Join us as JP Barnaby goes Outside the Margins.
Once again, I’m going to take my cue on Outside the Margins from Edmond Manning. As I sit here in the Orlando airport, I took a few minutes to read his post on community and it struck a chord with me because I’ve always thought of us as a community. We support and love each other—we take care of our own, just as we do in the LGBT community as a whole. I have adored and respected Edmond since we got registration desk duty together at GRL in Albuquerque. It was just my second GRL and I was still pretty shaky with people, but Edmond made me laugh and feel so comfortable that I forgot all about being scared.
If you saw my Love Bytes post on the 5th, you’ll have an idea that I was very close to hanging up the corsets and retiring. Being an author is hard—only about half of it is actually crafting and writing a book. The rest is promotion, travel, coordination, and drama. My intention in going to the Dreamspinner conference was to make one last ditch effort to stay in the game. I asked Elizabeth North, head of Dreamspinner Press, for a sit-down and tried to decide how I was going to tell her all her hard work in helping me build JP had been in vain.
Instead—something altogether different happened.
When I walked in to the breakfast Friday morning, tired and defeated (after almost no sleep because we arrived after two am), people began to embrace me. They asked how I was doing, they asked if I was okay, they asked about the move to Atlanta, and they cared enough to listen to the answers. I’m not talking about just my closer friends, but dozens of my fellow authors. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t think anyone read my Facebook posts. I just post the random crap that pops into my head. But people do read them, and they opened their arms to me in a way that honestly stripped me to the bone.
Authors so far out of my league I can’t even describe the feeling sat me down through the course of the weekend and told me that I couldn’t quit. They gave me tips and advice from their own arsenals on how to make things better. Our marketing coordinator sat with me for an hour as we tried to figure out how to make my books more marketable and less terrifying. And, of course, Elizabeth sat down with me and asked me what book I had in my head. She knows me better than most and she knew there was a boy in there waiting to come out. So, I told her. She said that’s the book she wants from me and gave me a deadline to get it to her. My Dreampinner family closed in around me and I felt the sun for the first time in months.
Some of the very best advice I got this weekend came from Andrew Grey. If you’ve never met Andrew in person, put that on your bucket list. He’s one of the most amazing people I know. Along with some advice about working from home, meeting my writing goals, and balancing the angst with lightness, he also told me that I was on vacation. No writing, no EDJ work—I was in Orlando from that point to have fun and relax. So, I took full advantage of that.
Sunday morning, because I just didn’t want to say goodbye to all of these amazing people who had saved my psyche, I went to Universal Studios. William Cooper had flown down for the weekend because he knew I needed the support, and because we’re both 12-year-old boys at heart and hello—Harry Potter theme park. Dire Callahan and his boy came to pick us up at the hotel and I got to spend the day with part of my leather family. I love spending time with Dire because he’s fascinating—one day, I’m going to write a dozen different books with him in mind. His boy is an absolute joy—sweet, kind, and just so funny. We laughed all day. So, I took Andrew’s advice and I let everything else go. Monday, I did the same at the parks with William and Rowan Speedwell. I didn’t think about anything but the joy of being with my friends in Hogsmede and Diagon Alley and turning my face to the sun.
I am so very thankful for all of the communities, all of the families to which I belong. It’s such a strange feeling for me to say that I belong to anything because I’ve never belonged before. Ever.
So, thank you so much to my author family, to my leather family, and to my friends for bolstering my confidence and stopping me from falling when I started to lose my way. When I get settled in Atlanta, my new boy Gregory (not Greg) and I will start spending a lot of time together. He needs a lot of love, a little laughter, and the attention of David who will save them both.
I am an author.
I am a #dreamer.
And I will always be a Dreamspinner girl.
~ JP Barnaby
About JP Barnaby
Award winning romance novelist, J. P. Barnaby has penned over a dozen books including the Working Boys series, the Little Boy Lost series, In the Absence of Monsters, 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.
Web site: http://www.JPBarnaby.com
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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