Your backstage pass to the world’s most prolific authors

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.

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Finishing What You Start with MJ Preston

MJ Preston knows the importance of returning to unfinished work. After sitting with a manuscript for over two decades, he made the decision to revise and release it as The Equinox in 2011. Little did he know, the novel would reach the quarterfinals of Amazon’s Breakthrough Awards and win critical acclaim from various authors, even being compared to the likes of Stephen King. MJ has released ten novels and also pursues art in his free time. His latest publication, Four is available below.


To my neighbors, I am a quiet and assuming guy who works blue-collar. What they don’t know is that I also write dark speculative fiction. My work has been printed all over the world. I have four novels on the market and a fifth and sixth in production. My short fiction is available with numerous pubs, including magazines and anthologies. I have my own writing style but would say I was influenced by authors like Robert R. McCammon, Joe R. Lansdale, and John Sandford.

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:

  • The power of word-of-mouth
  • Why the scariest monsters are real ones
  • How to write yourself into your story
  • How to write with a day job
  • How music inspires writing


J. D. Barker –

J. Thorn –

Zach Bohannon –

MJ Preston –


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

    2 years ago  

    Interesting interview today guys. I agree with M J that publishing is evolving into a more fuzzy model with small Indie publishers both creating and mopping up bestselling authors. Interesting to see how the big six/five/four (delete as applicable) respond to that.
    My main takeaway is that returning to old writing and reworking it can bear fruit. I have a novel that has evolved over the decades. I started writing it on paper in the 1980s as a spy novel set in Cyprus. In 1984 I bought a manual typewriter and typed it up, editing as I go. In the 1990s I bought my first computer, an Amstrad PCW and transcribed it. In the 2000s I moved near to the New Forest so I reset my spy novel in the New Forest and turned it into a police procedural on a PC. Recently I edited it as a Jack Reacher style thriller. One day I plan to publish it.
    My future as a writer is secure because I already have a great Christmas novel mapped out, influenced by, but not a ripoff of, ‘A Christmas Carol.’ Working title – An American Christmas. I plan to write it next year and publish in 2023. Is it possible for a Brit to write the great American novel? 🙂

    1. J. Thorn

      2 years ago  

      Maybe! Let us know how that goes for you 🙂

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