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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!

Returning guest Blake Crouch explores the forefront of scientific discovery in his new novel, Upgrade. A gene-editing thriller, Blake pushed himself to go the extra mile for the book, interviewing field experts in biology and physics to keep his sci-fi enticing yet realistic. Blake is a bestselling author well known for works like Dark Matter, Recursion, and Wayward Pines. To preorder Upgrade, follow the link below.

Continue reading “Writers, Ink Podcast: Episode 144 – Upgrade with NYT Bestseller Blake Crouch”

Barbara Graham employed her unique spiritual writing process while crafting her debut novel, What Jonah Knew. Through mindful storytelling and a more “hands-off” approach, letting the story come to her and keeping what feels right instead of meticulously planning and outlining, she produces writing that is genuine, intriguing, and effortlessly maintains its flow. Before becoming a novelist, Barbara had a lengthy career as a playwright, poet, and journalist, writing for various recognized magazines, like Time, NatGeo, and Vogue. To preorder What Jonah Knew, follow the link below.

Continue reading “Writers, Ink Podcast: Episode 143 – Writing Spiritually with NYT Bestseller Barbara Graham”

Eva Lesko Natiello is no stranger to rejection. Despite being unable to secure an agent and having the manuscript of her first book, The Memory Box, rejected eighty-four times, she used her determination and knowledge of marketing to defy expectations and turn her story into a global bestseller. Eva is a NYT bestseller who began her career in the beauty industry before making it big as a writer, and is known for her gripping thriller novels. To order her latest book, Following You, follow the link below.

Continue reading “Writers, Ink Podcast: Episode 142 – How to Deal with Rejection with NYT Bestseller Eva Lesko Natiello”

Colton Haynes understands the complexities of approaching a memoir. From learning to navigate difficult and personal life experiences to dealing with the hard process of cutting and editing his work, he used his trust in himself and his editors to push through the challenges and create a moving, well-written account of his life. Colton focused on modeling in his early career before being cast in hit shows like “Teen Wolf” and “The Gates,” and his memoir, Miss Memory Lane, is his first step into the writing world. To purchase Miss Memory Lane, follow the link below.

Continue reading “Writers, Ink Podcast: Episode 141 – Approaching a Memoir with Hollywood Star Colton Haynes”

After decades of consistent, high-quality work, Christopher Golden continues to appreciate every day as a professional writer. From movie-tie ins to his own novels, Golden continues to do the work necessary to stay afloat in the business. Whether it’s Bram Stoker Award-winning novels, graphic novels, anthologies, or video games, he is a successful and prolific creative, by any standard.

Continue reading “Writers, Ink Podcast: Episode 140 – Perseverance and Professionalism with NYT Bestseller Christopher Golden”

David Koepp knows the importance of correctly approaching a new story or project. By consistently outlining his thoughts, writing in a workspace that suits his style, and setting specific targets and goals, he keeps his writing process both efficient and personal. Koepp is a legendary screenwriter who has worked on movies like Jurassic Park and Indiana Jones and is the ninth most successful screenwriter of all time. To purchase his latest novel, Aurora, follow the link below.

Continue reading “Writers, Ink Podcast: Episode 139 – Approaching a Story with Hollywood Legend and Screenwriter David Koepp”

Bestseller Emily St. John Mandel is well versed in the realm of writing science fiction novels. Drawing upon decades of story elements from her favorite sci-fi books, she creates stories that are true to herself while sticking to the rules of the genre. Emily has written six novels, winning notable acclaim from people like President Barack Obama, and had Station Eleven adapted for TV by HBO. To purchase her latest novel, Sea of Tranquility, follow the link below.

Continue reading “Writers, Ink Podcast: Episode 138 – Writing Science Fiction with NYT Bestseller Emily St. John Mandel”

Q&A Episode – May 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.

Questions asked:

  • This is a difficult question – I’ve been pondering this for some time. I suspect you might be unable to answer this. There are a series of TV films starring Tom Selleck based on Robert B Parker novels called the Jesse Stone series. If you could use one word to describe the atmosphere in the films it would be melancholy. It’s mostly achieved by music photography and Tom Selleck’s slow drawl dialogue. How can one achieve this melancholy feeling in writing?
  • How do you reconcile multiple streams of income (in multiple author services) and the simplicity of offering ONE thing on your website for clients? I know that in order to build clientele, we need to focus our efforts, time, and attention (and maybe even marketing) on one service so as not to overwhelm the potential client with too many options. But, I receive (small amounts of) income from various author services I perform–editing, coaching, audiobook narration. How can I keep my website, newsletters, and “elevator pitches” simple enough and still allow clients to know what they can hire me to do? For instance, I thought of putting up my signature offer on a featured website page, and then list “other author services” with a link to a different page so it doesn’t clutter up the featured page.
  • If you could go back in time and change one decision you made in your writing career what would it be and why? If you wouldn’t change a thing…why not
  • I’m appreciating more and more the benefits of hybrid publishing through traditional and self. While I start my query process, I’m curious to best practices. How many agents should you submit queries to at one time? If you have two novels in different genres, should you submit both and see which one is picked up or focus on one? Also, where are the best places to meet agents? I write in the fantasy and superhero fiction genres. Where would I find agents that represent my genres? Does a personal meeting help the process of query acceptance?
  • Sounds like JD has “won” the treadmill that most authors hit in terms of making enough money to retire on without having to work with all his investments.  What keeps him writing?
  • I think Steven King said that 1 million words published is an achievement to make you a great writer. Do you think that number is correct? if not what is the number?  Or does it mean you need to have an editor and ensure you have deliberate practice in order for the million words to count?
Continue reading “Writers, Ink Podcast: Episode 137 – Question and Answer Episode – May 2022”

Bestselling husband-wife team Lars Kepler knows a thing or two about writing with your spouse. In writing as in marriage, the Kepler duo must routinely navigate around indecision, such as compromising on important plot points, in order to maintain an efficient and fun writing environment. Kepler is an international bestseller, having sold 16 million copies in 40 languages. To purchase their latest novel, The Mirror Man, follow the link below.

Continue reading “Writers, Ink Podcast: Episode 136 – Writing with Your Spouse with International Bestseller Lars Kepler”

Stephen King called Don Winslow, “one of America’s greatest storytellers,” and for good reason. For decades, Winslow has consistently produced international bestselling works. His newest release, “City on Fire,” is no exception. Don writes daily, sometimes reading poetry for inspiration. “City on Fire” is the first book of a new trilogy that will probably be Don’s last.

Continue reading “Writers, Ink Podcast: Episode 135 – Poetry and Persistence with NYT Bestseller Don Winslow”

Jennie Nash has a blueprint for any successful book. By focusing on the pure fundamentals of writing and gaining marketing experience through pitching or proposing, she helps both fiction and nonfiction authors tell their best stories while earning a profit. Jennie is the author of eleven books and founder of Author Accelerator book coaching. To preorder her latest book, Blueprint for a Nonfiction Book, follow the link below.

Continue reading “Writers, Ink Podcast: Episode 134 – Blueprint for a Book with Jennie Nash of Author Accelerator”

Meg Bowles of The Moth knows the secrets to telling a good story. The Moth is an international organization that helps everyday people master storytelling through public speaking by focusing on authenticity, vulnerability, and confidence. They host public speaking events and workshops all over the world, and community events like The Moth Education Program. To purchase How to Tell a Story, follow the link below.

Continue reading “Writers, Ink Podcast: Episode 133 – How to Tell a Story with Meg Bowles of The Moth”

Q&A Episode – April 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:

  • Just wondering how much your children are involved in your writing business and/or how much you plan to get them involved in the future.  Would you discourage them from pursuing writing full-time?
  • A question for each of you today: What one writing skill would you like to improve about your own fiction writing?
  • Is there something you’ve been wanting that represents a level up investment for your writing life (e.g. joining an exclusive mastermind, going to a new conference, buying a new computer, etc.) that you’d like to do by the end of the year?
  • I’m going to a conference that has a ‘pitch fest’ where you have 5 minutes (3 minutes to speak and 2 minutes for editor to respond) to pitch your project to editors and agents. Have any of you taken part in a pitch session? The conference organizers have provided some guidelines but would love to hear any tips. I’m pitching a non fiction book proposal. Thanks!
  • Having talked with so many authors at this point, what seems to be the same thing or advice all of them say/do (besides that they write books)?

Links:

J. D. Barker – http://jdbarker.com/

J. Thorn – https://theauthorlife.com/

Zach Bohannon – https://zachbohannon.com/

Free Writing Challenge from AutoCrit – https://autocrit.com/challenge2022 

The Author Life Summit 2022 – https://theauthorlife.com/summit2022/ 

Death of the Black Widow – https://amzn.to/3rsA97v 

Curse of the Spiral – https://books2read.com/cursespiral 

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/dev/contact/ 

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

Kingdom of Bones, the sixteenth book in James Rollins’ Sigma Force series, put the bestselling author to the test. From drafting the book during the rise of COVID-19 to managing the complexities of maintaining a long-standing series, he used decades of marketing and storybuilding experience to overcome the difficulties of writing and publishing a novel during the pandemic. James is the #1 NYT bestseller of international thrillers, best known for writing Sigma Force and six standalone thrillers. To preorder Kingdom of Bones, follow the link below.

Continue reading “Writers, Ink Podcast: Episode 131 – Kingdom of Bones with #1 NYT Bestseller James Rollins”

Bestseller Carter Wilson never writes the same book twice. By choosing to write standalone novels instead of series, he keeps his worldbuilding skills sharp, forcing himself to write new, unique characters in new settings for each book. Carter is a bestselling author of eight standalone psychological thrillers, including The Dead Girl in 2A and Revelation. To preorder his latest book, The New Neighbor, follow the link below.

Continue reading “Writers, Ink Podcast: Episode 130 – Sticking with Standalones with Carter Wilson”

Elissa Sussman knows how to keep her writing on schedule. Drawing from her past experience as a ghost writer and manager, she maintains a strict working regimen with set writing hours each day to maximize her productivity and availability. Elissa was a ghost writer of 15 young adult novels before writing adult novels under her own name. To preorder her latest book, Funny You Should Ask, follow the link below.

Continue reading “Writers, Ink Podcast: Episode 129 – Staying on Schedule with Elissa Sussman”

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?
Continue reading “Writers, Ink Podcast: Episode 128 – Question and Answer Episode – March 2022”

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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