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!

Thinking Beyond Books

In this episode, J, J.D., and Zach discuss the advantages of using different mediums, such as TV, film, video games, and comics, to tell stories and how authors should approach these different modes of storytelling.

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 J.D. needs a heated driveway
  • How to avoid tunnel visioning a final product
  • Advice for writing budget-friendly stories
  • If authors should focus on screenwriting
  • Why streaming services are looking for original content
  • Why video games are the new storytelling frontier


J. D. Barker –

J. Thorn –

Zach Bohannon –

Story Rubric – 

Nonfict 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

    3 years ago  

    Wow you three get more British every week. You’re beginning to start every conversation with the weather. 🙂
    Interesting discussion today. I agree with your conclusion to forget film and write a great book first. The pre-requisite for a film option must be a great novel that’s sold well. A bestselling book or a bestselling author, comes with a fanbase and free publicity for the film company. If you’ve read ‘Which Lie Did I Tell?’ by William Goldman (an excellent read for anyone interested in the filming of novels) you will know that film decisions and option decisions are often made by spotty young accountants. Even when the script is being written and the film is being made, the accountants are hovering around with their calculators. As William Goldman reveals, it’s all about profit. This is why lots of films are remade – free publicity and a potential existing fanbase wanting to see the new version.
    Hollywood works to a simple formula: if money out > money in, by more than you can earn on the stock exchange, a film may get made.
    I liked your conclusion, quoting your own headline for this podcast: ‘writing a good book is only the first step in becoming a successful author.’
    We must never forget the idea that everything starts with a great book.
    Great show.

    1. J. Thorn

      3 years ago  

      So true. Without a good story, nothing else matters.

      How’s the weather out your way today?

      1. Christopher Wills

        3 years ago  

        Mild. 54 Fahrenheit today. Been like that for a week or so. I live in the sunny south of the UK, never too hot or too cold. I could go on… 🙂

  2. Stephanie Bond

    3 years ago  

    You three guys make me extra glad to live in Atlanta, where snow is so rare it makes headlines! Was 75 here over the weekend. 🙂

    I really enjoyed the episode today; I believe we should all think of ourselves as entertainers first and foremost, and not be constrained by a format. I’ve found that my imagination for ways my stories can be told usually surpasses that of editors, agents, and managers I’ve worked with. With that in mind, I think it’s a good idea for writers to be assertive about suggesting alternative formats to be shopped and coming up with/investing in one-sheets, demos, pitch decks, and other “proof of concept” materials to make it as easy as possible for others to sell and to buy into our vision.

    Thanks, J, Zach, and JD!

    1. J. Thorn

      3 years ago  

      Good point! Being a little more assertive in those situations can be empowering. Thanks, Steph!

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