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  • Guest Post and Giveaway: Transitioning to YA Fiction by J.P. Barnaby

Hello everyone! Today I am so excited to welcome back the fabulous J.P. Barnaby, visiting us with her alter ego, Jamie Mayfield.  Jamie is the name of one of J.P.’s most well known characters from her amazing Little Boy Lost series (which if you haven’t read you must run out and get RIGHT now). And under that new pen name, J.P. will be soon releasing many of her titles in Young Adult versions.  

When I heard about this new endeavor I was really excited to learn more about how this would all work and how her books would be adapted for a YA audience.  So I am really excited to have J.P. here today to tell us more about it.  J.P. also is offering a great tourwide prize – a Kindle to one lucky commenter.  So be sure to leave a comment at the end of the post to enter.  Welcome J.P.!

ChoicesI’ve always written young characters, but I wanted to do something special with it, to show boys that they’re not broken. To feel love’s sweet sting for the very first time, is a special time in anyone’s life, but especially in the life of a young gay man. Not only does he have to contend with the same issues as his heterosexual peers, but also the challenges every gay man faces. Suicide has always been a fear among LGBT teenagers, but when news of death after death of young men hit the news, it made my heart ache. At the time I started writing the Little Boy Lost series, Harmony Ink Press did not exist. I had no option but to write it as an adult contemporary. But with the launch of Dreamspinner Press’s YA imprint, I knew that I wanted to transition that series to a YA audience.

With each subsequent Little Boy Lost book released, I received messages – emails, Facebook notes, and Twitter DMs from guys who closely identified with Brian or Jamie. One man told me about his own tree house, and how he was sent to “pray the gay away camp.” Another told me about his suicide attempt when he was forcibly outed by someone he considered a friend. With every message, the conviction that I wanted to get these books into the hands of boys who might benefit from their message of hope and acceptance grew until finally, I approached Elizabeth North, head of Dreamspinner Press with my idea. I wanted to take a shot at editing the series for a YA audience, without losing the impact of the story. So, for it to work, the drugs, the porn, the angst, the pain, and the hope all had to stay.

A YA novel in which the protagonists have sex on page and on camera?

destinyElizabeth agreed, and I started the ambitious undertaking of editing the nearly half million word series not only for content, but for size because trilogies work far better than six book series. The other major consideration for the series was a pen name. Because of my JP Barnaby persona, I didn’t feel comfortable encouraging teenagers to follow me as JP on Twitter or Facebook, thereby seriously hampering any online marketing. So, instead, I decided to make one of my fictional characters a real person. In the final book of the Little Boy Lost series, Jamie Mayfield went to school for creative writing. It only made sense that he would write not only his story, but other stories. Who better for him to write for than Harmony Ink Press? He could do so much good telling kids what he went through and showing them that they aren’t alone.

Because the purpose of the books is to help kids, I didn’t feel comfortable taking money from them in the form of royalties. So, after a long heart-to-heart with Brian and Jamie, and of course, Elizabeth–we decided to donate the money to a cause very near and dear to Jamie’s heart. Every dollar, one hundred percent, of the royalties made from any Jamie Mayfield novel is donated directly to a charity which finds safe shelter for homeless LGBT kids.

determinationThe only books that will be transitioned to YA are the ones with YA characters – the Little Boy Lost series, which has been condensed to the three book Waiting for Forever series, and Aaron which has been retitiled as A Broken Kind of Life. Jamie Mayfield will work on additional books in between the times when JP is working on her books. For example, he’s finishing up a book now co-authored with fellow YA writer Robbie Michaels. It’s an account of two boys surviving the Sunshine Center, much as he did. He wanted to write their story to shed light on the terrible problem of ex-gay reparative therapy.

Maintaining two completely autonomous personas and the books needed to support them both will be difficult, but I love being JP and I believe in what Jamie wants to accomplish, so I force myself to be hyper organized, and have hired a PR firm to help me with marketing and other tasks to take some of the pressure off. Jamie has his own website, Facebook, Twitter, and tumblr. It states very clearly on every author bio page that he is a fictional character from the mind of female author J.P. Barnaby so there is no mistaking him for a 20-something gay man. Each of the novels are marked that they have been adapted from existing award-winning fiction so there is no mistaking if a reader has already read them.

My hope is that the line takes off well and a great deal of money and awareness can be raised to help our kids be safe and healthy and happy.

Jamie Mayfield Releases

  • Choices – June 6, 2013
  • Destiny – July, 2013
  • Determination – August, 2013
  • A Broken Kind of Life – Sept, 2013

Waiting for Forever: Choices

A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title
Waiting for Forever: Book I
Part One: The Throwaway Boy

As the country’s religious and secular leaders battle over equality in the abstract, Brian McAllister and Jamie Mayfield live in the crossfire. In their little town of Crayford, Alabama, loving another boy is the worst kind of sin. Best friends since childhood, they explore their love and each other in Jamie’s backyard tree house as they hide from the world. They happily plan for the future together—until their lives are rocked when their secret is exposed and Jamie’s family intervenes.

When hatred turns to violence in their sleepy little town, Brian tries to cope with the loss of his best friend, who is stolen in the night. In desperation, he turns to Adam, a new friend with a shared pain. Can Adam fill the hole left by Jamie’s absence? The answer will change everything.

Adapted from the award-winning Little Boy Lost series by J. P. Barnaby.

100% of the author’s royalties are being donated to help homeless LGBT kids find safe shelter.

Pre-order from Dreamspinner Press: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3878&cPath=864

About Jamie Mayfield

jamie mayfield avatarA survivor of the ex-gay residential institution The Sunshine Center, fictional author Jamie Mayfield went on to find his voice in novels. Always a great lover of books, Jamie found his passion as he began to pursue a liberal arts degree in creative writing. An avid reader, he’s a fan of gay romance, suspense, and horror—though not all in the same novel.

Jamie lives in San Diego with his fictional husband, Brian. He writes YA fiction as a way to let kids know that they have an entire LGBT family all around them. Above all, he wants them to know that they are not alone. It does get better.

Jamie Mayfield is a fictional character from the acclaimed Little Boy Lost series by female author J. P. Barnaby.


J.P. is offering up a Kindle to one lucky winner throughout her tour. Every comment on a blog post, and tweet you make (with the hash tag #WaitingForForever), will be entered to win the Kindle. Drawing will be held on 8/21/2013 – must be 18 to enter, and have a valid US mailing address. No purchase necessary.

For more details on the tour and links to all the stops, check out the post on Jamie’s blog: http://jamiemayfield.com/2013/05/waiting-for-forever-blog-tour/

  • By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
  • Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
  • By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
  • Void where prohibited by law.
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