Monday, 28 December 2015

Meet A Writer Monday Presents...

...Barbara Winkes

1. Tell me about your book Indiscretions and where you got your inspiration for it?

My wife and I were watching the show House Hunters. A couple was visiting a house with a pretty creepy basement, and there I had the serial killer’s lair. The main characters and their dilemma came to me pretty soon after that. People judge, and they particularly like to judge women. Ellie and Jordan are far from perfect, and like everyone, they make mistakes. The killer’s point of view will show that there’s definitely a way to take morals and ideology too far.

2. Who is your role model and why?

In writing, especially when it comes to good, fast-paced thrillers, I look up to Tess Gerritsen and James Patterson who have built long-standing careers, defined their genre but dared to step out of it as well. I love both the Women’s Murder Club and the Rizzoli & Isles series. There are of course other series out there with female investigators, but I prefer when there’s more than one female main character, and they are able to work together and be friends. Oh, and Shonda Rhimes is a hero. She is absolutely fearless. I admire that.

3. Are the titles of your books important?

Yes. The feel of the title needs to fit that of the book, and it has to give the reader a first impression together with cover and blurb.

4.  Are there any occupational hazards of being a novelist?

Sitting on your behind for too long at a time? Seriously, it’s a challenge to keep yourself moving, especially when you have great writing days. Other hazards can arise from the fact that you’re in your head with fictional people most of the time. I guess there’s a reason why I don’t drive…

5. How much of your book is realistic?

Women get judged for their choices in relationships and sexual preferences? Very realistic.

6. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

You can’t please everyone all the time. This book has some controversial issues, which I knew when I first came up with the idea. Some readers like to read for escapism, to be touched or moved. I like those moments in a book when you bite your nails or want to shake a character because you just now they are making a mistake, or, at the very least, a questionable decision. That’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but here’s the book anyway.

7. What is your favourite character from your book and why? 

I love my main pairing, but I might have to go with Bethany. I enjoy writing the characters that bring conflict to the plot and the main characters, and she certainly does that a lot.

8. Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

No particular subject comes to mind, but if I felt I couldn’t do something justice no matter how well I research it, I would ditch that idea.

9. Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

My parents read to me a lot. Words and stories always were powerful to me, so I couldn’t wait to be able to read and write myself. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t make up stories in my head.

10. Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that affect your writing?

Full-time. This gives me the great opportunity and challenge to divide my time as I see fit. I try to do an average of 2K a day, often more, writing on the weekend is optional. At the moment, I have five more releases with Eternal Press waiting in the wings. I just published Familiar Places, which is a follow-up to my romantic suspense short Halfway Home, and Indiscretions—so now is a time to focus more on the marketing side.

11. What do you like to read in your free time?

Some of the same genres that I write—romance, suspense—and non-fiction, for research or simply out of interest. Feminist theory, psychology, politics, etc.

12. What are you ambitions for your writing career?

Be better with every book, reach more people, build a varied and interesting backlist.

13. If I came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for me?

Probaby pasta, with a good glass of wine. If you’re lucky, my wife would do the cooking. She’s so much better at it!

14. Where would your dream vacation be?

The Caribbean, San Francisco, Tuscany. I hope to cross all of them off the list someday.

15. What would be the most gratifying thing a fan could do in your opinion?

Recently, a reader said that my debut novel was the first lesbian book she read (and she loved it), naming it in one sentence with some of the classics…That was a great moment. I think for us writers, it doesn’t get better than hearing from readers who say that the stories we made up have meaning for them.

16. What was the last movie, TV show or book that made you cry or tear up?

Who Do You Think You Are with America Ferrera. Then again, we both tear up easily, so it can happen on any given day. All the time with The Fosters or Shonda Rhimes shows.


After surviving an attack by a stranger, rookie officer Ellie Harding decides to put herself first and make bold moves in both her career and her private life, refusing to let the traumatic incident get her off track.

Detective Jordan Carpenter faces the decision whether to remain in a disastrous, but long-term relationship or give in to the attraction she feels for her younger colleague. Her partner Bethany isn’t willing to let go, of Jordan or the case, a sadistic killer who murders women for behavior he considers immoral. Can they find him before he strikes again?


About Barbara

A psychologist/trauma counselor by training, Barbara Winkes left her native Germany to live with her wife in Qu├ębec City. Telling stories has always been her passion. She loves to write suspense and romance with female protagonists who try to solve the puzzle of their love life, a murder case, or sometimes, both.


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