, 2022, during the matchup against the Arizona Coyotes in San Jose.

Teaming up with analyst and former partner Drew Remenda, Hahn secured five Northern California Emmy Awards in the “On Camera Sports” category, with victories in 1999, 2002, 2005, and 2008. Beyond hockey, Hahn served as a play-by-play announcer in Konami’s NHL Blades of Steel ’99 and 2K Sports’ NHL 2K9, NHL 2K10, and NHL 2K11. Hahn and Rick Davis provided commentary for the inaugural FIFA Women’s World Cup final in Guangzhou, China, broadcasted on SportsChannel America in November 1991. Some of his other TV and radio work has been with the San Diego Sockers, Los Angeles Kings, Vancouver Canucks, and Edmonton Oilers.

Currently married to Andrea Buswell Hahn, owner of the Frost Cupcake Factory in San Jose, Randy Hahn continues to contribute his expertise and passion to the world of sports broadcasting.

Guest’s Contact Info:

Franco Finn

By Community, Fun, Personal Growth, Sports, TV No Comments

This week on the Here’s What We Know Podcast, host Gary Scott Thomas shared another captivating conversation with the legendary ‘hype guy’ and on-court host of the Golden State Warriors, Franco Finn. He shares his passion for basketball and takes us back to the unforgettable year of 2015, a pivotal moment that marked the beginning of a dynasty. Plus, get ready to uncover surprising truths behind the spotlight of some celebrities through intimate experiences shared by Franco.

So tune in now for all these fascinating stories where entertainment meets athleticism!

This episode is sponsored by:

(Be sure to tell them Gary sent you!)

(Use code “Gary” to get $89 off any Mike Counsil Plumbing and Rooter service!)

In this Episode:

  • Golden State Warriors 2015 Championship Legacy Rekindled
  • NBA Star Power Dynamics, Drafting, and Team Development highlighting Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Kevin Durant, and more.
  • Discover the Coolest Things Backstage
  • Behind the Scenes with Celebrities like NSYNC, Justin Timberlake, Raven Symone, Shia LeBeouf, Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, Garth Brook, and Taylor Swift.
  • Industry Evolution Reflection and Creating Value in Radio Production
  • The Story of Our First Radio Commercials

Quotations:

“And the wonderful thing about 2015 is people didn’t expect us to win.” ~ Franco Finn

“I don’t know what today’s gonna bring, it’s a different day. I don’t know what today’s gonna bring, it’s a different day.” ~ Franco Finn

“But some people you see on TV, we all know, doesn’t necessarily mean that’s who they are in real person. They are actors, and actresses, playing goofy, funny characters, and when they’re in person, it’s a whole new ball of wax.” ~ Franco Finn

“These child stars, actors, whatever, they go through, I mean, things that adults would go through, but at their tender young age, they’re not even processing emotions. I mean, they barely have been on this earth, and they’re having to deal with pressures of money, pressures of fame, pressures of jealousy. I mean, you name it, like, we’re still learning, and we’re, you know, we’re older. And you imagine these kids are getting all this at once, thrown at them at one time, and not everyone can handle it. They will crack. And that’s just the unfortunate thing about it.” ~ Franco Finn

“It all kind of comes back to the roots and how you grew up and how you viewed the world.” ~ Franco Finn

“These kids viewed the world so young, so early, where they had money, fame, and everything else, that it may break you, and a lot of times it will and you go through like a rebellion period, right?” ~ Franco Finn

“I think that’s what fascinated me about this business is that you don’t see things right. You only hear it right because it’s the radio but the stories behind it, you know, are insane because you just there’s no visuals So you gotta be creative of the mind.” ~ Franco Finn

“Just take it, give it your best. They may or may not like it, but in that case, I was an artist, I was in my mode, and they freaking loved it.” ~ Franco Finn

“I don’t have to be that guy. I’m this guy I’m my own guy. And so that’s how you got to create your own value where you’re your own brand.” ~ Franco Finn

“That’s why radio, to me, was one of the most powerful tools, and it really did penetrate countries and people more than TV did at the time because people started on radio.”

“Don’t be afraid to just give it a try.” ~ Franco Finn

“I was always like the little guy Station, but that gave me the kind of like everything the know-how to just adapt and go and make a splash. You know how you’re like a big, small mouse with a big voice? I literally was a small mouse with a big voice.” ~ Franco Finn

“I’m different, I’m making some noise, and I know my crowds very well. I don’t care who I’m up against, but this little voice, this mouse, could roar, and that’s how my career started, really.” ~ Franco Finn

“I’m still a student. I don’t care if I have 20 years, 30, 40 years, I can still learn from others that I can apply to myself. And that’s where I think if you’re able to absorb like a sponge, take it in your own way, and then you do it the way you need to do it, but you could always learn from others.” ~ Franco Finn

Guest’s Bio:

Franco Finn is a first-generation San Francisco native. Growing up, Franco attended a bilingual French-American school where he learned to speak fluent French, and that’s where he began his passion for the arts.  Franco graduated with a B.A. in Communications at Santa Clara University, studying television, and film production. Franco has been working in the aviation industry for the past decade, working in a variety of capacities during his aviation career, from Brand Marketing, Partnerships, Communications, External Relations & Employee Engagement. Currently, Franco manages the Community Relations & Engagement efforts for the state of California at Alaska Airlines, while also serving as their company media spokesperson, host, and travel influencer.

Franco is an active member of the San Francisco community, where he also serves on the Executive Board of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, board member for the Hotel Council of San Francisco, and now recently a Commissioner for the City & County of San Francisco’s Film Commission.  When Franco is not working his business and corporate jobs, people may also recognize him and his voice over the last 20 years as the in-arena MC/Host and TV Personality for the NBA World Champion Golden State Warriors. Now in his 20th season, many fans of the beloved sports franchise fittingly know him as the “Hypeman” at the new Chase Center in San Francisco, where he energizes and entertains the often sold-out crowd of 18,000+ fans every night. You’ll hear him introducing the team’s starting lineup, hosting the pre-game show “Warriors TV,” and conducting all the contests and promotions at the arena. Franco is also the first and only Filipino/Asian American “Hypeman” in the NBA. 

Franco Finn is also a well-known professional auctioneer, nicknamed the “Hypeman Auctioneer,” where he shares his voice and influence at many charity benefits, galas, celebrity events, and all types of fundraiser events all around the San Francisco Bay Area, the country, and beyond.  He’s a graduate of the Mendenhall School of Auctioneering in North Carolina, as well as a member of the National Auctioneers Association (NAA) with a Benefit Auction Specialist (B.A.S.) designation. Franco has been involved in a multitude of fundraising events for many years, working with some of the most recognizable non-profit charities and organizations, including the American Red Cross, the March of Dimes, The Ronald McDonald House, the Boys & Girls Clubs, the YMCA, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, just to name a handful, helping to raise millions of dollars and counting in his career!

His media background and experience include being a current segment host on KRON 4 TV, where you can see his recurring “Franco On The Fly” travel segments. He also works as a freelance MC/host for the San Francisco Giants’ special events department for the past 14 seasons. He is a local and national MC and has hosted a variety of signature events as well as sporting events, from NASCAR to Red Bull’s extreme sports competitions.  His previous stints include being an on-air personality and host for TV and radio for entities such as CBS, Comcast SportsNet, the Oakland Raiders (NFL Network), KOFY-TV, Radio Disney, KGO AM 810, and guest appearances on ESPN Radio.

Guest’s Contact Info: