It’s no secret that I think J.P. Barnaby is fantastic. She’s vibrant, witty, sarcastic, outspoken and open. But she’ll be the first one to say that she hasn’t always been that way. Pulling from some of her most intimate experiences, J.P.’s true self has emerged through her writing – word by word, story by story. The combination of talent and raw emotion giving her creations a life of their own.
Please join her as she talks about some of her biggest influences that have helped craft the characters we all love.
On this blog tour stop, I was asked to write about what influences me in my writing. For anyone that talks with me, either on Twitter or Facebook, or reads my interviews, one influence is very clear—gay adult entertainment. Over the last two years or so, I’ve made some really great friends in the industry and it bugs me when they are misrepresented in fiction. So, one of the things that I like to do is write their stories and show the sweet, unassuming, open and amazing guys that they are. Granted, they’re not all sweet, but you’ll find that in any area of life The details that I write into my work are generalities and with diverse houses, you’ll get different results, but mostly, I write with guys I’ve met in mind.
That is the fun influence. One of the not-so-fun influences that readers will find heavily in my work is my life. Between the childhood sexual abuse dissected and analyzed in A House of Cards to my horrifying high school experience in Little Boy Lost, it’s been an interesting dichotomy, revealing who I really am as a person. I’ve started a couple of books dealing with the death of my daughter, but even though it’s been twenty years, I just can’t quite pull the trigger on those yet. Each book, each character that I infuse with different facets of my personality brings with it new areas of myself that I’m not sure I knew were there.
Really, I find influence in every part of life. I’m inspired daily by the things going on around me. For example, Aaron was inspired by a book I once read. The main character had been raped, and had no issue having sex with his true love afterward. As the victim of sexual assault and a reader who needs at least the appearance of plausibility, I was angered by the book. As I thought about all of the things in the novel that needled at me, a tiny voice began to whisper in my ear. He was so scared, so horribly broken that I couldn’t help but listen. The imagery and experiences that I had to write for Aaron were heartbreaking. They gave me nightmares, and it took me nearly two years to finally finish it – but he finally got up the courage to finish his story and find peace.
** Aaron has been contracted by Dreamspinner Press for release in the fall. **
I also like to play with opposites and extremes. Last year, I was asked to write something for the Don’t Read in the Closet anthology hosted by the M/M Goodreads group. They gave me a beautifully romantic picture as a prompt and asked me to write what I saw. Rather than writing a sweet, uplifting story about the boys in the picture who looked longingly into each other’s eyes, I wondered what made them look so desperate for each other. Imminent death would cause desperation and longing. What would kill them both? Global disaster. With that, It’s the End of the World as We Know It came into being. I took a lot of chances in that story—killing both protagonists, a 16-year-old virgin having sex with a 30-year-old stranger – but it worked, and readers found it poignant and engaging. Papi on the other hand gets consistent mediocre reviews because of its unconventional ending, again inspired by opposites and extremes.
Pushing the envelope in fiction is always a good idea—make people think, make them cry, and leave them wondering what the hell just happened.
The Little Boy Lost blog tour continues June 25th – July 24th . Make sure to comment at each stop for more chances to win some really great prizes such as an entire series autographed to you by J. P. Barnaby. For additional entries – tweet about the tour including @JPBarnaby and #LittleBoyLost.
Tour Schedule can be found HERE
Little Boy Lost is a coming of age story about two teenage boys—Brian McAllister and Jamie Mayfield—growing up gay in rural Alabama. The six book series chronicles their lives as they navigate through peers, parents, and porn, desperately searching for the perfect combination of circumstances in which they can be together. Through their journey, they find friends, pain, acceptance, loss, and most importantly, themselves.
July 2 – July 9th, Dreamspinner Press will offer the first book in the Little Boy Lost series for free on their website and books 2-5 at 20% off in celebration of the release of the final book, Sacrificed.
Reviews for Little Boy Lost:
This is a compulsively readable book. I sat down with it the other day, intending just to skim it for this re-review, but within a few pages I was pulled completely into the story just like I was last year. Brian and Jamie are wonderful characters, beautifully drawn and realized. They experience the wonder and excitement of their first love, going through each step: a touch, a kiss, an embrace, and more. At the same time, they are terrified of what might happen to them should anyone find out about their relationship. They live in a very small town in Alabama where faggot jokes and homophobia are the norm. How do they reconcile their feelings for each other with the reality of the time and place in which they are living? – JesseWave
What this author does in ABANDONED is just amazing, it is a pure and honest kind of writing that bares the soul of a seventeen, going on eighteen year old. It offers the worst of circumstances in which various forms of love can ignite, nourish and inspire Brian on his journey. I never expected to experience such a strong connection to the person Brian is. I’m still amazed by it and savoring it every chance I get. ABADONED blew me away as J.P. Barnaby continues the story of memorable characters who just go for your heart. This is just about as good as it gets in the M/M genre! – Leontine’s Book Realm
As a bisexual woman, J.P. is a proud member of the GLBT community both online and in her small town on the outskirts of Chicago. A member of Mensa, she is described as brilliant but troubled, sweet but introverted, and talented but deviant. She spends her days writing software and her nights writing erotica, which is, of course, far more interesting. The spare time that she carves out between her career and her novels is spent reading about the concept of love, which, like some of her characters, she has never quite figured out for herself.
Remember to comment below to increase your entries for some really great prizes. What influences you? And what do you do with that inspiration?
To see full list of rules, blog schedule, and all the fabulous prizes, check J.P.’s Blog Tour page.