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!

Ditching Your Comfort Zone with NYT Bestseller Chuck Wendig

Whether he’s releasing a new book or a new blog post, bestseller Chuck Wendig pushes himself to “just do it.” By drafting each story using a different, unorthodox outlining process or resisting the urge to drop a current project to pursue a new one, he seeks to deviate away from what is most comfortable in favor of producing his best work. Chuck has been in the industry for over two decades and is well known for his blog “Terribleminds” and for massively popular releases like Wanderers. His latest publication, The Book of Accidents, is available now.


Chuck Wendig is the New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Aftermath, as well as the Miriam Black thrillers, the Atlanta Burns books, and the Heartland YA series, alongside other works across comics, games, film, and more. A finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer and the cowriter of the Emmy-nominated digital narrative Collapsus, he is also known for his popular blog,, and his books about writing. He lives in Pennsylvania with his family.

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 Chuck killed Paul Tremblay
  • How to generate framing aspects
  • The importance of finishing what you start
  • Why self publishing is a lot of work
  • The power struggle between publishers and Amazon


J. D. Barker –

J. Thorn –

Zach Bohannon –

LAST DAY FOR TICKETS IS AUGUST 15! The Career Author Summit 2021 – 

Chuck Wendig –

The Book of Accidents

Story Rubric –  

Nonfic Rubric –  

Proudly sponsored by Kobo Writing Life –

Music by Nicorus – 

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

Contact – 

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


  1. Christopher Wills

    3 years ago  

    Great interview today guys. I’ve heard of Chuck Wendig, although I don’t remember why, possibly through comics.
    You discussed deviation; if a writer writes the same thing all the time they will never develop all the skills which could improve their writing. We learn by writing outside of our comfort zone, by deviation. In my wip I’ve included romance and it’s improved my characterization.
    Agree with Zach it would be interesting to discuss writing in someone else’s universe; but please not fan-fiction.
    I like the sound of Chuck’s latest book; added to my to-read list.
    I love Chuck’s idea that the writer after a book is different to the writer before a book because it implies we never stop learning and improving. So if I live long enough, even I might become a good writer 🙂
    Great show.

    1. J. Thorn

      3 years ago  

      Totally agree. I’m working a more concrete love arc into my newest WIP and I think it makes a better story.

      1. Christopher Wills

        3 years ago  

        Can I suggest a book ‘Romancing the Beat’ by Gwen Hayes. It is a succinct guide that explains a romance arc in a reader friendly and easily usable way in 20 plot points. I highly recommend it; a very useful book.

        1. J. Thorn

          3 years ago  

          Yes! Already have it 🙂

    2. JD Barker

      3 years ago  

      Just putting this out there – learning to write outside your comfort zone also stems from reading outside your comfort zone. Many authors only read fiction in the genre they like (and would prefer to write). In the Gospel of King, SK will be the first to tell you he, “builds the rollercoasters but he doesn’t ride them.” He rarely reads horror or even thrillers. You can’t grow if you don’t try new things. When mentoring I often run into students who try to weave a romance into their [insert genre here] book but have never read a romance novel.

      1. Christopher Wills

        3 years ago  

        You’re right, fortunately I am an eclectic reader. I read ‘Love Story’ before I went to see the film back in the dark ages. Also I now have a brilliant beta reader in lovely wifey Denise who is a whale romance reader; she is blunt when she reads my stuff, and when we’re back on speaking terms 🙂 she asks some great questions, which is great.

  2. S.A. Schneider

    3 years ago  

    Loved listening to Wendig. Of course, I mostly know him from the phenomenal Star Wars stuff. It’s a shame that the ‘fans’, who supposedly LOVE things, are the ones that ruin it. I really could rant about that in the Star Wars community, and a reason I rarely discuss Star Wars with people – I hate talking with a fan who is nothing but derogatory towards something they supposedly area a HUGE fan of.

    Always good talks.

    1. J. Thorn

      3 years ago  

      Chuck is amazing. I love how he doesn’t fit neatly into any box.

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