Welcome! Pull up a seat and enjoy a chat with Today’s Tease Barbara Winkes
Your Name or Pen Name you use: Barbara Winkes
Title of the book you are promoting: Winter Storm (sequel to Autumn Leaves, first in the series)
Link to purchase your Book:
Genre: contemporary romance, lesbian
Welcome ….I, LH have some questions for you 😉
LH: I wanted to be a ballerina, race car driver and a private detective when I was little. What did you want to be when you grew up?
BW: I wanted to be a fashion designer. Being a writer, that works out well, because I still get to dress (and on occasion, undress) fictional women. A private detective? That’s awesome. Before my aspirations in fashion, I formed a detective club (I believe that was still in elementary school). And a writing club, of course.
LH: I didn’t really have a literary influence, I just decided one day to start writing. Who influenced you in your writing career?
BW: Too many to name. It seems like I was always surrounded by creative friends (even before twitter). I think you can’t separate the writing from the reading, and I was drawn to both very early.
LH: I self published all of my books and was then “discovered” by a publisher. Are you an Indie or published author?
BW: Published with Eternal Press. I had thought about self-publishing previously (not for long, I admit), and am very happy where I am now. There’s just a lot of know-how that comes with a publisher that saves you time, and of course, money. Besides, as we are under the same roof, you know they are cool people.
LH: This is easy for me…I’d invite Johnny Depp and I would not discuss movies! Who would you invite to dinner, living or dead, and what one topic would you NOT discuss with them?
BW: Angie Harmon and Jon Bon Jovi–as much as I’d be tempted, no politics. Judging from earlier appearances and statements, they are not exactly on the same side of the spectrum.
LH: I personally think that there is way too much sex and violence everywhere in society these days and it’s everywhere but that Hollywood is one of the biggest offenders. Do you think that society as a whole is subjected to too much sex and violence and are you concerned about it? Which form of media do you think is the worst offender?
BW: There’s a whole book in that answer. As for Hollywood–I think that its biggest problem is inequality. There are ten to twelve men and one to two women behind the doors where it is decided what we get to see on the screen, TV or movies. Old ideas of masculinity and femininity keep getting recycled, and we see the same old stories.
There’s something wrong when on the one hand, it has become so “normal” to have half-naked women in commercials for just about everything, on the other, sex education in schools is being cut, putting young people at risk. I don’t think we have to ban all action and erotica, but we have to be aware and critical of the “same old”.
LH: I’m a huge softie and by no means a beauty queen lol but I truly would want world peace in the blink of an eye. If you could change one thing in the world, in the blink of an eye, what would it be?
BW: Bye, bye patriarchy. It would do away with many significant problems in the world, in a heartbeat.
LH: With the traditional bookstore becoming obsolete and everyone turning to buying books online, I don’t buy the hype that “the cover is everything”. How important do you think book covers are now that almost all shopping is done online?
BW: The cover might not be everything, but I believe it still plays a big part. I’m an old-fashioned girl, and while I buy a lot of books online, most of them are still in paperback or hardcover. Cover art is like a business card, a first impression which, I think, matters a lot especially for a new author. If it’s a series I’ve been following over years, I admit the cover is not that relevant to me as a reader, but I still appreciate the effort.
LH: I can remember wanting to write as a kid. I got a really late start! Have you always wanted to write and when did you start?
BW: I wrote little stories about animals in elementary school. To me, words always meant power. I liked being read to, but I couldn’t wait to be able to read–and write–myself. Creating something new on the blank page is a rush, but who am I telling this to?
LH: I love to see if I can see myself in a character. What interests you most about a story?
BW: It’s all about characters for me. Do I care for them from the first page, so much I want to know how their lives turn out? Again, it’s the same in writing and reading. I prefer stories about women. In my books, about 85% of the time, the lead character will be a lesbian. It’s not like I’m pretending that the world is just this part, but the rest of it has been mapped out so well.
LH: For me, I just get hit with this whole movie in my head and start writing. How do you come up with your stories?
BW: It starts with a scene from that movie in my head, becomes a trailer in my head and then I want the whole story!
LH: I can’t tell you or I’d have to…lol Are you working on anything now?
BW: Spring Fever, book 3 of Callie and Rebecca’s story, has priority right now, in writing, but the drawing board is pretty full all over.
LH: I’m working on #6…3 are published and the other 3 are due out this year. How many books have you written? How many have been published?
BW: Let me answer the “publish” question first: Autumn Leaves and Winter Storm, the first two parts of my romance series about a small-town, married mom of two falling in love with a lesbian writer.
Secrets, a standalone thriller, will come out November 1st. This is about a woman who goes on a road trip, not knowing that she is about to embark on the vacation from hell.
There are more books in various stages of readiness for submission, as I did a lot of writing before I started submitting. The common theme is that you’ll always find a bit of suspense in my romance, and a dash of romance in the mystery/thriller.
LH: I write for fun. Do you write for fun or money?
BW: I’ve written most of my life, because those imaginary friends and their stories wouldn’t leave me alone otherwise…I’m having lots of fun with them. Adding a bit of money to the mix is nice (don’t you think?).
LH: I have never experienced it. I have experienced writers “don’t want to”… Have you ever experienced writers block and if so, how did you overcome it?
BW: I recently was in a chat where this question was discussed. Some of the participants didn’t believe it existed, but as the conversation proceeded, it became pretty clear that what we call writer’s block can mean different things to different people. It depends on the timetable–sometimes I sit it out, sometimes I try to write right through the wall, but I always write a certain amount during the week. In the end, it’s important that you deliver.
I can tell it exists by the great feeling when it’s over!
LH: I get asked all the time “Do you have any advice for new writers?”… Do you?
BW: Compare yourself, but don’t ever compare yourself. I know, right? It’s a great learning experience (and not to mention, you can find promo opportunities) to watch fellow authors on the social media–unpublished (no matter whether they’re planning to or not), self-published, traditionally. You won’t be able to do everything that the ones with the big names do, but you can learn what works. Some of it.
Write your story, and have someone (or a group) look at it before you send it off into the world. Choose that someone wisely. If it’s about vampires, find that person who will tell you the truth and help shape it, but doesn’t hate vampires.
LH: I would not change one thing in my life as I would not be me if I did…
If you could go back in time and change one thing in your life, what would it be?
BW: I don’t know. Maybe if you went back and changed one thing you weren’t particularly fond/proud of, that would impact all the good things? That’s too big a risk.
Now… for the fun stuff!
Favorite Beverage? On a school day or on the weekend? Coffee is a necessity, tea for relaxing. A good glass of red wine goes nicely with pasta. A Cosmo for special occasions.
Exercise or Bubble Bath? Bubble bath. We do take long walks around the river though.
Favorite Color? Red.
Sports or Chocolate? Chocolate. Why are you even asking?
Dogs or Cats? Tough one. I’ve always been a dog person, until I moved in with my wife who owned a beautiful Siamese cat. I appreciate both.
Favorite Food? Italian, Indian.
Favorite Song? Too many to name, but probably one by Bon Jovi. For writing, I listen more to female voices. Kelly Clarkson is a current favorite.
Favorite Movie? Murder By Numbers with Sandra Bullock. I love the archetypal woman cop character, and I like it when a movie can manage without showing every little detail, but focuses on the psychological suspense instead.
Favorite Car? My wife’s. It gets me places.
Sex or Chocolate? (The answer “Both” is totally acceptable 😉 Both, of course! I write. I write romance. That should be enough of an explanation. 😉
And now for the essay part of the interview 😉
If you could go anywhere for a week, with anyone you wanted and no one would ever find out about it…where would you go and who would you take?
BW: Honestly? Go to San Francisco with my wife, because that’s on our list of places we want to go someday. If you gave me tickets right now, we would probably go.
Of course, there are a handful of people I admire and would love to meet (for example authors, activists, actresses, not always in that order), but I didn’t think about spending a whole week with them…except in a professional capacity. None of this would have to happen in secrecy, though you might have just given me the idea for a short story. My characters have that kind of complicated life!
Thank you so much for spending time with us today and make sure get your copy of Barbara Winkes
Winter Storm (but you might want to get Autumn Leaves first)