Screenwriter John August loves writing. He enjoys it so much, he decided to expand his writing repertoire from screenplays to novels. His new novel, Arlo Finch in the Valley of Fire, was two years in the making. And lucky for us, he documented that process to share with others in a new podcast called Launch.

August is best known for writing Charlie’s Angels, Big Fish, and his films with Tim Burton (Frankenweenie, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Corpse Bride). He is also writing the new live action screenplay for Aladdin but due to some pretty strict privacy rules from Disney, we didn’t delve into that story. But I’m hoping once the film comes out he’ll come back on my show and gives a closer look at what it’s like to re-imagine that classic story with live actors.

In Launch, August shares interviews with publishers, meetings, and moments that chronicle his journey to publishing a novel. That novel is available now in stores and online and given the fantastical nature of his writing style, I can’t wait to check it out. We talked about where his stories come from, which I’ve found isn’t always easy for writers to talk about. But August isn’t one of those writers to locks himself up and hides away the tools of the writing process. He’s quite open about it and really seems to enjoy sharing his journey in the hopes that it helps others.

He also has a podcast where he talks about screenwriting called Scriptnotes which he’s hosted since 2011. Podcasts can be quite addictive, if I do say so myself, so it’s no surprise that he’s found a way to start another one.

We also talk about how his life as a writer changed when he became a father. No more late night writing sessions. The writing hours are much more regular now than before his daughter came along. He also talks about why it’s important for him to help other writers on their journey and I think you will love listening to what inspires him to write.

Launch is available now on Wondery. Arlo Finch in the Valley of Fire is available now in bookstores and online. To find out more about John and listen to his podcasts, visit