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!

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.


James Rollins is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of international thrillers. His writing has been translated into more than forty languages and has sold more than 20 million books. The New York Times says, “Rollins is what you might wind up with if you tossed Michael Crichton and Dan Brown into a particle accelerator together.” NPR calls his work, “Adventurous and enormously engrossing.” Rollins unveils unseen worlds, scientific breakthroughs, and historical secrets matched with stunning suspense. As a veterinarian, he had a practice in Sacramento for over a decade and still volunteers at local shelters. Nowadays, Rollins shares his home up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains with his two golden retrievers, Echo and Duncan. He also enjoys scuba diving, spelunking, kayaking, and hiking. Of course, he loves to travel and experience new places around the world, which often inspire his next globe-trotting adventure.

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.

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:

  • What did James’ research process look like during the pandemic?
  • The importance of a good author’s note
  • The pros and cons of writing a long series
  • How to prioritize different projects

J. D. Barker –

J. Thorn –

Zach Bohannon –

The Author Life Summit 2022 – 

Death of the Black Widow – 

James Rollins –

Kingdom of Bones

Best of BookTook – 

The Carbon Almanac – 

Story Rubric –  

Nonfic Rubric –  

Scene 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  

    Morning guys. Biggest serial killer in fiction, Jessica Fletcher. Totally agree. I’ve seen every episode and she could easily have committed some of the murders herself. But of course, she’s such a nice old lady…
    James Rollins sounds like a fascinating guy with a foot in the scientific world and the writing world. It would be difficult to pick holes in his stories as he is clearly clever. I looked up his books and I love the idea of his last Sigma Force book, ‘The Last Odyssey’ – it’s on my reading list. It’s reassuring to hear that successful trad writers share similar concerns with Indies, like the occasional standout review, sales lists etc.
    I did wonder if our friend Jo might have been influenced by James’ Sigma Force series. I’m not religious but one can’t argue with the message of peace promoted at this time in the Christian Calendar, so peace to everyone out there. Yes, that includes you Zach.
    Great show

    1. J. Thorn

      2 years ago  

      LOL! I like how taking shots at Zach has become just part of the comments on the podcast 🙂

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