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Your backstage pass to the world’s most prolific authors

What does it take to succeed as a writer? Hosts J.D. Barker, J. Thorn, and Zach Bohannon pull back the curtain and gain rare insight from the household names found on bookshelves worldwide.

Want to ask your favorite author a question? Click here!

Creating a Magazine and Brand with Richard Chizmar

Greatly influenced by his DIY attitude, Richard Chizmar built a successful magazine and brand from scratch. Chizmar is a bestselling author and founder of Cemetery Dance magazine. He has written various novels, screenplays, and teleplays, including Gwendy’s Button Box, a bestselling novella, with Stephen King. Richard also works as an editor, with his work appearing in over thirty-five anthologies.

From Amazon.com:

Richard Chizmar is the author of Gwendy’s Button Box (with Stephen King) and A Long December, which was nominated for numerous awards. His fiction has appeared in dozens of publications, including Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and multiple editions of The Year’s 25 Finest Crime and Mystery Stories. He has won two World Fantasy awards, four International Horror Guild awards, and the HWA’s Board of Trustee’s award. His third short story collection, A Long December, was recently published to starred reviews in both Kirkus and Booklist, and was featured in Entertainment Weekly. Chizmar’s work has been translated into many languages throughout the world, and he has appeared at numerous conferences as a writing instructor, guest speaker, panelist, and guest of honor. Please visit the author’s website at RichardChizmar.com.

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 powerhouse, J. Thorn, 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 to start a DIY magazine
  • Why every magazine needs a VIP list and a mailing list
  • Which authors to publish in your magazine
  • How to create work that stands out
  • How to run a business as a non-businessperson

Links:

J. D. Barker – http://jdbarker.com/

J. Thorn – https://theauthorlife.com/

Richard Chizmar – https://richardchizmar.com

Cemetery Dance Magazine – https://www.cemeterydance.com

Gwendy’s Button Box by Richard Chizmar and Stephen King – https://books2read.com/GwendysNovella

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/dev/contact/ 

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

Thriving with Asperger Syndrome and a Manuscript Update

Despite being diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome as a young man, J.D. continues to thrive while challenging all stereotypes and stigmas. In fact, Barker has become an international bestselling author and millionaire. The emphasis AS puts on structure has given him a unique approach to outlining his writing and creating interesting character backstories. By pursuing a career that compliments a disorder, J.D shows that anyone can be successful. In the second half of the episode, J. talks through the next steps of his manuscript with J.D.

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 powerhouse, J. Thorn, 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 J.D. uses Asperger’s to his advantage
  • Which careers suit a disorder
  • The importance of getting a correct diagnosis
  • Why good stories have outlines
  • How J.D. creates lifelike characters
  • An update on J.’s manuscript project

Links:

J. D. Barker – http://jdbarker.com/

J. Thorn – https://theauthorlife.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/dev/contact/ 

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

The Importance of Passion and Perseverance with James Patterson

James Patterson knows the importance of passion and perseverance when it comes to a career as a writer. He is the bestselling author with 147 published novels, 114 of which made the New York Times bestsellers list, and he holds the Guinness World Record for most #1 New York Times bestsellers. His classic thriller, Along Came a Spider, inspired twenty-five sequels and a film adaptation starring Morgan Freeman. James also runs The Patterson Family Foundation and the James Patterson Teacher Education Scholarships.

From Amazon.com:

James Patterson is the world’s bestselling author, best known for his many enduring fictional characters and series, including Alex Cross, the Women’s Murder Club, Michael Bennett, Maximum Ride, Middle School, I Funny, and Jacky Ha-Ha. Patterson’s writing career is characterized by a single mission: to prove to everyone, from children to adults, that there is no such thing as a person who “doesn’t like to read,” only people who haven’t found the right book. He’s given over a million books to schoolkids and over forty million dollars to support education, and endowed over five thousand college scholarships for teachers.  He writes full-time and lives in Florida with his family. Learn more at jamespatterson.com.

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 powerhouse, J. Thorn, 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 James Patterson structures his stories
  • Why every story needs an outline
  • Why successful authors are innovators
  • Why a great book is its own best ad
  • How to be more aware of your readers’ needs
  • The amazing work of The Patterson Family Foundation

Links:

James Patterson – https://www.jamespatterson.com/

James Patterson Masterclass –  https://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=963720&u=2285884&m=62509&urllink=&afftrack=

Along Came a Spider by James Patterson – https://books2read.com/AlongCameASpider

The Patterson Family Foundation – https://www.thepattersonfoundation.org/

J. D. Barker – http://jdbarker.com/

J. Thorn – https://theauthorlife.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/dev/contact/ 

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

Designing a Career as an Authorpreneur with Joanna Penn

Joanna Penn spent the last ten years designing a career as an authorpreneur. As a self-published author, business owner, and podcaster, she thrives on self-investment and brand recognition. Penn is most known for her international and award-winning podcast, The Creative Penn. She has written many titles for independent writers including How To Market a Book and Successful Self-Publishing. In addition, Joanna publishes a unique brand of dark fiction under the name J.F. Penn. When she isn’t writing, she runs Curl Up Press and speaks professionally around the world.

From Amazon.com:

Joanna Penn is a bestselling author, international speaker and award-winning entrepreneur based in Bath, England. Her site, www.TheCreativePenn.com helps authors with creativity, writing, publishing, book marketing and creative entrepreneurship. It has been voted one of the top 100 sites for authors by Writers Digest. Joanna has a popular podcast, The Creative Penn, and a YouTube Channel.

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 powerhouse, J. Thorn, 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 to find an enjoyable career
  • How to establish a brand
  • Why time comes before money
  • How to scale a product
  • Why to invest in yourself

Links:

Joanna Penn – https://jfpenn.com/

The Creative Penn Podcast – https://www.thecreativepenn.com/

Books and Travel Podcast – https://www.booksandtravel.page/listen/

Successful Self-Publishing by Joanna Penn – https://books2read.com/PennSelfPublishing

How To Market a Book by Joanna Penn – https://books2read.com/HowToMarketABook

J. D. Barker – http://jdbarker.com/

J. Thorn – https://theauthorlife.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/dev/contact/ 

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

Authentic Business Mindset with Chris Brogan

Chris Brogan has discovered an authentic business mindset. With his strong work ethic and low-stakes attitude, Brogan reaches his fullest potential as both an author and marketing consultant. He is known around the world for Trust Agents, a masterfully written guide to building a business. When he isn’t writing, Chris runs Owner Media Group, a business consulting agency.

From Amazon.com:

Chris Brogan is CEO of Owner Media Group , providing strategy and skills for the modern business. He is also a highly sought after professional speaker and the New York Times bestselling author of nine books and counting. His latest is called Find Your Writing Voice. Chris has spoken for or consulted with the biggest brands you know, including Disney, Coke, Google, GM, Microsoft, Coldwell Banker, Titleist, Scotts, Humana Health, Cisco, Sony USA, and many more. Forbes listed Chris as one of the Must Follow Marketing Minds of 2014, plus listed his website as one of the 100 best websites for entrepreneurs. Statsocial rated Chris the #3 power influencer online.

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 powerhouse, J. Thorn, 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 to build a brand as an author
  • Why to value failure
  • How work ethic makes or breaks authors
  • When to republish a book
  • The importance of a tidy newsletter
  • Why YouTube is great for writers

Links:

Chris Brogan – https://chrisbrogan.com/

Trust Agents by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith – https://books2read.com/TrustAgents

Owner Media Group – https://owner.media/

J. D. Barker – http://jdbarker.com/

J. Thorn – https://theauthorlife.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/dev/contact/ 

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

Work-Life Balance with Paul Tremblay

Paul Tremblay has mastered work-life balance as an educator and published author. Through his day-to-day outlook and strong drive for self-advocating, Tremblay always finds what’s best for his career. His best-known novels include The Cabin at the End of the World and A Head Full of Ghosts, and many of his works have appeared in Year’s Best. When he is not writing, Paul teaches AP Calculus in Massachusetts.

From Amazon.com:

Paul Tremblay is the author of the Bram Stoker Award and Locus Award winning THE CABIN AT THE END OF THE WORLD, winner of the British Fantasy Award DISAPPEARANCE AT DEVIL’S ROCK, and Bram Stoker Award/Massachusetts Book Award winning A HEAD FULL OF GHOSTS. A HEAD FULL OF GHOSTS is in development with Focus Features. He’s also the author of the novels The Little Sleep, No Sleep till Wonderland, Swallowing a Donkey’s Eye, and Floating Boy and the Girl Who Couldn’t Fly (co-written with Stephen Graham Jones).

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 powerhouse, J. Thorn, as they gain unique insight and valuable advice from the most prolific and accomplished authors in the business.

In this episode, you’ll discover:

  • The value of self-advocating
  • How to write while working a day job
  • How to reach a foreign market
  • When to self-invest
  • Why to write for yourself, not for money

Links:

Paul Tremblay – https://www.paultremblay.net/

The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay – https://books2read.com/TheCabin

A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay – https://books2read.com/HeadFullofGhosts

She Has A Broken Thing Where Her Heart Should Be by J.D. Barker – https://books2read.com/brokenthingbarker 

J. D. Barker – http://jdbarker.com/

J. Thorn – https://theauthorlife.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/dev/contact/ 

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

Writing Historical Horror with Alma Katsu

Alma Katsu is an expert at writing historical horror. Armed with her chilling writing style and an extensive knowledge of historical events, she adds a unique supernatural twist to the past. Alma is best known for her novels The Taker and The Hunger, the latter of which prompted a blurb from Stephen King on Twitter. Katsu worked in federal intelligence for most of her life and is currently a technology consultant.

From Amazon.com:

Ms. Katsu’s debut novel, The Taker, was selected by Booklist as one of the top 10 debut novels of 2011. She is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins Writing Program and Brandeis University, where she studied with novelist John Irving, and an alumni of the Squaw Valley Writers Conference. Like many writers, she has a day job, too: for over 30 years, she was an intelligence analyst for the federal government and RAND, and is currently a consultant on emerging technology.

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 powerhouse, J. Thorn, 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 Stephen King’s tweet changed Katsu’s career
  • How Katsu crafts historically accurate thrillers
  • The value of a great editor
  • Why it’s important to make connections with other authors
  • Why “getting published” isn’t validation
  • How to find your unique voice

Links:

Alma Katsu – https://www.almakatsubooks.com/

The Taker (Book 1/3) – https://books2read.com/TheTaker

The Hunger – https://books2read.com/TheHunger

J. D. Barker – http://jdbarker.com/

J. Thorn – https://theauthorlife.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/dev/contact/ 

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

Storytelling and the Creative Process with Josh Malerman

Josh Malerman has a unique approach to storytelling and the creative process. During the process of selling the rights to the Bird Box movie, Malerman learned the ins-and-outs of the entertainment industry. He even started his own production company. Josh toured the country for six years with his band, The High Strung, but has since taken a break to write and enjoy life with his wife in Michigan.

From Amazon.com:

Josh Malerman is an American author and also one of two singer/songwriters for the rock band The High Strung, whose song “The Luck You Got” can be heard as the theme song to the Showtime show “Shameless.” His book Bird Box is also currently being filmed as a feature film starring Sandra Bullock, John Malkovich, and Sarah Paulson. Bird Box was also nominated for the Stoker Award, the Shirley Jackson Award, and the James Herbert Award. His books Black Mad Wheel and Goblin have also been nominated for Stoker Awards.

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 powerhouse, J. Thorn, 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 Bird Box changed Malerman’s career
  • When to take calculated business risks
  • Why every author needs a support group
  • Why you shouldn’t save your best story ideas for later
  • How to be fluid with story structure
  • When and why to restart a draft

Links:

Josh Malerman – https://joshmalerman.com/ 

Bird Box (novel) – https://books2read.com/birdboxnovel 

Bird Box (official trailer) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2AsIXSh2xo 

The High Strung – https://thehighstrungmusic.com/ 

J. D. Barker – http://jdbarker.com/

J. Thorn – https://theauthorlife.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/dev/contact/ 

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