Books of a Personal Nature

Hey all– I know it’s not *kermit flail Monday* but I’m going to pimp a friend’s book here first off anyway.

See, I’ve made my personal life public for more than eight years.  At first, it was on the assumption that nobody was listening, and after several painful moments proving that wasn’t true, I started to edit those personal revelations to something a little more public friendly–but you’ve all heard my mantra.  All writing is personal, even when it’s edited to not expose quite as of your privates as you’d intended.

So I’ve talked–a lot–about what inspires my books, and you know that’s personal too.  You know that Truth in the Dark has a lot of meaning for me, as does Clear Water, The Locker Room, Chase in Shadow, and Christmas Kitsch.  Hell– all of my work has a grain, a kernel, of something that’s personal to me, and that’s the thing I build around when I write.  It’s all personal.

So this book, A Heart for Robbie, is very personal to J.P. Barnaby.

My children are my inspiration for my best work, and the best of me.  In this case, J.P.’s child did not survive to love beta fish or wear silly costumes or say inspiring, amusing things.  But that does not mean that her child inspired her any less to write something loving and real about someone who changed her life.  People often come to me and thank me for writing a happy ever after for people they know who did not get their own.  (This is especially heartbreaking when they’re thanking me for Chase.)  In this case, J.P. wrote a happy ever after for her own child, for her own world, and to me, that is just such a hopeful thing.  I’ve also said, again and again, that romance writers don’t deal in sex, they deal in hope.  This book is a tremendous dose of hope, and I’m proud of my friend for having written it.

Here’s a look at A Heart for Robbie:

Waiting for someone else’s child to die so yours can live is the worst kind of Hell.
Celebrated Young Adult author Julian Holmes pits the heroic characters in his Black Heart series against all different kinds of monsters. But when a critical heart defect threatens his son’s life, he finds he has no champion. No amount of books, classes, or practice can prepare Julian for the fight to save his beautiful son’s life.
Suddenly there are hospitals, transplant lists, and the nightmare of insurance red tape to navigate. In the midst of his trouble, Julian meets Simon Phelps, the insurance coordinator for Robbie’s case. Simon lives so deep in the closet he might never find his way out, but he dreams of exactly what Julian has. Then one night, drunken need and desperation brings them together, and a new fight begins.
Okay–when you’re all done wiping your eyes, some other stuff that happened…
I loved this experience.  I want to do moar and moar and moar!  (Cue evil laugh here!)  And moar and moar and moar!
For one thing, the CPR station was arctic-cold, and since it was a bazillion degrees outside, that was particularly nice.  For another, I got asked questions about my favorite subject, and Kim got to answer in between times so I got a break.  I obviously needed one, because some of the questions took me off guard– the numbers one about broke my little pea brain, and the assumption that “most of the books didn’t go beyond kissing” also sort of broke me.  But if you look at the write up before the audio link, they took some of the material I sent them and condensed it very nicely– makes me look verra good, and that’s always nice.
We also got to talk to the band while we waited, and that was sort of relaxing and lovely.  You should listen to their audio link– they were awesome!  Kim and I took pictures of each other in the green room, and that was sort of fun– we look nervous, I think, but excited, and she sounded marvelous during the show!
Over all, I don’t think I *heerk*ed too badly, so we’re calling it a win!
And when I got home, my kids were like, “Mom!  Mom!  Dad let us listen to you on the radio!  We heard you!”  And then (and this blew my mind) an old friend from teaching looked me up and got in touch.  She’d heard me on the radio and then looked up my website to make sure it was me!  I had no idea my voice was that distinctive, but, you know, that was sort of cool!
And then it was over.  So sad, too bad, you have to go back to your regularly scheduled life of watching the kids play video games and dress up as bees now.
Well, in Zoomboy’s defense, there was a very cool documentary on the beasties, and he wished to be a part of that.  More power to him.  Bee-sties unite!  (Do you like his stance?  He and I had a “Ninja-off” in the middle of Michael’s when we went to buy uber cheap water noodles.  My form is almost as good as his.)
And in other news, I was all set to not be anybody for recital this year.  Yes, I tried, but I was gone when Joanna (the dance teacher) was taking calls for backstage moms.  So I was not expecting to get a call yesterday asking me to fill in for another mom last night and help for other moms during the rest of rehearsal.  (I think that’s what she asked me.  I was pretty confused by the time I showed up last night, half-assed, half-prepared, and really not with my head in the game.  I like to think I helped, but I forgot that sometimes little kids need their laces double-knotted and they forget which foot their shoes go on.  Duh!  (They weren’t much younger than Squish, though… sue me!  She’s very independent, and I’m spoiled!)
Anyway, I’m sure the other stage moms were like this:
But hey– you can’t sneeze at a warm body.  Or, well, you could, but it’s not particularly polite.
Anyway– I”m off to finish Black John, and I could not be happier about this.  Parts of this book were so hard to write, and yanno? I’m tired of sad.  I can’t wait to write happy.  It’s a good thing John’s HEA is coming, and that my next two projects are short, feel-good novellas.  YAY!  

But of course, first I have to finish and edit John.  

Which is where I’ll leave you– the thought of me editing with llama face.  I know.  That’s attractive.  Enjoy.

0 thoughts on “Books of a Personal Nature”

  1. Unknown says:

    It's only a dangerous thing IF between making the llama face you got the Cruella DeVil grimace going on…..(don't look at me….I got that "Dory" face going on from Finding Nemo…as in "I speak whale" – and it only happens if I'm stuck between dazed and confuzzled)

  2. I know editing is brain numbing and sometimes painful (they're making you slice up your baby, after all), but I'm sooo looking forward to Black John! And the shorter, lighter stuff.

  3. Unknown says:

    I streamed it online to hear what you guys had to say and loved it! You guys sounded great and I felt that you portrayed the genre in a good light. I was also blown away when she said it doesn't go much beyond kissing. I thought to myself, did no one research this topic before the interview and if they did, they need to be a LOT more thorough in their research!

    Waiting with baited breath for "Black John." So excited! *squeee* (okay, fan girl moment over).

  4. Donna Lee says:

    I once ran into a high school classmate (just recently) and she said she recognized me by my voice. I thought that was weird.

    I'm glad you had fun on the radio. I'm pretty sure I would freeze up. I am not good in front of people-except in the classroom. I loved teaching.

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