J.D. Barker

J. D. Barker is the international best-selling author of Forsaken, a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Debut Novel, and The Fourth Monkey, the first book in the Sam Porter 4MK series. His third book (and part two of the 4MK series), The Fifth to Die, was released in July 2018. Dracul, a prequel to Dracula written with the author’s great-grand nephew, Dacre Stoker, was released in Fall 2018.


In this episode, Arlan interviews, J.D. Barker the author of The Fifth to Die, the second book in the suspense-thriller series 4MK. Barker started writing in the 1990’s while working for the promotions department of RCA Records. After interviewing the artists he transported around Fort Lauderdale, Florida, he sold the interviews to major magazines, tabloids and newspapers to help pay his student loans. He was hired by 25th Parallel Magazine and was quickly recognized as a good editor which led to his career as a book doctor and ghostwriter for 23 years. Now writing his own books, Barker has become a prolific suspense-thriller fiction writer with two ongoing series, three stand-alone novels, and various other projects in the works. 

The Fifth to Die is the second book in his 4MK series in which a serial killer stalks the streets of Chicago and the main character, Detective Porter, has to dive into the past of the killer from the first novel to solve the case. For Barker, it’s a study of what makes a serial killer: nuture or nature? 

In this episodes Barker discusses:

  • How he started writing and his work as a book doctor
  • Does being a book doctor make editing his own book easier
  • His drafting and revision process
  • What’s ahead for his Forsaken series
  • How long the Fourth Monkey series will be
  • What people can expect from The Fifth to Die
  • The experience of writing Dracul with the Stoker family
  • His experience writing with James Patterson

Mentioned This Episode


  • “The key to good writing is knowing when to edit.” – J.D. Barker
  • “Get that book as perfect as possible.” – J.D. Barker

Reach out to City Books

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbIUAs8Gjp4q9bFWrHJqerw

%d bloggers like this: