Monday, January 14, 2013

"I've been a fan of Bon Jovi for 24 years" - Author @demeter94

What is your name?
Barbara Winkes

Tell us about you.

I'm a psychologist/trauma counselor by profession, lived most of my life in Germany, but moved to Canada because of love last year. This also gave me the opportunity to fulfill a life-long dream and write full-time. I wanted to be published before my 40th birthday, so now, at 38, that worked out. Besides writing and reading, I enjoy traveling, discovering new places and art, and a bit of photography.

Tell us about your book.

Autumn Leaves is the story of a married mother of two, Rebecca, whose world is turned upside down when she falls in love with another woman. The discovery affects not only her, but the small town where she's been living for a long time. The reactions of her family and friends force her to face her own preconceived notions. Eventually, she has to make a decision whether to go forward and live her life authentically--or hide.
Callie, a writer, came into town with the intention to work on her latest book and not to draw any attention to herself, but things aren't going according to plan in a place where people are too interested in the new kid in town.

What inspired you to write this book?

The ongoing discussion about gay rights, and pondering why there's even still a discussion at this point. I found it fascinating to delve into the world of Rebecca who is a kind and genuine person, but hasn't been able to completely resist stereotypes. She has many questions that Callie answered for herself many years ago, even though she's younger. Of course this is fiction, and a love story, but generally it's about the question of how much and under which circumstances people can change.

What can readers expect when they open your book?

A love story in the first place! There's longing, there's angst and drama. While Autumn Leaves touches on social issues, it's not a political essay. I'd like readers to join the characters on their journey which is sometimes sad, sometimes funny, but hopefully always engaging.
Generally, I want to portray lesbian relationships with a hopeful outcome. Yes, we need to talk about prejudice and hate, and the poisoning effect they have, but we also need happy endings. They are good for the soul, no matter if you're gay or straight.

What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment as a writer?

Having readers emotionally connect to my characters. Getting published is a dream come true, and I'm happy about the discipline I've gained over the years, but this is what it all comes down to--does a complete stranger care about these fictional people that previously existed nowhere but in your head?

If your book was made into a movie which actor/actress would play which character(s)?

Since my mother-in-law is a big fan of Alan Rickman, we cast him for the role of Father Langdon. :)
As for Callie and Rebecca, a certain type would be required, and someone who could really bring the attraction, longing and guilt to life.

If the book being featured is part of a series, tell us more about it.

I'm happy to say that book two, Winter Storm, was just accepted for publication as well! The series follows Callie and Rebecca for a year. A coming-out is not a one-time event, it's a life-long process, so the change of seasons serves as a metaphor.

Tell us 5 random things about you the person, not the author:

1) I have synesthesia--I associate colors with names, letters, numbers, name it! :)
2) I first met my wife in Paris, of all places.
3) I became a permanent resident of Canada in November 2012.
4) I've been a fan of Bon Jovi for 24 years.
5) I find comedies stressful, but love drama.

Where to connect online

Twitter: @demeter94

FEATURED BOOK:  Autumn Leaves
Genre: GLBT (lesbian) romance
Buy on Amazon