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!

How to Ghost Write with International Bestseller Kathrin Hutson

Kathrin Hutson is a master ghost writer. By sticking to a set writing schedule, learning to be comfortable with less creative control, and negotiating deals with clients and publishers, she’s able to pump out four books a month, earning income and valuable writing experience all while publishing her own books on the side. Kathrin has been in the industry for over two decades and is well known for her Accessory to Magic and Blue Helix series. Her upcoming novel, The Spellcast Gate, is available for preorder below.


International Bestselling Author Kathrin Hutson has been writing Dark Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and LGBTQ Speculative Fiction since 2000. With her wildly messed-up heroes, excruciating circumstances, impossible decisions, and Happily Never Afters, she’s a firm believer in piling on the intense action, showing a little character skin, and never skimping on violent means to bloody ends. Kathrin is an active member of SFWA and HWA and lives in Colorado with her husband, daughter, and two dogs. For updates on new releases, exclusive deals, and dark surprises you won’t find anywhere else, sign up to Kathrin’s newsletter at

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 happy endings are boring
  • How to block out your day for maximum efficiency
  • How to balance ghost writing with your own writing
  • The importance of series branding
  • Why to write “gray” characters


J. D. Barker –

J. Thorn –

Zach Bohannon –

Kathrin Hutson –

The Spellcast Gate

Story Rubric –  

Nonfic Rubric –  

The Career Author Summit 2021 – 

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  

    Excitable interview today J. Wow, 15K a day, that’s a lot of words. I hope Kathrin has a good release mechanism because she is working very hard.
    I’m interested in ghost-writing, but I would never do it; like Zach, I haven’t got time to tell all the stories I want to tell. I assume for a reasonably good writer it could be a way to learn publishing and get one’s work edited and develop a voice.
    A question I would be interested in hearing an answer from Kathrin. What does a ghost-writer do if they are writing a book for a client and they believe the story could be improved because they can see a better story? Is suggestion or negotiation allowed? Might be my arrogance talking here but it’s one of the reasons I doubt I could ever be a ghost-writer.
    Great show today and like you all suggested I love Kathrin’s book covers.

    1. J. Thorn

      3 years ago  

      Great question! I guess it would depend on the stipulations of the contract.

    2. Kathrin Hutson

      3 years ago  

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the interview, Christopher! First, I’ll say my release mechanism comes in three parts: a home gym in our basement, an incredibly active four-year-old, and a hiking-nut husband. Plus, Brucewillis still likes to run ;P

      You posed a fantastic question, which is one I actually struggled with when I first started out as a ghostwriter (I think I mentioned this briefly in the interview). Writing the best story for ME in my personal opinion hasn’t always meshed with writing the kind of stories a client wants or that fits their brand/voice. Fortunately for me, once I learned how to release that hold on my own personal PREFERENCES as an author to better provide a SERVICE for happy clients, I discovered I was something of a chameleon re: narrative voice, style, AND genre (I’ve ghostwritten pretty much everything but Romance).

      My suggestion for those considering ghostwriting, however, would be the same suggestion for those looking to break into their own career as an author: find the genres/tropes/characters you love, discover everything you can about them until you know them inside out, then only take the ghostwriting jobs that excite you and ignite that passion for writing and story. It may seem counterintuitive to creating a full-time career, but it absolutely makes a difference to the finished product. All the difference in the world, really. Repeatedly delivering the best of your craft within a client’s parameters solidifies that mutually beneficial working relationship. And room for future input and collaboration only grows after that.

      As far as being being “allowed” to suggest improvements and negotiation, I’m a firm believer that open communication, honesty, and transparency are key in any field. Most of my clients have been graciously open to suggestions. Sometimes, they’re shot down, but in those cases, the bottom line is that it’s my job to create what my clients want, regardless of my own opinions. On the other hand, we as professional ghostwriters ARE the professionals, and after 95 completed and published novels under my belt (of course, not all under my name), I might be able to say I’ve learned a thing or two 😉

      Just like any industry or field, it’s about delivering the best product you can according to what a client wants and building a reputation and a successful track record without cutting corners. It also helps tremendously when those working relationships become partnerships (and sometimes even friendships) between professionals who BOTH want the same thing. Good stories, quality writing, and happy readers.

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

      1. Christopher Wills

        3 years ago  

        Thanks Kathrin.

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