When I was contacted by J.P. Barnaby if I wanted to do an interview with Aaron I took this rare oppertunity with both hands. His story is so gripping, so rife with emotional turmoil and inner strength that I wanted some one on one time with Aaron.
But then the flu wreaked havoc in my body and was unable to think straight and asked J.P. Barnaby to ask him questions instead. Thankfully she did!!
Aaron sits quietly on the couch near a window where rain gently spatters against the glass. He watches the rain with a fascination I don’t think I’ve ever seen on his gentle face. His blue eyes turned to me as I approached with his mother, and he took a series of slow deep breaths. Chest rising and falling with practiced determination, he smiled a little distantly as I sat down on the couch opposite and took out my notebook and pen.
JP Barnaby: Hi, Aaron.
JP: You know you don’t have to do this, we can do something else for the tour.
Aaron: No, He said it would be good for me to help support the book. It was a really big step for me, I need to, how did he put it, ‘keep my momentum’.
JP: Okay. Then, why don’t we go ahead and get started. Do you want your mom to stay?
Aaron: She can, if she wants.
JP: Aaron, let’s start with why you chose me to tell your story to. Why did you come to me that night and whisper to me about your monsters in the dark?
Aaron: Because I knew that you would understand. Everyone has their own monsters, and I could see that you and I have a lot in common. I figured if anyone could do justice to my nightmares, it would be you. I could see in your heart that you could make me better, and I needed that so badly. I know you lost a lot of sleep because of me, and I’m sorry about that.
JP: That’s okay, sweetheart. It wasn’t a complaint. Tell me about Spencer.
Aaron: Spencer saved my life. My parents were at their limit. I was at my limit. If Spencer hadn’t come along when he did, I could have ended up in an institution and I wouldn’t have survived that. While I hadn’t had the courage to kill myself at home with my parents, I could have found it if I were sent away from them.
JP: Have you heard anything from Juliette’s family since they moved after the attack?
Aaron: No. I heard that her brother Ben moved away because he couldn’t handle her death, but I haven’t heard from her parents or anything. Maybe talking to me is a reminder that I’m alive and Juliette isn’t.
JP: If you could say anything to them right now, what would you tell them?
Aaron: (sigh) I’d tell them that I’m sorry I was so gullible and tried to help that van driver. I wouldn’t tell them that maybe it’s a mercy that she died because then she wouldn’t have to live with it. Actually, I’m not sure I’d want to talk to them at all. I don’t think I’d say anything they’d want to hear. Nothing is going to bring Juliette back. I miss her every single day. I think that she would have liked Spencer, and she would have been happy we found each other. But I… No… I don’t have anything to say to them.
JP: For those who have never had one, can you tell me what you experience during a flashback?
Aaron: It’s like… almost like having a dream you can’t wait up from, only you’re awake. You can’t control what’s happening. You can’t wake up. You just keep seeing it in your head like a distorted movie. Usually it jumps around, flashes like some kind of psychodrama thriller. When it’s over, it feels like it happened all over again, like I’ll never escape it.
JP: Have you been back to the garage just to—
Aaron: No. I can’t imagine myself ever going back there for any reason. Ever.
JP: Let’s go with something a little lighter. How’s school?
Aaron: School is great. The app is up on the freeware sites and has almost a million downloads. Dr. Mayer said that he wants us to help out on the IT part of the college website and reprogram some of the areas that student before us screwed up. He said it’s harder to rewrite someone else’s code, and wants to give us the opportunity to practice and give us some hands-on experience.
JP: I think that’s enough for today, Aaron. Is there anything else you want to say?
Aaron: I want to say thank you. You helped me not be so scared all the time, and you helped me find Spencer. If there’s anyone who is reading this interview, someone who has gone through something horrible in their life, please know that it gets better. Eventually, with treatment and support of those who love you, the nightmares will come less often, the memories will start to fade into white noise, and you’ll be able to live again. It may not be the same life you had, but it will be a life you can shape into something new. Don’t ever give up.
JP: You’re welcome, honey, and I think that’s a great message that people need to hear.
Thank you for talking to me.
GOODREADS GIVEAWAY: Three signed copies of Aaron are up for grabs – make sure to enter the Goodreads giveaway by October 15th. (Giveaway open to US residents only.)
If you’re outside of the US and would like a signed bookmark from Aaron, please request one from http://www.jpbarnaby.com/#bookmarks )
Want to see the rest of the stops on the tour? Click here
LEONTINE'S BOOK REALM GIVEAWAY: Open to all. One copy of AARON, e-book format of your choice via Dreamspinner Press. Giveaway ends on October 12th and winner will be announced on October 13th.
About J. P. Barnaby: