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.

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Returning guest Meg Gardiner shares her tips for adapting a screenplay into a novel. In her latest novel co-written with the legendary Michael Mann, Heat 2, she uses intense imagery and character building to expand the world of the classic movie onto the page while maintaining the immersion of a film. Meg is a #1 NYT bestseller and the author of sixteen novels, including the award-winning Evan Delaney series and Jo Beckett series. To purchase Heat 2, follow the link below.


Meg Gardiner is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of sixteen thrillers. Her latest is Heat 2, co-written with Michael Mann. The AP says: “‘Heat 2’ is just dynamite.” It debuted at #1 on the NYT best seller list. Her previous novel, The Dark Corners of the Night, featuring FBI profiler Caitlin Hendrix, was bought by Amazon Studios for development as a television series. The first novel in the series, UNSUB, won the 2018 Barry Award for Best Thriller.

In this episode, you’ll discover:

  • Why Meg builds playlists for her novels
  • How she got started on Heat 2
  • Why she chose to novelize a film
  • How to write anti-chronologically
  • How to outline and edit with a co-writer


J. D. Barker –

J. Thorn –

Zach Bohannon –

Meg Gardiner –

Heat 2

Three Story Method: Writing Scenes – 

Best of BookTook – 

Story Rubric –  

Nonfic Rubric –  

Scene Rubric – 

Proudly sponsored by Kobo Writing Life – and Atticus –

Music by Nicorus – 

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

Audio production by Geoff Emberlyn – 

Contact – 

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


  1. Christopher Wills

    2 years ago  

    Enjoyed the interview. Interesting that Meg and Michael started from knowing the ending of the story. This seems a common approach from successful writers – maybe because they are pantsers. Another interesting point is writing a novel based on an idea from a movie. Given the success, are we likely to see more screenwriters poaching successful novelists to collaborate and write novels based on their films? I know this is already a big thing in scifi and fantasy but I’ve not yet seen it in thrillers and other genres.
    Like Zach I don’t watch a lot of TV, and when I do it is often something I have already watched. A lot of new stuff doesn’t have the depth and gives me the impression of being rushed out to jump on some bandwagon. I will give the new GoT and LOTR prequels a go but they had better be good because unless I am hooked from the start I won’t waste my time watching every episode.
    Great show today.

    1. J. Thorn

      2 years ago  

      I agree. I’ll check out the new LOTR and GOT, but I don’t have high hopes.

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