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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Q&A Episode – October 2021

In this monthly q & a session, the guys answer listener questions.

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.

Join us on Patreon and ask your question LIVE on the podcast!

Questions asked:

  • Hey guys, this is Rebekah Bryan, or Bek. My question is, what are different considerations, if any, for writing, publishing, and marketing nonfiction compared to fiction? And do you have any tips for someone who is looking to dabble in nonfiction? Thanks!
  • How would each of you describe “show, don’t tell?”
  • Besides writing, what would you recommend to do to grow in the craft when in person events are not feasible?
  • What are each of you going to dress up as for Halloween?
  • Do you think Tolkein would be able to get Lord of the Rings (not The Hobbit) accepted for traditional publication today? Why?
  • How would you go about inventing a religion for a fantasy/horror story? Where would you start?
  • I’m curious what Stephen King collection JD asks his mentees to read, and what questions are on the character sheet he uses before he starts writing a character.
  • With J. recently finishing Save the Cat Writes a Novel, I’m wondering how each of you use it when you’re writing fiction.
  • What % of fiction books do you think are bought and never read? I ask this because I often buy a book based on a logline alone but never get around to reading it. It is something you never hear writers talk about and shows the value of a great logline.


J. D. Barker –

J. Thorn –

Zach Bohannon –

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  

    Thanks for answering questions today guys. I enjoy these shows.
    Great answer from JD about the religion question with reference to explaining things. And I love the idea Zach relates about worshipping an unexploded bomb; it kind of reminds me of some scenes in ‘A Life of Brian,’ like the ‘I am not the Messiah’ scene with the great last line.
    Writing is not bad for learning but on its own it won’t take you far. Think strumming a guitar without guidance – you would only get better at what you already know but you would never improve.
    One could do writing exercises based on some craft books that contain them – like buying a teach yourself guitar book and working through it – you have expert guidance.
    Another thing you could do on your own is type out a great novel word by word. This year I have typed out the whole of ‘Rebecca’ by Daphne Du Maurier and I am close to finishing typing out ‘A Discovery of Witches’ by Deborah Harkness. I am learning huge amounts about voice, writing style and everything writing craft like description, dialogue, pace etc. It is time consuming – I type 4 – 6 pages a day. But it is improving the quality of my writing in spades. Just writing is OK but won’t improve your writing very far in my opinion – it will never teach you how to do something you don’t know.
    Next I am going to start typing out some of Stephen King’s short stories.
    Great show today.

    1. J. Thorn

      2 years ago  

      Thanks for listening! I know JD recommends typing out novels. So cool to hear how much that has helped you!

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