Today I am delighted to be joined by the suspense and romance writer, Barbara Winkes. She has always loved stories in which women persevere and lift each other up so you can expect high drama and happy endings in her work.Author of the Lesbian Detective series Carpenter/Harding, Barbara Winkes talks writing dark stories, childhood favourites and current projects! Click To Tweet
So, first of all, what’s your favorite genre to write?
I like to write a variety of genres. I love thrillers with women leads, but they can be tough, even when the leading lady succeeds in the end.
I can imagine! How do you deal with that aspect?
If I need a break from the darker side, I write romance where the obstacles appear not in the form of serial killers, but the characters’ own dysfunctional habits (that they hopefully overcome in the course of the story).
I also wrote a number of utopian/dystopian stories, like Rise, and the upcoming The Exodus Project. The older I get, the more I get frustrated about the slow pace of change, and the, apparently, inevitable backlash. This genre is a way of dealing with that frustration, because you can lay out your own vision. Whatever the genre, it always comes down to women fighting the odds, and succeeding—and, of course, loving women.
Of course! That has to be in every book of mine too. So, who are the authors that most inspired you?
These are a few that have created unforgettable characters: J. M. Redmann (Micky Knight), Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale) and James Patterson (Women’s Murder Club). All deal with women overcoming odds stacked against them, and that’s definitely a theme that attracts me.
I find TV inspires me a lot, too. Do you have a favorite show that acts as your muse?
Women’s Murder Club. It did what I strive to do in my books as well: Show women being allies instead of competitors, but being able to respect other women even if they’re not in their circle of best friends. Getting the job done. Some action, lots of subtext (in my books, of course, it’s all text). I prefer a contemporary context, and realism, to speculative/mythological, so that show was definitely tailor made for me.
So where does all this love of writing stem from?
My parents read to me a lot when I was little. I always had stories in my head, and I couldn’t wait to be able to read and write myself. I never stopped.
Ah! Me too! My Dad used to read me everything from My Naughty Little Sister to The Lord of the Rings! Did you have a particular favorite?
Young adult mysteries about a teenage girl named Jill Graham. I think they had a big influence in defining what I wanted from reading, the archetype and the journey.
What are you working on right now?
Preparing for the release of my next book, an erotic romance, and doing last edits for the next after that, a political utopia.
That sounds like a lot of work!
Variety is the spice of life!
HAHA! It certainly is!
Writing-wise, I’m in the middle of Carpenter/Harding book 7.
Good luck, I can’t wait for the release!
If you enjoyed this, then you’ll want to check out the post on ten authors giving away their work for free!