Hi, I’m J.J. Barnes and I’m the author of The Lilly Prospero Series, including Lilly Prospero And The Magic Rabbit and Lilly Prospero And The Mermaid’s Curse, with more to follow, and I’m the voice of The Writer Mum Podcast.
I write within the Siren Stories universe, and work closely with my fellow writer Jonathan McKinney. My main focus is on novels but I am looking into writing short stories as well (a new challenge for me). I also contribute to various other Podcasts about fiction and writing.
I’ve always loved to write and grew up a total story addict. I’ve loved reading books by amazing authors such as J.K. Rowling (obvs), Jodi Picoult, Dean Koontz, Tess Gerritsen, Kathy Reichs, C.S. Lewis and so many others. As well as reading I indulged my story love with television (hours and hours… and hours of television). I am a huge nerd for shows such as Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel, Charmed, Lost, Alias, Bones, and Firefly. Indeed, I am certain that so many of these passions I grew up binge watching right up to this day have influenced my writing style and my decision to focus on strong female characters in a world of magic and adventure.
Before I could read I still surrounded myself with story books, literally filling my bed with them and falling asleep on a pile of books. I would create elaborate stories with my toys and soon began writing comic books and simple stories, soon developing into attempting full novels. Of course, at first I would only get a few chapters in and I’d lose focus, and my understanding of story and story structure was minimal so my creations were meandering and confused. But, despite this, the passion grew.
I have learned how to guide a story, the importance of conflict, and how to shape the protagonist’s relationship with the antagonist. Hours of research, studying and practice have gone into these lessons and I am confident in saying that there are many more hours of learning I have yet to do. However, for now I am definitely more in control of my work than I have ever been before and able to create stories and characters that I genuinely love.
I began blogging when my first daughter was born in 2012. I completed my first novel (first published novel… others drift in the land of my laptop computer with no chance of being read by anyone) Lilly Prospero And The Magic Rabbit in 2015 and in 2016 it was released to the world to what was an amazingly good reception. A tear or two was shed, I won’t lie. So thank you for that.
My books focus on strong female protagonists in the magical universe that is the backdrop for all Siren Stories. As well as The Lilly Prospero Series, which I am working on the third book for now, I am also working on the start of a new series. I am full of stories just waiting to get out, so assuming my children give me enough time to actually get them down, I’ll be aiming to bring them all to you!
In 2017 I was given the opportunity to pitch a concept and pilot episode script for a TV series. Gracemarch goes into production in Spring 2018. This is such a dream come true and one we are very excited for!
Thanks for reading, and for your continued support. Dreams come true in the Siren Stories universe, for me anyway, and that’s because of the people who love our work.
If you have any questions or comments please get in touch, I’d love to hear from you and I’ll aim to reply as quickly as possible to everyone!