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Question and Answer Episode – March 2022

Q&A Episode – March 2022

In this monthly q & a session, the guys answer listener questions.

J.K. Rowling was nearly homeless when she wrote the first Harry Potter book. Stephen King penned CARRIE on a small desk wedged between a washer and dryer. James Patterson worked in advertising and famously wrote the Toys “R” Us theme song long before becoming an author. 

Join New York Times best-seller, J.D. Barker, and indie powerhouses J. Thorn and Zach Bohannon as they pull back the curtain on some of the world’s most prolific authors. Where did they start? What is their process? The biggest names in publishing all have origin stories, all have a process, all have tips and secrets… What does it take to consistently top the bestseller lists? Get your notepad out. School’s in session. This, is Writers, Ink.

Join us on Patreon and ask a question guaranteed to be answered on the podcast!

https://www.patreon.com/writersinkpodcast

Questions asked:

  • Probably one for JD; Do you think it is easier to sell a completed manuscript or screenplay assuming the same quality and all other things being equal?
  • What are the arguments you check when deciding to pitch to a publisher versus publishing yourself?
  • Curiosity question: Are you writing in silence or do you listen to music or sounds? If you listen to something, is it the same all the time or do you vary? And what are you listening to?
  • How do you choose the right editor?
  • How do you decide your WIP is done and ready to publish?
  • How does a new author determine who their target reader is?
  • If you provide author services and run an author business, as well as author books, what is a good ratio of time spent on either endeavor?
  • For Zach: You’ve mentioned that the past two or three years have been your most successful. What are you doing to reach readers? How many books do you have out now?
  • What are the best first steps for a FT indie author looking to branch out into the trad-pub world? What are the things that traditional publishers would be looking at in terms of platform and prior sales?

Links:

J. D. Barker – http://jdbarker.com/

J. Thorn – https://theauthorlife.com/

Zach Bohannon – https://zachbohannon.com/

Proudly sponsored by Kobo Writing Life – https://kobowritinglife.com/

Music by Nicorus – https://cctrax.com/nicorus/dust-to-dust-ep 

Voice Over by Rick Ganley – http://www.nhpr.com and recorded at Mill Pond Studio – http://www.millpondstudio.com

Contact – https://writersinkpodcast.com/contact/ 

*Full disclosure: Some of the links are affiliate links.

Writers, Ink Podcast: Episode 127 – Lifelong Dedication and the Pursuit of Craft with #1 NYT Bestseller Gillian Flynn

Gillian Flynn never expected GONE GIRL to become an international bestseller, or for the movie directed by David Fincher to become a Hollywood blockbuster. Instead of chasing trends or trying to anticipate the market, Flynn wrote the kind of story she wanted to read. It wasn’t supposed to work. And yet it did. Gillian writes with a cinematic flair, which translates well to adaptations. She fuels her passion for movies inherited from her father, and now passed along to her son. She’s going to need a bigger boat.

From Amazon.com:

Gillian Flynn was the chief TV critic for ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY and now writes full-time. Her first novel SHARP OBJECTS was the winner of two CWA DAGGERS and was shortlisted for the GOLD DAGGER. Her latest novel, GONE GIRL, is a massive No.1 bestseller. The film adaptation of GONE GIRL, directed by David Fincher and starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, won the Hollywood Film Award 2014.

J.K. Rowling was nearly homeless when she wrote the first Harry Potter book. Stephen King penned CARRIE on a small desk wedged between a washer and dryer. James Patterson worked in advertising and famously wrote the Toys “R” Us theme song long before becoming an author.

Whether you’re traditionally published or indie, writing a good book is only the first step in becoming a successful author. The days of just turning a manuscript into your editor and walking away are gone. If you want to succeed in today’s publishing world, you need to understand every aspect of the business – editing, formatting, marketing, contracts. It all starts with a good book, then the real work begins.

Join international bestselling author J.D. Barker and indie powerhouses, J. Thorn and Zach Bohannon, as they gain unique insight and valuable advice from the most prolific and accomplished authors in the business.

In this episode, you’ll discover:

  • Why visualizing movies can improve your writing
  • How the right mentor can make all the difference
  • Where you can find storytelling inspiration

J. D. Barker – http://jdbarker.com/

J. Thorn – https://theauthorlife.com/

Zach Bohannon – https://zachbohannon.com/

Gillian Flynn – https://www.gillian-flynn.com/

Best of BookTook – https://bestofbooktok.com/ 

The Carbon Almanac – https://books2read.com/carbonalmanac 

Story Rubric – http://storyrubric.com  

Nonfic Rubric – http://nonficrubric.com  

Scene Rubric – http://scenerubric.com 

Proudly sponsored by Kobo Writing Life – https://kobowritinglife.com/

Music by Nicorus – https://cctrax.com/nicorus/dust-to-dust-ep 

Voice Over by Rick Ganley – http://www.nhpr.com and recorded at Mill Pond Studio – http://www.millpondstudio.com

Contact – https://writersinkpodcast.com/contact/ 

*Full disclosure: Some of the links are affiliate links.

Writers, Ink Podcast: Episode 126 – History, Thrillers, and the Secret Underground with #1 NYT Bestseller Brad Meltzer

Book bans, terrorist plots, and topping the New York Times Bestseller lists. Brad Meltzer has seen it all. His newest book, “The Lightning Rod” explodes onto the page with thrilling action and complex characters, exactly what readers of the Zig and Nola Escape Artist series expect. Meltzer goes deep on his research, lending an unmistakable authenticity to his novels. In addition, Brad’s work for the History Channel has turned up artifacts believed to be lost forever. Get “The Lightning Rod” now from the link below.

From Amazon.com:

Brad Meltzer is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Inner Circle, The Book of Fate, and nine other bestselling thrillers including The Tenth Justice, The First Counsel, The Millionaires, and The President’s Shadow. His most recent book, The Escape Artist, debuted at #1 on the bestseller list. His non-fiction book, The First Conspiracy, is about a real life secret plot to kill George Washington and is out now. And his upcoming book is The Lincoln Conspiracy, about a FIRST secret plot to kill Abraham Lincoln.

In addition to his fiction, Brad is one of the only authors to ever have books on the bestseller list for Non-Fiction (History Decoded), Advice (Heroes for My Son and Heroes for My Daughter), Children’s Books (I Am Amelia Earhart and I Am Abraham Lincoln) and even comic books (Justice League of America), for which he won the prestigious Eisner Award.

He is also the host of Brad Meltzer’s Lost History on H2 and Brad Meltzer’s Decoded on the History Channel. The Hollywood Reporter recently put him on their list of Hollywood’s 25 Most Powerful Authors.

Brad is also responsible for helping find the missing 9/11 flag that the firefighters raised at Ground Zero, making national news on the 15th anniversary of 9/11. Using his TV show, Brad Meltzer’s Lost History, he told the story of the missing flag and asked Americans for their help in returning it. Four days later, a former Marine walked into a fire station in Everett, Washington, said he saw Meltzer’s TV show, and now wanted to return the flag. Meltzer recently unveiled the flag at the 9/11 Museum in New York, where it is now on display. See the video here.

For sure, it’s tough to find anyone being so successful in so many different mediums of the popular culture. But why does Brad thrive in all these different professions? His belief that ordinary people change the world. It is that core belief that runs through every one of his projects.

His newest thriller, The Escape Artist, introduces Nola and Zig, brand new characters in a setting that will blow your mind (you won’t believe where the government let Brad go). For now, we’ll say this: Nola is dead. Everyone says she’s dead. But Jim “Zig” Zigarowski just found out the truth: Nola is alive. And on the run. Together, Nola and Zig will reveal a centuries old secret that traces back the greatest escape artist of all: Harry Houdini. The Escape Artist arrives in March 2018.

His illustrated children’s books I Am Amelia Earhart and I Am Abraham Lincoln were written for his own children, to give them better heroes to look up to. Try them. You won’t believe how inspired you and your family will be. The next in the series will be I am Leonardo da Vinci (April). A TV show based on the series just debuted on PBS: Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum.

His other non-fiction books, Heroes for My Son and Heroes for My Daughter, are collections of heroes – from Jim Henson to Sally Ride — that he’s been working on since the day his kids were born and is on sale now, as well as History Decoded: The 10 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time.

He’s also one of the co-creators of the TV show, Jack & Bobby.

Raised in Brooklyn and Miami, Brad is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Columbia Law School. The Tenth Justice was his first published work and became an instant New York Times bestseller. Dead Even followed a year later and also hit the New York Times bestseller list, as have all eight of his novels. The First Counsel came next, which was about a White House lawyer dating the President’s daughter, then The Millionaires, which was about two brothers who steal money and go on the run. The Zero Game is about two Congressional staffers who are – literally – gambling on Congress. The Book of Fate, is about a young presidential aide, a crazed assassin, and the 200 year-old code created by Thomas Jefferson that ties them together. For authenticity, The Book of Fate, was researched with the help of former Presidents Clinton and Bush. The Book of Lies, is about the missing murder weapon that Cain used to kill Abel, as well as the unsolved murder of Superman creator Jerry Siegel’s father. Brad is one of the only people to interview Jerry Siegel’s family about the murder and, with his charitable site www.OrdinaryPeopleChangeTheWorld.com, has been the driving force behind the movement to repair the house where Superman was created.

His book The Inner Circle (and its sequels, The Fifth Assassin and The President’s Shadow) is based the idea that George Washington’s personal spy ring still exists today. A young archivist in the National Archives finds out the spy ring is still around. He doesn’t know who they work for — but the greatest secret of the Presidency is about to be revealed. While researching the book, former President George HW Bush also gave Brad, for the very first time, the secret letter he left for Bill Clinton in the Oval Office desk. Oh, and yes, Brad was recruited by the Department of Homeland Security to brainstorm different ways that terrorists might attack the US.

His books have spent over a year on the bestseller lists, and have been translated into over 25 languages, from Hebrew to Bulgarian. In The Tenth Justice, the opening lines are: “Ben Addison was sweating. Like a pig.” In the Hebrew translation, it became: “Ben Addison was sweating. Like a horse.” We’re not sure if it’s a kosher thing or what!

Brad has played himself as an extra in Woody Allen’s Celebrity, co-wrote the swearing in oath for AmeriCorps, the national service program, and earned credit from Columbia Law School for writing his first book, which became The Tenth Justice. Before all of that, he got 24 rejection letters for his true first novel, which still sits on his shelf, published by Kinko’s.

Brad currently lives in Florida with his wife, who’s also an attorney.

J.K. Rowling was nearly homeless when she wrote the first Harry Potter book. Stephen King penned CARRIE on a small desk wedged between a washer and dryer. James Patterson worked in advertising and famously wrote the Toys “R” Us theme song long before becoming an author.

Whether you’re traditionally published or indie, writing a good book is only the first step in becoming a successful author. The days of just turning a manuscript into your editor and walking away are gone. If you want to succeed in today’s publishing world, you need to understand every aspect of the business – editing, formatting, marketing, contracts. It all starts with a good book, then the real work begins.

Join international bestselling author J.D. Barker and indie powerhouses, J. Thorn and Zach Bohannon, as they gain unique insight and valuable advice from the most prolific and accomplished authors in the business.

In this episode, you’ll discover:

  • Ways to respond to book banning
  • Why the Department of Homeland Security needed Brad’s help
  • When your kids might think you’re cool
  • Where the 9/11 flag was found, and how

J. D. Barker – http://jdbarker.com/

J. Thorn – https://theauthorlife.com/

Zach Bohannon – https://zachbohannon.com/

Best of BookTook – https://bestofbooktok.com/ 

The Carbon Almanac – https://books2read.com/carbonalmanac 

Brad Meltzer – https://bradmeltzer.com/

The Lightning Rod: A Zig and Nola Novel (Escape Artist Book 2) – https://books2read.com/escapeartistbook2 

J.’s “Subtle Art” NFTs (and others) on OpenSea – https://opensea.io/jthorn

Story Rubric – http://storyrubric.com  

Nonfic Rubric – http://nonficrubric.com  

Scene Rubric – http://scenerubric.com 

Proudly sponsored by Kobo Writing Life – https://kobowritinglife.com/

Music by Nicorus – https://cctrax.com/nicorus/dust-to-dust-ep 

Voice Over by Rick Ganley – http://www.nhpr.com and recorded at Mill Pond Studio – http://www.millpondstudio.com

Contact – https://writersinkpodcast.com/contact/ 

*Full disclosure: Some of the links are affiliate links.

Writers, Ink Podcast: Episode 125 – Emotion is Everything with Film/TV Producer Scott Steindorff

Emotion is Everything with Scott Steindorff

Producer Scott Steindorff knows that emotion is everything to any good book, show, or movie. By writing characters that are round, relatable, and emotionally involved, he commands the attention of his audience and keeps them coming back for more. Scott is a TV and film producer well known for projects like “The Lincoln Lawyer,” “Las Vegas,” and “Station Eleven.” To watch “Station Eleven” now, follow the link below.

From IMDb.com:

Scott is well-known in the industry for acquiring and adapting literary properties and delivering commercially successful and award-winning television series and films. Projects produced include the Netflix Docu-Series Firechasers (2017) with producing partners Appian Way, Leonardo DiCaprio’s company, along with Original Productions. As well as the western Jane Got a Gun (2015), starring Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton, and Ewan McGregor. He also executive produced John Favreau’s Chef (2014), starring Jon Favreau, Scarlett Johansson, Sofia Vergara, Robert Downey Jr., and Dustin Hoffman.

J.K. Rowling was nearly homeless when she wrote the first Harry Potter book. Stephen King penned CARRIE on a small desk wedged between a washer and dryer. James Patterson worked in advertising and famously wrote the Toys “R” Us theme song long before becoming an author.

Whether you’re traditionally published or indie, writing a good book is only the first step in becoming a successful author. The days of just turning a manuscript into your editor and walking away are gone. If you want to succeed in today’s publishing world, you need to understand every aspect of the business – editing, formatting, marketing, contracts. It all starts with a good book, then the real work begins.

Join international bestselling author J.D. Barker and indie powerhouses, J. Thorn and Zach Bohannon, as they gain unique insight and valuable advice from the most prolific and accomplished authors in the business.

In this episode, you’ll discover:

  • How the pandemic affected Station Eleven’s production
  • Why TV production can take years
  • What power authors have in the production of their books
  • How to create characters that people want to watch
  • Why to be careful of writing too much of yourself in your characters

J. D. Barker – http://jdbarker.com/

J. Thorn – https://theauthorlife.com/

Zach Bohannon – https://zachbohannon.com/

Best of BookTook – https://bestofbooktok.com/ 

The Carbon Almanac – https://books2read.com/carbonalmanac 

Scott Steindorff – https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0825877/

“Station Eleven” – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt10574236/

Story Rubric – http://storyrubric.com  

Nonfic Rubric – http://nonficrubric.com  

Scene Rubric – http://scenerubric.com 

Proudly sponsored by Kobo Writing Life – https://kobowritinglife.com/

Music by Nicorus – https://cctrax.com/nicorus/dust-to-dust-ep 

Voice Over by Rick Ganley – http://www.nhpr.com and recorded at Mill Pond Studio – http://www.millpondstudio.com

Contact – https://writersinkpodcast.com/contact/ 

*Full disclosure: Some of the links are affiliate links.