Earlier this year I met J.P.Barnaby in NYC at the Dreamspinner Press Author’s Workshop. We hit it off immediately, and when we started talking it turned out not to be much of a surprise. We both work in computer software during the day and write up a storm at night. She hangs around with porn stars and I get to drool over the pictures and watch from afar from Twitter ;-). Let’s say we have similar interests all around. So who better than her to lose my (guest blogger) cherry to?
So without further ado, here’s my first guest blogger!
*cuts rainbow colored ribbon*
It’s amazing how much things change in such a short span of time. Driving to work this morning, I passed a marshy wasteland of overgrown grass, tangles of brush, and monstrous trees that just a few years ago used to be a golf course. After a massive flood, the owner decided that he was done, and just let it go. The clubhouse is barely recognizable now, but I can still see the mini golf windmill in my mind with absolute clarity. Just as I can see myself the way I was just a few years ago.
Trish Barnaby used to be scared of life. Lonely, overweight, with few real friends, and even fewer reasons to leave the safety of the insulated world she’d built for herself. She worked, she watched TV, she declined any and all invitations, or worse she’d accept knowing that she’d later cancel. After a while, people stopped asking, and she figured that was just as well. One thing Trish loved, however, was to read. A big fan of Harry Potter, Douglas Preston, Stephen King, she loved nothing more than to escape into someone else’s life. One day, her helpful little cousin came along and told her to read a book series just finishing up called Twilight. Really? Vampires? Werewolves? She tried to talk her way out of it, but her little cousin was rather insistent. So, she gave it a shot.
What she found was not a great love affair with the series, but with writing.
Breaking Dawn infuriated me. I waited four damn books for them to have sex and got a complete fade to black. Yes, I realize that technically it’s a YA book, but really? Married people have sex. Having been a huge Harry Potter fan, I’d heard of fanfiction, but had never read anything. I wondered if maybe someone had filled in the gaps and wrote what happened behind Ms. Meyer’s cock block. What I found was a wonderful world of decadent, erotic stories. During my reading, I stumbled across a contest for a Dirty Talking Edward, decided to write a hot little femdom story and J. P. Barnaby was born. Back then, my penname was DefinatelyStaying – from a random line in Breaking Dawn.
I started talking to other authors and readers in chat, on Twitter, and through reviews. I started making friends. By the time my readers pushed me to take The Forbidden Room and A House of Cards: Desconstructing Ethan to a larger stage, I felt almost normal. They had given me confidence and friendships, which I cherish. Not long after I started to publish, I decided to have gastric bypass surgery. The Little Boy Lost series had been picked up by Dreamspinner Press, I’d committed to GayRomLit in New Orleans, and I knew there would be more appearances to follow. It was around that time when I met Devon Hunter. Devon Hunter who didn’t care that I was overweight, he didn’t care that I was a geek, he just wanted to be my friend. Through his example, he showed me the kind of person I wanted to be.
When the weight started to come off, and I started attending functions—both for writing, and for the gay porn industry, I found other friends… many many other friends. More friends than I’ve probably had in my entire life. Suddenly I had to put my phone on vibrate at work because it made noise all day long, noise it hardly made before because I simply didn’t get tweets, Facebook messages, emails, texts, or calls.
It’s taken a year for me to finally get used to the way my life has changed since I started publishing. I’m not the scared, timid wallflower hiding in the shadows anymore. I’m the woman who got up on stage at the Grabbys (a kind of gay porn academy awards) and presented the award for Best Fetish Extreme. I’m the author who gets her stories filmed by porn companies. I have 9 published novels. I have frequent flyer miles. I have a life.
Becoming an author changed my life, and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world as a result.
About J. P. Barnaby
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.