This episode features an interview with J Thorn and Zach Bohannon. They talk not only about the collaboration that the two of them do, but also a few of their more adventurous collaborations with other authors including the original train journey with Joanna Penn and Lindsay Buroker and how that unique writing experience evolved into an ongoing AUTHORS ON A TRAIN voyage from Chicago to New Orleans as well as an awesome 50th Anniversary of George A Romero’s classic film Night of the Walking Dead and how that relates to J and Zach’s NIGHT OF THE WRITING DEAD event.
Mark provides a personal update on the video views for his #FreeFridayFrights experiment and then shares the evil reaction he had to creating two “silly” versions of the Laurel VS Yanny audio debate. (He created a RickRoll version, reminding writers to get back to writing, as well as a JumpScare one, because, well, he thought it was funny).
He notes that the short and silly videos are trending much higher than the more serious reading ones he has done.
The tongue twister, sponsored by Findaway Voices, was provided by Laura and Daniel Martone, who will be featured guests in a forthcoming podcast. They asked for another Monty Python inspired accent to read it in, and the Australian accent from the troop’s Bruce Sketch came up.
The Terrible Tongue Twister segment (AKA “Twisting by the Fool”) is sponsored by Findaway Voices, who provide all the tools that an independent author or small publisher needs in order to get into the digital audiobook market.
After a terrible attempt at singing the Bruce’s Philosopher’s Song, Mark twists his tongue and likely offends multiple groups of people, from Python fans, to Australians, to beer drinkers and philosophers.
Mark thanks the users who have sent feedback and comments as well as the listeners who have become Patreon supporters of the podcast.
In the interview, Mark, J and Zach talk about:
- How Zach and J started collaborating when Zach first became a fan of and then reached out to J
- The system for how their writing collaborations work and the way they leverage their unique strengths
- What Story Grid is and how it shouldn’t frighten the math averse
- The five basic components to story structure
- J and Zach’s The Career Author Podcast, why they collaborated on it and how the process of putting the show together works
- The analytics of story that they two of them share on what makes a scene work and what makes a story work
- The origin of the AUTHORS ON A TRAIN retreat with the original train trip from Chicago to New Orleans, and how it evolved into something that a slightly larger group of authors can get involved with
- Details about the forthcoming NIGHT OF THE WRITING DEAD that they are planning for later this year
- The difficult to measure yet critical value of in person connections
After the conversation, Mark shares his own experience having just written a zombie story set at the Monroeville Mall in Pittsburgh (where the Romero film was shot and where NIGHT OF THE WRITING DEAD event will be taking place).
He also shares the fact that, after the interview, he and Zach and J discussed creating a contest unique for listeners of the Stark Reflections podcast. Details will be announced within the next several weeks at www.markleslie.ca/writingdead.
He then reflects on something important that J and Zach speak about. Even though it was the revolution of digital publishing that has allowed authors to make a full time living off of their writing, a unique time in the history of writing, there’s still something critical and important about real-world direct connections.
Mark shares a few examples, in his own life, of how being in the same physical place as other authors and other industry people has led to opportunities and experiences that he wouldn’t have had otherwise.
Links of Interest
- All About the Fictional Worlds of J Thorn & Zach Bohannon: www.moltenuniverse.com
- The Career Author Podcast
- Authors on a Train
- Night of the Writing Dead
- The Sell More Books Show Summit
- Story Grid
- Findaway Voices
- Patreon Page for Stark Reflections
- Mark’s Free Friday Frights
- Mark’s Z is for Zombie digital collection of short stories
- Marks Books at Dundurn
- The Rush themed 2113 Anthology edited by Kevin J. Anderson
Zach Bohannon writes horror, fantasy, and post-apocalyptic science fiction. He is the author of the bestselling post-apocalyptic horror series, Empty Bodies.
J. Thorn is a Top 100 Most Popular Author in Horror, Science Fiction, Action & Adventure and Fantasy (Amazon Author Rank). He has published over one million words and has sold more than 170,000 books worldwide.