Friday, March 10, 2017

Boxcar Receives Best Short Screenplay Award

I want to take a moment to say thank you for all of the wonderful words I've received since winning the screenwriting award last Sunday night in Amsterdam. Thank you for reaching out to share in this moment. I also want to thank everyone at the New Renaissance Film Festival for acknowledging and supporting my work. I can't even put into words how incredible the last few days of my life have been.

We had an awesome time in Amsterdam and can't wait to return again. I had some terrific travel companions in Edward, Nick, and Albert. I also made some wonderful new friends at the film festival. My colleagues back home helped make this trip possible by covering my classes and commitments. And Joshua Zabatta took care of our furry children for us. Thank you!

When my name was announced as the winner I immediately thought of my grandmother, Dorothy, who left us nearly 20 years ago but continues to live on in my heart. She always encouraged me to be a storyteller and to never diminish my creativity. To say I felt her presence with me last night is an understatement. Everyone who knows me will be happy to know I made it down the stairs and on to the stage without falling. It was a surreal moment, definitely an out-of-body experience. In true fashion, we went and celebrated afterwards by eating tacos. It was a great time.

The screenplay I won for is called Boxcar. It is the story of two young men who are forced to hide their love in order to survive. On the night of their high school Homecoming dance, they decide to spend the night together in an abandoned boxcar in a train yard.

The response to their story is something I never could've expected. The story was first a play, which has been produced around the country with more productions scheduled throughout the year. The screenplay is currently in the running at five more festivals. It will also be published in an upcoming issue of the literary journal New Plains Review.

This journey has been (and is) an incredible one. I am humbled by this honor, knowing how fortunate I am to share my words with the world and do something each day that I love. As I said in my speech last night, we are all artists. Our creative lives require us to take risks each day. But believe me: the risks are worth it. Take them!

Thank you, again, for sharing this moment with me. It has been transformative, to say the least. I'm happy to say: many more stories are coming. This journey has just begun.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Just Before the Drop Featured in New Collection


My one-act play 'Just Before the Drop' is featured in the new collection 105 Five-Minute Plays for Study and Performance, available now from publisher Smith & Kraus.

Many thanks to the editors John Capecci and Irene Ziegler for giving my play such a great home. It's an honor to be in such great playwriting company.

Project Spotlight: Accidents Never Happen

My novel Accidents Never Happen is my personal favorite of all my books. It was actually the first novel I wrote, but it was the second one published. It was greatly inspired by the song of the same title by Blondie.

You can purchase my novel directly from the wonderful publisher Bold Strokes Books in paperback for $4.99 (that's a steal) and in eBook for $2.99. If you do read it, please let me know what you think. I love and welcome feedback from readers.

The novel is also available on iTunes and from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Books-a-Million.

Add it your shelf on Goodreads.

As always, thank you for supporting my words.

About the novel: Thirty-nine-year-old Albert is a Puerto Rican amateur cruiserweight married to a woman who can't stand the sight of him. Joey, a college sophomore, claims he just watched his parents drive off a cliff after he bled the brakes of the family car. From the moment their lives collide beneath a train track on a street in Chicago, the two men can't deny their mutual attraction. The moment they give in to their desires, a domino effect is triggered setting off a chain reaction of murder and tragedy.

"Barnes crafts a complex, imaginative, character-driven suspense/romance novel with realistic, gritty people and situations...a definite page-turner and a must-read...Though the characters have significant negative experiences, the overall tone celebrates the ability of people to cope and rebound...Five stars."
--Bob Lind, Echo Magazine

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Twenty-Five Gets a Release Date!

Happy to announce my collection of plays, Twenty-Five, will be available from Pinwheel Plays on March 14th.

Here are the plays featured in the collection:

1. Baby in the Basement (1f; 1m; drama; teen)
2. Boxcar (2m; teen; drama; LGBT)
3. The Clutch (1f; 1m; seriocomic)
4. Deena and the Dino Mights (2f; 2m; parody/comedy)
5. Defenseless (2m; teen; drama; LGBT; Latino)
6. Hour Glass (1f; 1m; drama)
7. I Ate Lunch Alone Today (2f; 2m; drama)
8. It's a Pleasure to Be Sad (1f; 1m; drama)
9. Johnny Ramirez Really Wants to Kiss Me (2m; seriocomic; teen; LGBT; award-winning; Latino)
10. Just Before the Drop (1f; 1m; drama; LGBT)
11. Last Dance (2m; teen; seriocomic; LGBT)
12. Let's Not Confuse the Situation (1f; 1m; seriocomic)
13. No Boys Allowed (4f; teen; drama; multicultural)
14. Number 76 (1f; 1m; teen; drama; Latino)
15. Punch Bowl (2f; 1m; teen; comedy)
16. Relocations (2f; seriocomic; LGBT)
17. A Rum Cake for Rita (2f; drama; African-American)
18. The Seventh of August (1f; 1m; seriocomic)
19. The Snack Queens (5f; comedy) - New!
20. Stay (4f; 2m; teen; seriocomic; Southern)
21. Tagged (2f; teen; drama; African-American) - New!
22. Taking Off (2f; seriocomic)
23. That Bitch Brenda Stole My Lip Gloss (and I Want it Back) (2f; seriocomic; teen; LGBT)
24. Threnody (1f; 1m; drama; award-winning)
25. Trixie's Last Date with the Boogey Man (2f; 1m; comedy)

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

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