Today I am so pleased to welcome J.P. Barnaby to Joyfully Jay. J.P. has come to talk to us about her latest release, Anthony. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Yesterday was Tuesday, maybe Thursday you can sleep
But school starts much too early and this hotel wasn’t cheap.
— My Michelle, Guns N Roses
Usually, when I get the idea for a story, it’s because the character speaks to me. We have talks in my head, “oh man, that must have been awful” or “what did you do next?” and later “what if this happened?”. The story blossoms from there. With Anthony, first the inspiration came from the above lyric from the Guns N Roses song My Michelle. In Spencer, we saw a drug addicted fourteen-year-old Anthony going to parties to get high. I could see an older Anthony coming out of that hotel room where he’d scored and then gone to school.
But this time, it wasn’t the character who spoke to me – it was his brother. Aaron Downing and I are old friends now. We’ve had many conversations, he and I. This time he came to me, not with a story, but with a plea.
So, I went back and listened to Aaron because the audio books sound so much like his voice. I listened to Spencer. I cried with them and laughed with them. Then, I looked at those events from how a frightened little boy must have seen them. I projected that forward into how those experiences would manifest themselves into future behaviors.
In other words, I took the fractures in the little boy and splintered them into the young man he would become.
I loved the way Aaron’s mother Michelle came out in Anthony. In Aaron & Spencer, she was a saint—above reproach, but Anthony reframed her as human. How do you sacrifice the health and psychological well-being of one son over another?
I also loved the humor in Anthony – the camaraderie between Anthony, Patrick, and even a reluctant Bren gave Anthony a new dimension that Aaron and Spencer lacked in their desperation.
Anthony grows considerably in this book—not only from childhood to adulthood, but also in his understanding of a brother who, overnight, became a stranger.
It’s a gorgeous book—one of which I am incredibly proud.
If you’ve picked up Aaron and haven’t read it yet, because of the angst—take a look at Anthony, it will ease you into Aaron’s life.
A Survivor Story
Aaron Downing worshiped his mother. She saved his life. She did everything for him. But Anthony Downing has a different perspective. He sees the woman who tossed him into a basement for eight long years and forgot he existed. When Anthony decides he’s done being invisible, he packs up and heads for Detroit to stay with his Internet friend Jay, but fate intervenes.
Brendan Mears lost everything the day the man with a gun came into his father’s store. Now, he’s tethered to a business he can’t manage and a brother who resents him.
Different in all the ways that matter, Anthony and Brendan struggle to overcome their psychological obstacles, until a crushing betrayal sends them running for cover and each other.
JP Barnaby, an award-winning gay romance novelist, is the author of over two dozen books, including Aaron and the Little Boy Lost Series. She recently moved from Chicago to Atlanta to appease her Camaro who didn’t like the blustery winters. JP specializes in recovery romance, but slips in a few erotic or comedic stories to spice things up. When she’s not hanging out with hot guys in leather, she binge watches superheroes and crime dramas on Netflix. A physics geek, she likes the science side of Sci-Fi, and wants to grow up to be Reed Richards.
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