This week it’s a pleasure to have Barbara Hinske drop by the blog. For those of you who are meeting Barb for the first time, she is an attorney by day; novelist by night … in fact, an Amazon and BookBub bestselling author, to boot! Barb inherited the writing gene from her father who wrote mysteries when he retired and told her a story every night of her childhood.
When I first met Barb, I was immediately interested to discover she was an avid Downtown Abbey fan who posted weekly on her website about it. I couldn’t wait to talk to her about it.
PS ~ Let’s get the ball rolling by talking about Downtown Abbey! One of my favourite topics! It was great fun to follow your reviews, teasers, and posts while the series was in progress. Are you going to leave all of that on your website so fans can continue to enjoy it, even though the series is over … *stifling a sob*
BH ~ I’m still in mourning over this, too! At least it looks like there will be a DA movie. I’m definitely going to leave the reviews and posts on my website. Many of us will turn to our DVDs for a bit of binge watching and I know people will continue to enjoy the posts. Writing those reviews opened up the UK market for me and I’ve made some lovely friends “across the pond”. I want to keep that going.
PS ~ And now you are giving the same glorious coverage to Home Fires. How do you feel it compares to DA?
BH ~ I’ve adored Home Fires. While it lacks the spectacular settings and clothes of DA, it’s similar to DA in that it features a superb ensemble cast of characters that you come to know and care about. I love the connections of the women that are at the core of the story. The writing is brilliant. iTV cancelled the show at the end of the second season, leaving us to cope with a cliff hanger. There’s been a tremendous outpouring of support for the show but no one else has picked it up (yet). It’s a two-season gem of a show.
PS ~ You’re a busy woman with full-time careers as an attorney and a prolific writer. How do you manage to balance your time and interests?
BH ~ My children are grown, so I’ve now got my evenings and weekends to spend on my writing. I’m blessed with an amazing amount of energy and (like my mother) don’t need more than 5 hours of sleep. I wake up very early and spend an hour or so writing or working on the business aspects of being an author (publishing, marketing, etc) before I go to work. I’m too tired after work to write, so I answer emails and post to social media. I do most of my writing on the weekends. I’m a fast writer and can turn out 4000 words each day. My all-time high was 9000 words (that was a very long day).
PS ~ You’ve made very good use of YouTube videos and have been extremely innovative in having a prelude composed specifically for your Rosemont series. Please tell us how you became interested in this particular aspect of book marketing.
BH ~ I try to keep myself informed of the current trends in marketing and YouTube’s popularity has skyrocketed. My house is the perfect backdrop for videos. I’m the nosiest person on the planet and I always love seeing other people’s homes, so I thought my readers would be curious about my old house.
PS ~ Your home in Phoenix is beautiful and, as you mention, the model for your Rosemont series. How long have you lived there and was owning and maintaining a stately home always a dream of yours?
BH ~ My husband and I bought our home in 2010, right before we got married and combined households. We got married at the base of the staircase and I swept down the stairs on my son’s arm.
Our home is a stately historic home in Phoenix. I lived within walking distance of it and had driven by it for years and loved it. My husband grew up in Phoenix and his family passed it every Sunday after church. His dad always said he’d like to buy the house and fix it up (at that time, it was in sad shape).
We toured the house on the day it went on the market and made an offer the next morning. The house was a short sale and it was vacant, dirty, and dark (the utilities had been turned off). Despite that, we both knew as soon as the mahogany front door closed behind us that we would buy that home. We hadn’t even seen the rest of the house! Our experience inspired a scene at the beginning of Coming to Rosemont. We feel so blessed that we were able to buy this house. The people we bought it from had restored it beautifully and we feel like we are being good stewards of it. We both love to entertain and this house is perfect.
I feel like our home is almost a living thing. When I bring home a décor item (from a consignment or thrift store – I’m addicted to thrifty shopping), I always tell the house that I’ve bought it a present.
PS ~ That’s a beautiful story in many ways, Barb. It sounds like this house was meant to be your home. What pets do you have at the moment and how are they incorporated into your story-telling?
BH ~ Brian and I are currently servants to a golden retriever named Roman and a terrier/dachshund mix named Abby. I can’t imagine living without a dog or cat and I love writing about them. They bring people such happiness and connect people in delightful ways. I wrote a golden retriever (named Roman) into the Rosemont series. Eve in the Rosemont series is based upon my Jack Russell terrier that went over the rainbow bridge years ago but lives on in my heart.
PS ~ Would you like to give us a sneak peek at what readers can eagerly anticipate from you?
BH ~ Drawing Close, the fourth novel in the Rosemont series, is now available on Amazon and for Kindle as of August 1. It was my favorite book in the series to write and advance reviews have been very favorable.
I’ve finished a novella titled The Christmas Club and it will be available this holiday season. I’ve got a standalone thriller in outline and I’m working on concepts for a new mystery series.
And I’ve just begun to write the fifth book in the Rosemont series.
That’s a busy schedule! But I know you agree that, as writers, we’re doing work we love. Thanks so much for spending time with us here.