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!

Writing Historical Horror with Alma Katsu

Alma Katsu is an expert at writing historical horror. Armed with her chilling writing style and an extensive knowledge of historical events, she adds a unique supernatural twist to the past. Alma is best known for her novels The Taker and The Hunger, the latter of which prompted a blurb from Stephen King on Twitter. Katsu worked in federal intelligence for most of her life and is currently a technology consultant.


Ms. Katsu’s debut novel, The Taker, was selected by Booklist as one of the top 10 debut novels of 2011. She is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins Writing Program and Brandeis University, where she studied with novelist John Irving, and an alumni of the Squaw Valley Writers Conference. Like many writers, she has a day job, too: for over 30 years, she was an intelligence analyst for the federal government and RAND, and is currently a consultant on emerging technology.

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 powerhouse, J. Thorn, 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 Stephen King’s tweet changed Katsu’s career
  • How Katsu crafts historically accurate thrillers
  • The value of a great editor
  • Why it’s important to make connections with other authors
  • Why “getting published” isn’t validation
  • How to find your unique voice


Alma Katsu –

The Taker (Book 1/3) –

The Hunger –

J. D. Barker –

J. Thorn –

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. Kyle

    4 years ago  

    Is it possible to get a tv or film deal if you self publish?

    1. J. Thorn

      4 years ago  

      Probably harder, but yes I’m sure you can.

    2. Wallace

      4 years ago  

      Check out Joanna Penn’s podcast from a few weeks back: From Book To Hollywood Film With Ken Atchity: The story studio podcast are independent authors, and they talk about getting tv and film deals quite a bit:

      1. J. Thorn

        4 years ago  

        Yes! Great episode.

  2. Renee

    4 years ago  

    Alma rocks! I’m so lucky to have a DRC of The Deep!

    1. J. Thorn

      4 years ago  

      She does!

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