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J.P. Barnaby – Almost Normal – Zahra Owens' Wide Open Spaces

J.P. Barnaby – Almost Normal

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*

Almost Normal
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.

J. P. Barnaby’s very first author headshot
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.

Fractured, a story of dissociative identity disorder in which Edward was an alcoholic doctor and Jasper, one of his personalities, walked the streets as a gay prostitute, won first place in the For the Love of Jasper contest

J. P. Barnaby with Devon Hunter at Market Days
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.
Drake Jaden, J. P. Barnaby, & Parker Perry at a private party in Chicago
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.

J. P. Barnaby and friends presenting at the Grabbys
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.

Dalton Tyler, J. P. Barnaby, & Jimmy Fanz before a night out dancing in Ft. Lauderdale

About J. P. Barnaby

J.P. Barnaby – NOH8
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.

Website: http://www.jpbarnaby.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/JPBarnaby
Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/JPBarnaby


    1. Hi Lichen! Sorry, for some reason I was having trouble accessing Zahra’s site. But I can now! 🙂

      Thank you so much for coming to read the post and supporting Zahra’s new blog! And you know you can chat with me anytime on twitter. <3

  1. Zahra, thanks for introducing me to J.P.

    J.P., I’ve seen your tweets in the DSP authors group and found you intriguing, but unapproachable. After reading your story, I see I was wrong! Looking forward to meeting you some day and very inspired by your story. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Michael!

      Oh honey – please approach me. I try very hard to answer all of my tweets, emails, and Facebook comments because if you take the time to talk to me, I’m sure as hell going to take the time to say hi back. 🙂

      Thank you so much!

  2. Great post–thank you for sharing your story with us. :-)I think a lot of people can identify with the person you were, and can now envy the person you are–and yet the main difference between them and you is that you decided your life must change and you went for it with no holds barred.

    I think some of us are willing to make big changes, but we still hold a little something back, so if we fail, we can tell ourselves we didn’t give it our all. But that’s the only way to make the kind of life-altering changes that you’ve done. Congrats on setting your sights on the brass ring–and not believing anyone else when they said it could never be won. 🙂

    1. Take the chance – because you’ll always wonder what would have happened if you don’t.

      My iPhone looks like a porn star rolodex – it’s the weirdest feeling ever – but it’s wonderful because these boys are sweet, caring, and amazing. They’re great friends who just happen to have an interesting side job. Kind of like us. 😉

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