Barbara Winkes on What Fostered Her Love of Reading and Mysteries

My parents used to read to me a lot, and some of those stories continued in my mind long after the book was closed (this was perhaps an early attempt at fan fiction, but I soon came up with my own stories and characters). Words were like magic to me, and I wanted to practice that magic! In one of the stories, a girl was kidnapped and rescued by her friend – also a girl – and I was sold…I always leaned towards stories with female protagonists. As a reader, I started out with children’s mysteries, then switched to young adult and adult. 

What intrigued me about the concept? The puzzle of the mystery, and good winning over bad in the end. For a long time, my focus has been on thrillers, and I still read—and write—mostly women protagonists. It’s never just about a personal story for them, it’s about challenging the status quo.

Discovering lesbian mysteries and suspense was an important moment for me, because not only did I dare dream of being published one day, but with a kind of story in which I could see myself represented (relatively speaking – I write about women loving women whose lives are a lot tougher and more drama-filled than mine 😉 ). 

Barbara Winkes writes suspense and romance with lesbian characters at the center. She has always loved stories in which women persevere and lift each other up. Expect high drama and happy endings. Women loving women always take the lead. Visit her website at