As a blogger, I want to write about different topics of interest. I’ve written about my family, about Puerto Rico (where I come from), about my love for coffee, love of books, and, of course, about my favorite cable television network, the Hallmark Channel.
This year, 2019, I decided I wanted to give writing a try. I started this blog, and I’ve started writing my first romance. As an avid reader, I wrap myself into the story, then I can’t stop reading until I finish. If there’s a sequel, I need to get it and read it. If there’s a movie, I need to look it up and watch it.
Hallmark, and the Crown Media family, have been selecting published books and adapting them into movies. We, the fans, get to enjoy a great movie, and some of us get interested in those books, to read more about the story we just saw. Or we have read the book, and get excited to watch our beloved characters and their story adapted into a movie.
I had the pleasure of getting in touch with Barbara Hinske, author of “The Christmas Club”, which has been recently adapted into a movie for the Hallmark Channel, premiering as part of the “Countdown to Christmas”. I have the wonderful opportunity to share with you my first interview!
Barbara has published 8 books, including 6 for “The Rosemont Series”, “The Christmas Club”, and “The Night Train”. She has been recognized as Amazon and BookBub bestselling author. She lives in Arizona with her husband. She had the amazing opportunity of visiting the set where the movie was filmed, and shared some moments with the actors and the filming crew.
I needed to know more about this writer! Here’s our conversation:
Barbara, welcome to Full of Coffee! (I always wanted to say that, kind of a dream come true!) You’re my first ever interview! Before we continue, tell me, how do you like your coffee? (I love coffee, I had to ask!)
- Black coffee is my passion!
Now, before I ask you about your experience with Hallmark, I want to know more about you. Where did you grow up? Do you have any siblings?
- I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and I have an older brother. I was born there in 1952. I set The Christmas Club in Cleveland in 1952 because I had a delightful childhood and I loved writing about it. People from Cleveland who read the book remember the hot nut vendor I describe in the book. This is so fun for an author to read about in reviews.
I read on your blog that you were interested in reading from a young age, and that your father used to write mysteries? (My Grandma, who got me interested in reading, used to read mystery novels, but wouldn’t allow me to read them.)
- My dad told me a story every night of my childhood and he wrote wonderful mysteries when he retired. He never tried to publish them. I have 17 of his manuscripts. When I’m especially missing him, I can pick up one of his books and feel like he’s talking to me.
What a wonderful memory, and a wonderful keepsake! When did you decide to give professional writing a try?
- As a business attorney, I’ve done a lot of technical writing. I thought that I would edit my dad’s manuscripts when I retired and try to get them published. Fate stepped in—as it often does—and put me on a different path. I broke my neck in a car accident in 2010 and had double vision for months. I couldn’t read or watch TV—all I could do was think. I thought up the story for the Rosemont series and began to write.
Wow! Do you still practice as an attorney, or are you now a full time writer?
- I’ve recently left the practice of law to write full time. I was really busy writing and practicing law while I was doing both!
I relate to this, as I work a full time job and have two kids. Trying to find time to write is difficult, but I’ve had this dream of writing for a while, so I decided to give it a try.
Your first book published was “Coming to Rosemont”. This is a novel with mystery and romance. (For more information, check here https://barbarahinske.com/coming-to-rosemont/). How has your experience been with the publication of your books?
- My print and ebooks are self published. My audio books are traditionally published. I used a pen name—Barbara Hinske—because I didn’t know if my writing was any good and I didn’t want to embarrass myself professionally. Turns out, readers enjoyed my writing.
You mentioned above that, when you had the car accident, you started forming the idea for the story of “Coming to Rosemont”. Did you have the idea to do a series from the beginning, when you started writing the first book?
- I love to read series fiction and I knew that’s what I wanted to write. I did have the idea, and decided I’d write 5 books. I had no idea what the plot arcs would be when I wrote Coming to Rosemont. I thought I was finished with the series when I published Bringing Them Home, but had almost daily emails from readers asking for more so I wrote Shelving Doubts. I wanted to make sure that if I continued the series, it would have new characters and new twists and turns. Shelving Doubts was published in Oct, 2019, and my reviews indicate that I did just that.
For all of you now intrigued about the Rosemont series (like me!), Barbara published 6 books: 1 Coming to Rosemont, 2 Weaving the Strands, 3 Uncovering Secrets, 4 Drawing Close, 5 Bringing Them Home, and, 6 Shelving Doubts.
The Christmas Club is different from the Rosemont stories. This is a sweet Christmas story with a sense of community, kindness, and some romance. For more information about the book, check here https://barbarahinske.com/the-christmas-club/. What inspired you to write it?
- A homily (sermon) my pastor told one Sunday—more than thirty years ago—stayed with me and sparked the theme of The Christmas Club. The pastor’s point was that when we do kind things for others, we should do them in nice ways. We shouldn’t always expect to receive a lot of praise. I love to get the big “THANK YOU.” I think we all like that, but sometimes it’s nice to be anonymous.
Your book, The Christmas Club, has been adapted into a Hallmark movie! How did it happen? How was your book selected?
- My wonderful agent, Sarah Hershman, submitted it to the equally wonderful producer Jon Eskenas. Jon brought The Christmas Club to Crown Media.
In the movies, the story from the book is often slightly different. Without spoilers, how did you feel about that?
- Julie Sherman Wolfe is the script writer and she did a brilliant job. She set it in the current day, trimmed out some of the characters, and added a twist and a character that I wish I had thought of. I’m thrilled with the script and think that everyone should watch the movie and read the book. They are each a bit different and both worthy.
You had the chance to visit the set while filming. How was that experience?
- I was invited to the set, and I visited with my husband. The team was amazing, and everyone was super nice. (Barbara has written a guest post, to tell us more about her experience on the set of the movie. I’m sharing it in a separate publication.)
For me, as a fan, as a reader, and now as a writer, I think it’s a dream to have your name associated with a production. Barbara has been recognized as a bestselling author, and now her book has been selected and adapted into a movie. Not any movie, but a Hallmark Christmas movie, making it more special. Her characters Edward and Olivia take life now as we have beloved actors Cameron Mathison and Elizabeth Mitchell playing them. For more information about the movie, check here https://www.hallmarkchannel.com/the-christmas-club.
I’ve said this before, I love all the Hallmark movies. They’re produced and presented to us fans in such a way that they leave us amazed. As a blogger, I’ve experienced that when I write about Hallmark, those are very popular posts. We are many, many “Hallmarkies” fans. That’s why the movies are so popular. I believe The Christmas Club would become a favorite of many.
As always, I like to remind all readers that, even though I love the movies, I’m only a fan. I have no rights or access to any production or merchandise. None. But if you’re interested, you may visit the website www.hallmarkchannel.com. I check the Hallmark Channel page every day!
I thank Barbara Hinske so much for sharing her story with us. Please, visit Barbara’s blog here https://barbarahinske.com/. Also follow her on Twitter @BarbaraHinske, on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/bhinske/, and on Instagram @barbarahinskeauthor.
This definitely has been a fantastic experience. For me, it’s definitely a “pinch me, I think I’m dreaming” moment. I can’t imagine what all this has been for Barbara! As I’ve decided to start writing, I love that I get to share and learn from all these amazing writers I’ve come across on social media. I love it! I love the camaraderie and the support of the writing community. And, of course, I love the response and support from the fans.
I’ll keep reading, I’ll keep writing, I’ll keep dreaming! Thanks for reading. Until the next one. It’s time for my tacita de café. Salud!
Para versión en español, vea https://fullofcoffee.blog/2019/10/28/una-tacita-de-cafe-con-la-autora-barbara-hinske/.