Sales, the Muse, and the Beginning: Autumn Leaves (Plus a Free Book!) by Barbara Winkes

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Woo! Lisa T. is the winner of Autumn Leaves by Barbara Winkes! Congratulations!

Lookie! Barbara Winkes stopped by to talk about marketing and to give away a book! She’s blogged with us several times before, so hopefully y’all are familiar with her. If this is a new introduction, check out her website HERE to learn more.

Now, about that giveaway. Barb has generously offered to give away a signed paperback copy of Autumn Leaves. Woo! To enter the drawing, simply leave a comment in the space below. I’ll draw the winner on Friday, October 31.

Good luck!

Sales, the Muse, and the Beginning: Autumn Leaves
by Barbara Winkes

I write the stories that come to me. When I took a walk with my wife and we saw a tiny shoe in the grass lost by a young child, I had a case before I even had a detective to solve it. Ann McCoy of Amber Alert (to be released 2015) and all her troubles came to me a little later.

BabyShoeI always thought my first published book would be a mystery, since I’m an avid reader of that genre. One day, along came Rebecca Lowman, watching the arrival of her new neighbour with mixed feelings, unaware that her world was about to be turned upside down. The fact that it was a romance novel didn’t surprise just me, but also a few readers I’d met in fandom…Between signing a contract for Autumn Leaves and now, four books later, I have learned a lot about the status of various genres (many readers like romance with HEA—this gave Autumn Leaves a good start).

Thrillers and serial killers are clearly not everyone’s cup of tea. Secrets, book #3 and a standalone, got good reviews, but not everyone who liked Callie and Rebecca’s love story, went for it.

After a certain amount of time, you do get an idea of what sells, on the market in general, and in lesfic in particular. Did it influence my writing or the stories I choose to tell? I think I have defined more clearly what I’m willing to try, challenging myself to different genres (Dystopian, erotic romance, oh my!) and where I draw the line (I have no trouble writing a straight character, but she won’t fall for an alpha male. I believe in ‘each to her own,’ but I’m doubtful I could write that story).

And then there are moments when my muse wants to play devil’s advocate and go with characters and a storyline that scream ‘controversial’.

I still write the stories that come to me, in a flash, a scene, a character, a plotline that opens the door to the magic world on the other side.

I’ve been fortunate to have a publisher in Eternal Press that is willing to go into different directions with me, romance as the main story or a subplot, a lesfic HEA or a straight detective confronted with a case with LGBT-relevant issues.

I haven’t tried to mold my books to envisioned expectations, but being aware of them has led me to experiment with different modules in the execution of the stories. More or less suspense or sex? Well, it’s me. There will always be a certain amount of drama, although my next title, the upcoming novella The Interpretation of Love and the Truth is more of a sexy, romantic comedy.

This fall marks two years since Autumn Leaves came out, and I’d like to celebrate, including here on Women and Words (thanks, Ladies, for having me again!). Next year, the story about Callie and Rebecca will come to an end in its 4th part, Summer Wine.

If you’d like to start at the beginning of my various travels with the muse, you can enter the giveaway to win a signed copy of Autumn Leaves.


Barbara Winkes is a psychologist/trauma counselor by training and a writer by choice who moved from a small town in Germany to Québec City where she lives with her wife.

She writes romance with the focus on the ‘L’ in GBLT, sometimes crossing over into mystery.

Find out more on her blog “Word Affair” at




    • Thank you! However, Autumn Leaves was my first, the shoe will play a role in one of my upcoming books. If the ladies will have me, I’ll come back here to talk about it specifically. 🙂


  1. Many good wishes on your new book…lovely cover 🙂 The pic of the lonely child’s shoe looks so forlorn…how sad.


    • Thanks so much! Autumn Leaves has been out for a while, actually. My next will be a standalone romance, and the “shoe story” after that. I’ve been forever wondering what happened when I saw a lost glove or shoe somewhere.


  2. I love learning about where authors get their inspiration. The problem photo of the lost shoe is thought/emotion provoking. Count me in, I’m intrigued.


    • I didn’t want to bring it home, so I took the picture…It’s not in Autumn Leaves, though. For this one, you’ll have to wait for early Spring, I’m estimating. It’ll be the one after the next.


  3. I enjoyed hearing about the different ways that your stories come to you. I’d definitely like to try Autumn Leaves.


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