(As told to Danielle)
A very big warm welcome to popular author J.P Barnaby. It is a great pleasure and honor to have you here at the Blog of Sid Love.
Hi Dani – it was an honor to be asked. Thank you so much! I’m really excited to see what questions you decided on.
We sheduled this interview when your novel ‘Charlie, Rentboy’ was released but with your approval hopefully I can add some questions about former novels?
When I saw the promotion and the blurb of ‘Charlie, Rentboy’I was sold. I really wanted to read the book as I was very curious about what you came up with for this controversial topic. Did you surprise many fans and followers with writing this particulair story?
I wouldn’t think so. Anyone who follows me on Twitter or Facebook sees the pictures of me hanging out with my friends in the adult entertainment industry. More than a few porn stars are also escorts, so these guys are my friends. I wanted to write about them in a sex positive way.
I have to say when reading the story it is easy to love Charlie or to sympathize with David, or you can make a easy connection with John. When you started this story did have both these characters set in your mind or did they began existing during the story?
The character for Charlie always existed because he’s based on a real friend – Eli Lewis (http://www.EliLewisOnline.com) who I met at Hustlaball in New York last year. He’s an amazing, charismatic, warm and funny guy who I thought would make a great character. John came later. I knew I wanted someone that not even Charlie could resist.
The surprise for me about this story was the content, which was an easy read with much little drama and so different from what we are used to seeing from you. As I said in my review I applaud you for doing that but why?
Actually, there were two reasons:
1. I have a few friends in the adult entertainment industry, and they are generally viewed in such a negative light in fiction, especially rentboys. In most fiction, you find desperate, addicted boys who have been abandoned by their family and cast out by society. While that does sometimes happen, in my experience, it’s not the norm. Most of the time, they are just regular guys looking for a way to make the rent and stay ahead.
2. When Aaron was released on October 2012, I actually had reviewers who were afraid to read it. A lot of people told me they were waiting to be “in the right mood” to start it. I realized then that I need to expand the range of my stories.
Talking about your previous stories, I would like to ask about the use of technology in your books. The smexting in ‘Lessons Learned’ was hot and effective. And then of course, there’s ‘Aaron’ where the guys come together over a computer programming project. Also, because of Spenser’s deafness, he and Aaron are able to communicate by chatting online. It’s so awesome seeing that medium used as a type of therapy for these guys. Was this motivated by your own work with computers?
Yep – write what you know, and I know computers. My friend Rowan Speedwell is a master of weaving realistic detail from just about any subject into a book, and I wanted to do that, so I added a bit of my programming knowledge to Aaron. Plus, I am shy as well, and I know that it’s so much easier for me to talk to people over text than actually speak aloud.
Was this something you knew you wanted to show when you started forming the story or did it come to you as the characters evolved?
It was always a part of the story, as much as Aaron’s inability to be touched, and Spencer’s speech patterns.
Talking about Aaron, that story created a lot of buzz. Do you mind me asking what motivated you to write ‘Aaron’? How did you come up with these two characters?
Aaron is my seven-year-old self dealing with the devastating effects of sexual abuse. I came up with the story late one night when Aaron woke me out of a sound sleep and started whispering about monsters in the dark.
Originally, I’d planned for Spencer to be blind, however, it seemed rather convenient with Aaron’s scars. I wanted Spencer to have his own issues so that their relationship would feel balanced.
Are there any one of your characters that you would like to date?
Ethan Bryant from the Forbidden Room series. He’s an incredibly complex character, and I’d love to spend several hours under his paddle and his hands in the room.
What I also am curious for is this: you do interviews with porn stars on your website. Why did you decide to do this and how did it come about?
One of the reasons I put porn stars on my covers is to help promote them just as they promote me. The interviews started a while back when I started talking to friends about getting their pictures and a bit of personal information in the world to humanize them. A lot of people treat them as if they only exist from the waist down.
We know that there is coming a sequel to ‘Charlie, Rentboy’ (one I am definitly looking forward to btw J) but I wonder is there also a sequel to Aaron coming as it feels more like a HFN than an HEA?
The Survivor Books (of which Aaron is the first) will have a total of three books: Aaron, Painting Fire on the Air (release date: Sept 27, 2013), and Spencer. Painting Fire on the Air is about Ben, Juliette’s older brother, but Spencer will be a continuation of Aaron and finish their story.
I would like to throw out my shorties to you, J:
Favorite food? Pizza, hands down.
Favorite color? Silver.
Favorite author? This is a very hard choice. I’m a big fan of Stephen King, Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child, Cameron Dane, Kele Moon’s M/M stuff, and a whole list of other authors.
Favorite book? I can’t pick just one. How about a top 5?
Finding Zach by Rowan Speedwell (followed closely by her new book Illumination coming Sept 30th)
Omorphi by Cody Kennedy
The Eden Series by Kele Moon
Curtis Reincarnation by Zathyn Priest
Rough Canvas by Joey W. Hill
Favorite way to spend a day off? Reading
Favorite movie? The Core
Favorite music or song? Music soundtracks, particularly by John Williams.
Favorite flower? I don’t think much about flowers one way or the other – lilacs, I suppose.
Favorite clothes? Jeans and a big comfy hoodie.
Favorite season? Fall, definitely.
Before signing off, I would like to ask you something about your new release that comes out September 27th through DSP – ‘Painting Fire on the Air’. What would you like to share about this new story?
Painting Fire on the Air is the story of Ben, older brother of Juliette from Aaron. He’s devastated by his sister’s murder, and finds a harsh way of dealing with the pain. The phrase “painting fire on the air” refers to fire flogging, in which the Dom loads a kevlar flogger with 70% iso-propyl alcohol and sets it on fire. Drake Jaden, my friend and the cover model for the book, describes the sensation like a bad sunburn for just a second, and then the pain receds until the next strike. Another model, Chris Yosef describes the feeling as “the breath of God”. It’s fascinating.
The book is a great read for anyone interested in BDSM or not. The portions of the book in Ben’s POV are great for those who are into the lifestyle, or just enjoy reading about it. While Jude’s POV is more of a “what the hell is wrong with these people” kind of perception, and the reader learns about the lifestyle right along with him.
Thank you so much for doing this interview . Goodluck on the current releases and the new releases coming .
Thank you so much for taking the time to write such interesting and targeted questions. I really appreciate the care with which you took to find out more about me to do such a beautiful interview. ❤
Thank You J.P. and thank you, Elizabetta for joining me in prepairing this interview.
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On top of doing this interview Miss J.P Barnaby kindly offered a giveaway of her latest release Charlie, Rentboy. Leave a comment and a message to the author in the comment department as for why you should win this book.
Thanks and Good Luck Danielle
ABOUT J. P. BARNABY
J. P. Barnaby, an award-winning gay romance novelist, is the author of over a dozen books including the Little Boy Lost series, the Forbidden Room series, and Aaron. 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.
CONTEST WILL END ON 30th September, 2013 @ 11:59 PM Central Time!!