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!

Elissa Sussman knows how to keep her writing on schedule. Drawing from her past experience as a ghost writer and manager, she maintains a strict working regimen with set writing hours each day to maximize her productivity and availability. Elissa was a ghost writer of 15 young adult novels before writing adult novels under her own name. To preorder her latest book, Funny You Should Ask, follow the link below.


Elissa Sussman is the author of the novel, FUNNY YOU SHOULD ASK, as well as the young adult novels, DRAWN THAT WAY, STRAY, and BURN. She has a BA from Sarah Lawrence College, a MFA from Pacific University, and in a previous life managed animators and organized spreadsheets at some of the best animation studios in the world, including Nickelodeon, Disney, Dreamworks and Sony Imageworks. You can see her name in the credits of THE CROODS, HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA, THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG and TANGLED. She lives in her hometown of Los Angeles with her husband and their two dogs, Basil and Mozzarella.

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:

  • How to choose your audience
  • What the ghostwriting process looks like
  • Why being a ghost writer is the best writing education
  • Why the romance genre isn’t respected

J. D. Barker –

J. Thorn –

Zach Bohannon –

The Author Life Summit 2022 – 

Elissa Sussman –

Funny You Should Ask

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. Enjoyed the interview today because of the concentration on learning. Good question about how the ghost writing process allowed Elissa to continually improve. I love to hear how writers learn their trade and how they improve their writing.
    Interesting discussion on product placement. One of Ian Fleming’s tropes was to place named luxury items to evoke atmosphere in his books.
    Also interested in romance structure; I add romance subplots to writing using a great book called ‘Romancing the Beat’ by Gwen Hayes – well worth the tiny space required on your bookshelves.
    My takeaway today is to learn the tools by doing, then one can play with them. It’s no different to learning to play the guitar; one learns songs, structures, chords and riffs by rote… then one can play with them.
    Good courses are a useful way to learn too but there are not many good ones around. I found a couple of excellent ones recently.
    Love the cameo by Animal from the Muppets at the end.

    1. J. Thorn

      2 years ago  

      Ha! I knew you’d find that easter egg!

  2. The 9 Best Podcasts for Fiction Writers and Indie Authors | P.S. Hoffman

    2 years ago  

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