The Little Novelist

Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

Writing is in my daughter’s blood.  I have written stories since I could write.  Before I could write I drew comic books to tell the stories in my head.  I acted out stories with my toys, I told stories to my brother that I made up as I went along, and I obsessed over stories that I read or watched.  But writing them… writing stories is where I found my home.

When you ask what Miss Rose wants to be when she grows up she usually says she wants to be “a doctor like nanny”.  She wants to heal people who feel poorly, and very proudly carries around her toy doctor’s kit, complete with boy toys and real equipment acquired from various places, including blood vials from the nurses when I was pregnant and a stethoscope from nanny herself.

Miss Rose is not yet 4, so I don’t take anything in stone, but if she were to become a doctor I would obviously be incredibly proud as it is one of the noblest and most generous professions you could have.  I’ve cheered her on.


Tonight Miss Rose, aged three years and eleven months, decided it was time to write her first novel.  After a few efforts by herself, and a swift realisation that she actually hasn’t quite got this writing thing down yet, it was left to myself and her aunty Katie to write down her stories whilst she narrated.

We wrote them, we read them aloud, and we all clapped.  She was thrilled.  We took the book up to bed and I read them aloud to her again for her bedtime story.  She told me “I like the bit with the trousers on their heads” and “this is the best bit with the PowerPuff Girls”.

I understand her joy.  She hears Jonathan McKinney and I discussing our work every day.  We talk about our characters and our stories with passion, with an earnest intensity, and serious desire to move them in the right direction for our long term goals.   I understand her being drunk on creating a world with her words because Jonathan McKinney and I are regularly intoxicated.

Should she decide she loves writing I will OF COURSE encourage her.  Not because it’s a financially rewarding career… I dream of the day it is but right now I still camp myself firmly in the struggling artist category, but because it’s fulfilling in a way nothing else is.  It gives you opportunities to change lives through words, to inspire people, to make people think, to drive people to achieve their dreams and do better with the lives they have.

She may well never seek to make a career from writing.  Indeed, I wouldn’t push her towards it because it is not a life filled with stability and financial reward.  But if nothing else, if she learns to tell stories and write for pleasure, she’s opening up a world of excitement and creativity to herself that could bring endless joy to her life.

The following are excerpts from the first novel by Miss Rose.

“Dinosaurs try and catch the people.  Take the little bit of tape out of the dinosaurs hands.  They like coloured ice lollies and coloured ice creams.  They make the dinosaurs bigger than everyone and too big!”

“Rainbow Dash can fly everywhere and the PowerPuff Girls can fly very fast and get very far, but they don’t know where is Rainbow Dash.  Rainbow Dash is a very awesome My Little Pony and she flies very fast over the other My Little Ponies.”

Will she one day be writing for Siren Stories and creating action adventures within our magical world?  Maybe… watch this space…

You can check out all my contact info an links on, I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you can get in touch on there, as well as find links to all my work. There’s also which has all the work by both myself and Jonathan McKinney and loads of extra content such as background stories for different characters. If you want to subscribe on Patreon, its just $1 a month to help support our work and it also grants you access to our extra podcast a week, you can go to

Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!



Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s