Welcome to Your Writer Family


You’re working on a manuscript, maybe even published a book or two yourself. Congrats! That’s something most people will never do. But you’re feeling alone and isolated, your voice drowned in a sea of Facebook Group comments.

Loneliness. Uncertainty. Confusion. Strangely enough, wading through massive online forums or Facebook Groups with tens of thousands of members leaves you feeling alone. Even if you find the courage to post your question, you get a tsunami of “advice”—most of which is contradictory.

You’re looking for a community of writers. No, not exactly. You’re looking for a family of writers. You want to have personal and thoughtful conversations about craft, marketing, publishing, productivity, and mindset without all of the online posturing and one-upmanship flooding the online writing communities. You want to be part of a tight-knit group of like-minded people who listen and understand you instead of making you feel stupid or inferior.

The good news? The family you’re looking for is saving you a spot at the Thanksgiving table. Start a conversation with other kindred spirits who share a burning desire to do more and help each other on the journey. Our loving family promotes learning and growing—all with a firm but gentle sense of accountability.

Now is the time to upgrade the “five people you spend the most time with.” It’s time for The Author Life Community.


In 2009, I joined my first mastermind community and have been a member of dozens since then. Being surrounded by others with the same dream not only changed my writing and my business, it changed my life.

After spending 25 years in education and teaching thousands of students, I’ve been working for several years on The Author Life Community. I’ve received many messages from my clients requesting this type of online family, but I didn’t want to launch it until I had developed the program into something I knew would be successful for everyone who joined it.

We are completely dedicated to your success.

You’ve joined The Author Life Community because you’re looking for the same support network I was a decade ago—I started with a HUGE blunder in 2012 (retelling here) but eventually made the decision to leave my day job while still having a mortgage, car payments, a wife, and two children. I leaned on my writer family to help me on the journey, and now we pledge to steer you around the most common and painful pitfalls. We’ll prove our dedication to your success in our Town Hall meetings, in our private Slack group, and at our live events.

The Membership


  • Full and unlimited membership including:
  • Live monthly "Town Hall" meetings
  • "Ask the Expert" small-group sessions with writing and publishing professionals
  • Live Scene Analysis sessions with Three Story Method Editors
  • Unlimited accountability partner and critique group video conferencing
  • Unlimited participation in the community Slack group


To live the author life, you need to get deliberate and guided practice with immediate feedback. The Author Life Community will help get you unstuck and on the path to success.

You’ll join the family and explore many topics so that you can avoid common and costly mistakes.

Here are some of the topics:


  • Mastering the best story methodologies
  • Analyzing writing and optimizing communication skills
  • Developing habits to ensure success


  • Optimizing an author platform
  • Growing and serving a fan base
  • Self-publishing a best-selling book in a genre
  • Starting and executing a lucrative content marketing plan
  • Mastering social media platforms and retail marketplaces

Systems and Time Management

  • Building and nurturing healthy habits
  • Developing lean systems to get things done
  • Optimizing tasks to free up family time
  • Utilizing technology to manage a growing business


Eko Jayden

Lily Ann Fouts

Roland Denzel



You can find dozens of online classes, webinars, and books for aspiring authors. I’ve purchased them over the years, and some are fantastic. However, some are not, and very few provide the individualized, customized attention of an instructor-led writers’ family and interaction with other authors.

Join a family whose goals and dreams align with yours.

Is The Author Life Community right for you?

  • You are sick and tired of constantly working without making progress.
  • You are open to change and value the opinion of people who have walked the path before you.
  • You believe the act of writing is fundamental to your happiness, and understand that an investment in training and professional networks are essential for you to learn and grow.
  • You have a growth mindset. You can learn how to do anything.
  • You reject “hacks” and shortcuts that sacrifice long-term stability for short-term success.
  • You're tired of the Facebook Groups, endless webinars, and glut of online courses. You want to be part of something different and more meaningful.
  • You possess a strong work ethic and are not afraid to roll up your sleeves up and get down to business.
  • You want to be a shining example to your children, family, and friends, by showing them what it looks like to live life to the fullest.

This is you:

  • You have saved or routinely earn a little bit of money that you put back into your writing. You understand that improvement requires an investment of time and money.
  • You have a fundamental understanding of how to write properly, including proper grammar and punctuation. You care about the quality of your words and strive to make them the best they can be whether they're in a manuscript or email communication.
  • You don’t judge yourself (or others) based on the number of books you’ve published. You call yourself a writer and therefore you are a writer regardless of your experience. You understand that every member of the family can contribute even if they’ve never “published.”
  • You are self-motivated and organized. You honor deadlines and can juggle a few responsibilities at a time.
  • You are comfortable giving and receiving feedback. You understand that your honesty and vulnerability is a gift to yourself and to others, and you live with integrity.


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author

I've co-written two novels and one non-fiction book with J. Thorn, and he has taught me so many things about collaboration. He is patient and kind with his feedback, is open to working in different ways depending on the project and the person, and brings extensive experience of collaborative projects, both with authors and from his background in music. I highly recommend working with J.


New York Times bestselling author

I begged J. to help me get my head on straight with fiction writing. The sessions were amazing. I’m a bit of a weird all-over-the-place kind of person, but J. really ran with whatever I threw at him. His ideas and advice were spot on. His coaching felt like an extra set of very very smart eyes and brains on my ideas. I don’t say this lightly. This was the best coaching I’ve ever received for being so spot on and so helpful.


TEDx Speaker and Strategic Book Coach

J. Thorn is an expert worth listening to. He's been an educator for 25 years, which means he knows exactly how to make complex ideas worth using simple enough for you to understand and implement. He walks you through, step-by-step, how to leverage the power of the author mastermind model to take your career to the next level. You'll learn everything you need to know about a mastermind group and how to get yourself into one. Don't waste any more precious time going it alone.


Yes, I’m the “Authors on a Train” guy, but I started my publishing journey back in 2009. I had a dream of supporting my wife and two kids by selling words, but I came up a bit short in that first year, earning a royalty check for $19.26. But since then, I’ve slowly built an author platform that allowed me to walk away from my day job in 2017—from struggling writer to career author.

Over the past few years, I’ve discovered the power of collaboration and how a small group of people with a shared vision can accomplish anything.

I’ve been lucky to collaborate with so many incredible writers over the years, learning from them and implementing their advice to become better at what I do. From co-written novels to the “Authors on a Train” trips, to the “Night of the Writing Dead” and “Rock Apocalypse” retreats, I’ve grown to understand the power of keeping a tight group of friends and mentors. Now I want to do that for you.

Joanna Penn & J. Thorn in New Orleans

You can find out more about me here. I have published millions of words, sold hundreds of thousands of books worldwide, taught at several universities, hosted or co-hosted a number of podcasts, and earned Story Grid editor certification.

I live the author life. And you can too.