Back when I started this website (and my corresponding Facebook page), I had a tough decision to make. What name would I use to publish my work? My everyday name was out of the question because it’s identical to an already famous UFC fighter. Something tells me, he and I may not have much of a crossover audience.

So my next choice was J. P. Barnett. I’ve always loved the way it sounded, and I’ve occasionally used it here and there, but alas, some fella already had It made me sad, but I was intent on having a simple domain name, so I ended up with J. Paul Barnett.

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My goal is to update this blog at least every month. It looks like I’ve failed. Then again, blogging isn’t where my writing focus should be anyway, right? I know the drought can be painstaking for all 5 of my fans, but I promise I’m still here, working away!

With travel and other distractions, I’ve taken a bit of  hiatus from working on The Great Republic. Instead, I’ve been polishing up The Beast of Rose Valley some more for another round of queries, hybrid publishing submissions, and soon — my first Writers’ Conference.

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One thing that I’ve heard over and over as I’ve embarked on this goal of getting a book published is that writing a novel is a team sport. That sounds counter-intuitive, but generally it’s referring to a lot of people that I don’t have yet — editors, agents, publishers, etc. This weekend, however, I found another way to make writing a team sport — other writers!

I attended the inaugural Paragraph Ranch Writer’s Workshop in Spur, TX.  It was a great environment where I got some great feedback from Tex Thompson on The Beast of Rose Valley and some sage advice from the organizers of the event.

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She had heard it before.

I could have been a novelist. I love writing. I wish I had time to write a novel.

Through over a decade of marriage, this was a recurring theme. Writing had been his dream. His passion. When he was younger and had more time, he had written endlessly. There was a closet full of his work, some of it going back to elementary school. There were countless short stories, some poetry, and more than a handful of half-written novels.

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