Hello everyone! Today I am so excited to welcome back the amazing J.P. Barnaby to the blog. J.P. is here to talk about Spencer, the fabulous sequel to the equally wonderful Aaron. I reviewed it last week and totally loved it. She is talking about sequels and shares some VERY exciting news for her fans of this series! J.P. has also brought along a great giveaway for her blog tour. So please join me in giving her a big welcome!
How does an author decide to write a sequel? In my case, honestly, it’s how do I stop? I’ve written twelve full-length novels and so far, only one of them (the latest, A Heart for Robbie) is a stand-alone. With The Little Boy Lost series, it was easy. The books were designed as a single story—it just took longer than 60,000 words to write. I got the idea from Stephen King’s Green Mile series of pocket books. Only, mine didn’t turn out so pocket-sized. As I wrote, the series became popular, and by the time I got to the end of the series, I felt a tremendous amount of pressure to finish it exactly right. I can only imagine what JK Rowling felt writing Deathly Hallows. I only had the expectations of a few thousand; she had the expectations of a few million.
Just after I turned in the final book of the series, I flew out to New York for the Dreamspinner Press author conference. During that conference, I got one of the best pieces of advice I’d heard in my budding career. Elizabeth said that just because people tell you they want a sequel doesn’t mean there is one. I kept that advice. Because since the Little Boy Lost series finished, I’ve had a lot of requests for just one more book. But, there isn’t one. A good book centers around conflict. I’d done enough to Brian and Jamie. They were together, they were safe, and they earned their happily ever after. With Aaron, however, I knew there was a second story there before I ever finished the first. There were things I wanted to do in that book Aaron just wasn’t ready for. Time had to pass in order for him to get to the point where he could deal with what I had in mind. Therefore, I let him rest. I gave him time with Spencer. We kept in touch and when he was ready, we started again with Spencer.
While I was writing Spencer, I found the most amazing beta. I will tell you that I have several betas who read each book. They read for different things and they find different things. Kage Alan is the master at identifying my passive voice. I was a Physics major, not an English major and while I learn new things with each books, I still have habits that need to be broken. Kage hammers that one out in a litany of painful comments. While he read Spencer, he messaged me one day and asked when I was starting the next book.
Uhmmmmm…. What next book?
That’s it. The ending is conclusive. There is no more.
And he said – no, there’s another book.
We bickered for a few months, back and forth, with him continuing to bring up the “4th book” (because Painting Fire on the Air) is also a Survivor Story in the same line as Aaron and Spencer. It’s about Ben, Juliette’s older brother. So, whenever Aaron or Spencer came up, he’d ask how I was doing on the 4th book.
And I’ll be damned if he wasn’t right.
With one pretty damn big caveat, I will say that after I sat down and really examined what he was saying, there is another book about Aaron and Spencer in my head. There is also a book about one of the other major supporting characters. He’s been rattling around in my head too. Now – the caveat. I have a ginormous list of WIPs. There are a few things I want to do first, so I don’t know when or even if these books will come to fruition. I suppose I’ll see how Spencer does and if people even want to keep reading about this setting and these characters before I make a final decision. But, knowing the characters from Aaron’s universe – I’m sure they’ll decide for me with their soft but insistent voices.
So, keep in mind as you read books by authors you love, sometimes there just isn’t any more to the story. There is no more effective conflict to keep your beloved characters going forever. If there were, Amy Lane would give me another Frog Boy book, or Ryan Loveless would let us know how Ethan and Carter are doing. Trust me, I have a few books on both sides of that argument.
It’s been nearly five years since Aaron woke up in the hospital so broken, he couldn’t stand the sight of his own face. The flashbacks no longer dominate his life, but he’s still unable to find intimacy with his lover, Spencer Thomas. With time, patience, and the support of his family, his therapist, and his loving partner, Aaron has figured out how to live again. The problem is, Spencer hasn’t. His life has been on hold as he waits for the day he and Aaron can have a normal relationship. Hoping to move things forward for them both, he takes a job as a programmer in downtown Chicago, leaving Aaron alone.
Reeling in the wake of Spencer’s absence, Aaron receives another shock when his attackers are caught.
Now, he must testify and verbalize his worst nightmare. Publicly reliving his trauma without Spencer at his side destroys his precarious control. But he finds someone who can understand and empathize in Jordan, who watched his brother cut down in a school shooting. With Spencer gone and the DA knocking at his door, Aaron seeks solace in Jordan, and Spencer will have to risk everything to hold on to Aaron’s love.
- Dreamspinner Ebook
- Dreamspinner Paperback
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
- Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/JPBarnaby
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JPBarnaby
J.P. is giving away a $50 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner along her tour. Follow the Rafflecopter link below to enter.