Barbara Hinske – Member Spotlight

Meet Barbara Hinske. Bestselling author Barbara Hinske didn’t leave her career as a successful corporate attorney to pursue her life-long dream to be a full-time author until 2019.  She began the journey to authorship by balancing her demanding legal profession with a daily writing commitment.  It worked.

In 2013, Barbara published her first novel, Coming to Rosemont. Since then, she launched six successive, internationally acclaimed “Rosemont” books and the “Who’s There?” series. The Hallmark Channel debuted a holiday movie based on her novella, The Christmas Club, in 2019.  She published another novella and two novels in 2020, including the heartwarming, Guiding Emily. Her upcoming projects are equally as exciting.   

Barbara credits childhood influences with her enthusiasm for books and writing. “I wanted to be a writer since I was very young,” she said. After reading that Louisa May Alcott wrote plays for her siblings to perform, Barbara enthusiastically did the same. The only difference was that Louisa’s sisters willingly took the stage and Barbara’s brother wouldn’t.

Her passion for mysteries blossomed at an early age when Barbara discovered Agatha Christie novels, reading the Grande Dame of Crime Fiction late into the night—usually by flashlight under the covers, far past her bedtime.  

She’s clear about who had an impact on her decision to be an author. “My dad had the greatest influence on my writing career,” she explained. While reading bedtime stories to Barbara every night, he often entertained her by adding his own spin to the tales—along with a dose of humor. The sleep-time fun resulted in cherished memories and a love of creativity that launched a bestselling author. 

“His journey as a writer inspired mine,” she added. After retiring from a successful career selling stamps to philatelists, her father wrote mysteries. Barbara has many of his original manuscripts and often rereads them.

While writing Coming to Rosemont, Barbara explored the differences between traditional publishing and publishing her book independently. “I assessed what publishers typically do for a new author, and what I’d have to do,” she said.  “With my background as a business attorney, I realized the marketing efforts necessary to generate significant sales would fall on me, even with a traditional publisher. I compared what I would be paid by the publisher for my books, to the amount of money I’d net if I was an indie author. The business and marketing responsibilities take time, but for me, being an indie author made more sense.”

Once Barbara made her decision, she developed a marketing plan she could manage while writing books and followed it consistently. Today, her readership spans multiple countries.

Her love of inspirational stories resulted in the 2016 novella, The Christmas Club, a touching tale of two strangers who come together to help an elderly woman recover her lost savings. It debuted to high praise and rapid sales. Barbara also envisioned The Christmas Club as a Hallmark movie. She just didn’t know anyone at The Hallmark Channel. For over a year, Barbara asked everyone she knew—and everyone she met—if they knew someone at Hallmark studios.

Her networking paid off when a copy of The Christmas Club was hand-delivered to the executive producer of a popular Hallmark movie franchise, by his neighbor. The producer read the first two paragraphs and decided he wanted to make the movie. Barbara and her husband were invited to visit the set during filming in Winnipeg, Manitoba and offered cameo roles, which they happily accepted. She published her second Christmas novella, Paws & Pastries, last year and hopes it will go to the Hallmark channel as well.

The discipline Barbara developed practicing law serves her well as an author. She adheres to a writing schedule, works from a detailed outline, and writes one book at a time—with a goal of 2500 words a day.

She gathers story ideas everywhere. A sermon she heard long ago inspired The Christmas Club. Guiding Emily began to formulate when she toured The Foundation for Blind Children. Inspired and moved by their mission, Barbara donates half of her proceeds from the book to the Foundation.  The Unexpected Path, a sequel to Guiding Emily, is scheduled to launch this year.

As much as she enjoys writing, Barbara’s favorite pastimes revolve around home and family. “We currently are slaves to two, adorable and spoiled rescue dogs, who rule the roost,” she said. “My hobbies are home-centric: decorating, cooking, gardening, and entertaining. If I ever go missing, the first place to check for me would be Home Goods.”

Two collaborative projects Barbara’s involved in will debut in the next twelve months; an anthology of Christmas novellas titled A Keepsake Christmas (November 2021) and a series of novellas with other authors scheduled for spring 2022.

For more information on Barbara and her new projects, go to: www.barbarahinske.com

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