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!

Becoming More Than Just an Author with Jessica Brody

Jessica Brody knows what it means to be more than just an author. From hosting writing workshops at high schools around America and creating the Writing Mastery Academy to adapting Blake Snyder’s screenwriting guide for novelists, she has maximized her potential as an Authorpreneur and stands out as an engaged and helpful member of the writing community. Jessica is well-known for her massively acclaimed Save the Cat! Writes a Novel: The Last Book on Novel Writing You’ll Ever Need and her popular young adult series, System Divine. Her latest release, Between Burning Worlds, is available now.


Jessica Brody is the author of more than 20 books for teens, tweens, and adults including Sky Without Stars, Between Burning Worlds, The Chaos of Standing Still, Better You Than Me, A Week of Mondays, 52 Reasons to Hate My Father, and the Unremembered trilogy. She’s also the author of the Descendants: School of Secrets series, based on the hit Disney Channel original movie, Descendants, as well as the #1 bestselling novel-plotting guide, Save the Cat! Writes a Novel. Her books have been translated and published in over 23 countries and several have been optioned for film and television. She lives with her husband and three dogs near Portland, OR.

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 Jessica started speaking in schools
  • How to find success by writing-for-hire
  • The importance of a solid daily routine
  • The importance of structure to every story
  • Why to prioritize what’s most important to you


J. D. Barker –

J. Thorn –

Jessica Brody –

Writing Mastery Academy –

Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody –

Between Burning Worlds by Jessica Brody –

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. S.A. Schneider

    4 years ago  

    J – you asked Jessica and JD what they say to people that don’t want to follow a formula. I know I’m not as experienced as you or either of them, but here’s my thoughts.
    I had some of those same thoughts when I was even more inexperienced. As I’ve written and gained the experience (and hopefully wisdom), I see how good stories fit that because that’s just how we as people are wired.
    TV and movies follow this. They plan those stories out and every scene to the detail. You can’t get a movie like Avengers: Endgame without having it planned – and even the plan of all the movies before it. If you didn’t plan, you get a disaster of a movie – and we all can think of a couple of those.
    Look at music. There are only 12 notes – yet we’ve been creating music for ages. There are several typical chord progressions – yet we still enjoy the songs created with those same progressions. There is a typical formula – verse1, chorus, verse2, chorus, bridge. Over and over- regardless of type of music.
    If you actively work on not following a formula and if you try to not follow conventions, 1 of 2 things will happen. 1 – you will have absolutely no success and no one will ‘get’ your book. or 2 – you will instinctively follow some formula without even realizing it.
    I mean, if she can show the formula in books that existed BEFORE ‘save the cat’, then maybe it’s something new authors should learn more about.

    I realized how knowing the hero’s journey let me figure out how to fix problems in my first book, because I saw the flaw in the story and using the tool of the formula helped me fix it. But I had endless variety in how to actually write that.

    1. J. Thorn

      4 years ago  

      I agree. You don’t have to have a plan when you start, but you need to be able to look back and make sure you hit the important points in revisions.

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