Your backstage pass to the world’s most prolific authors

JD Barker
Christine Daigle
Kevin Tumlinson
Jena Brown

What does it take to succeed as a writer? Join hosts J.D. Barker, Christine Daigle, Kevin Tumlinson and Jena Brown as they 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!

Beating Resistance with Steven Pressfield and Shawn Coyne

Steven Pressfield and Shawn Coyne are strong believers in beating resistance and chasing crazy ideas. Whether it involves writing about something completely foreign to you or something too edgy for commercial readers, both agree that sticking with your most outlandish ideas will lead to better, more fulfilling writing. Pressfield and Coyne are both masterful bestselling authors. Pressfield is most-known for The Legend of Bagger Vance, a compelling sports mystery that was adapted into a film featuring Will Smith and Matt Damon. Coyne is most-known for Story Grid, a revolutionary editing tool and writing group that has helped writers around the world produce better content.


Steven Pressfield is the author of The Legend of Bagger Vance, Gates of Fire, Tides of War, Last of the Amazons, Virtues of War, The Afghan Campaign, Killing Rommel, The Profession, The Lion’s Gate, The War of Art, Turning Pro, Do the Work, The Warrior Ethos, The Authentic Swing, An American Jew, Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t, The Knowledge, and The Artist’s Journey.


I (Shawn Coyne) have been in the publishing industry for thirty years now, twenty-five of which were spent working as an editor at the Big Five publishing houses, as an independent publisher, as a literary agent both at a major Hollywood talent agency and as the head of Genre Management Inc. In early 2015, I published The Story Grid: What Good Editors Know, and later that year I started the Story Grid Podcast with writer, and book marketing expert, Tim Grahl. The rest is history. We now have 45 Certified Story Grid Editors, 3 podcasts, a blog rich with story resources, a suite of courses and a community that continues to grow. 

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 determine if an idea is crazy
  • Why to pick the idea you’re most afraid of
  • How to make difficult creative decisions
  • The importance of a day-by-day approach to projects
  • How to accept failure


J. D. Barker –

J. Thorn –

Steven Pressfield –

Black Irish Books –

The Legend of Bagger Vance by Steven Pressfield –

Shawn Coyne –

The Story Grid: What Good Editors Know  by Shawn Coyne –

The Story Grid Guild –

Save Indie Bookstores –

Music by Nicorus – 

Voice Over by Rick Ganley – and recorded at Mill Pond Studio –

Contact – 

“Muggable” quote by Harley Christensen –

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


  1. Kim

    4 years ago  

    This comment has nothing to do with writing! I couldn’t help it, when you both were talking about how you now have to avoid people on your walks/runs, I wanted to say, “Welcome to the world of being a woman.” I always avoid coming into too-close contact with strange men when I’m walking/running alone. It’s a fact of life for woman, all the time.

    Great interview!

    1. J. Thorn

      4 years ago  

      Thanks, Kim. If it makes you feel any better, I was jumped twice (when I was much younger) so I also avoid too-close contact with strange men 🙂

    2. JD Barker

      4 years ago  

      I totally get that. When we lived in Florida, my wife would jog on the beach and if she just made eye-contact with some guys, they’d follow her. I used to consult with the police on cold-case files and too many of those started with, “She went out for a run alone…” that’s one of the reasons I used that in Fourth Monkey. I feel it’s a lot safer where we live now but I still get nervous every time she runs alone.

  2. Kim

    4 years ago  

    That doesn’t make me feel better. That’s terrible! I’m so sorry that happened to you.

  3. Jenni Clarke

    4 years ago  

    This was timely for me, I started a crazy, huge writing project which shouts ‘I can’t’ all the time in my head, BUT it’s fun and I although I have reluctance to continue it I have committed too much time and now with this podcast in my head I will continue.

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