Very excited to read this one!
This sounds like a great book. Thanks Liz for telling us about it!
Marie Castle’s First Novel, Hell’s Belle: Book 1 of the Dark Mirror series
Revitalizes the Dark Urban Fantasy landscape
Lately, the fantasy landscape, regardless of sub-genre, has become littered with perfunctory, now cliché, devices: the detective agency run by supernatural beings, an individual whose magic is extraordinary for her generation, a council put into place to enforce the laws of magic use, and trips to hell replete with demons. In her novel, Hell’s Belle, Marie Castle indeed employs these ideas, however, she does so not only in an exceptionally clever manner, but she breaths new life into them. Perhaps I was drawn to her ability to blend a depth of literary knowledge and re-package it in a non-alienating manner; thereby leaving no reader out of the story. Blending depth of research into a very accessible story takes a deft hand, and Castle does that well. Yet, Hell’s Belle goes…
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- How did you get started writing lesbian fiction/romance?
I’ve always been writing, and after my own coming out, my stories gravitated towards lesbian main characters. Then I discovered fanfiction which gave me the chance to share my work online and gather feedback. I loved the community, but ultimately it was my goal to go back into original fiction. I’m a fan of cop dramas and crime fiction, so most of the time, you’ll find some suspense in my books. I write characters and stories I’d love to see on TV and in movies more often.
- I write because…
…it’s the only way to get the stories out of my head? I never really questioned this. Sure, there is a political implication in writing lesbian fiction, because it’s almost inevitable to deal with homophobia in some way, but ideas come to me all the time, and I fall in love with the characters. I want to see their story unfold.
- Heels or flats?
I love heels, but I’m not wearing them a lot, for–*sigh*–practical reasons.
- What kind of characters do you most like to write about and why?
Women who defy patriarchy. They don’t even have to be cops all the time, but they all go through some life-altering event that leads to a deeper understanding. Their backgrounds, their motivations differ.
- Tell us a little about your new release
Spring Fever is the 3rd in a series about two women who meet and fall in love in a small town. Their love story is off to a rocky start: Rebecca is married and has two children, Callie is an out lesbian writer whose arrival in Autumn Leaves stirs up a lot of conversation and controversy. In Spring Fever, they have come to some important conclusions and are more confident about where they want their relationship to go–this enables them to deal with new challenges in a different way than before. There’ll be romance, drama, and a surprising conclusion.
- Name three things on your desk right now.
Notebooks, pens, a coaster in the shape of a flower.
- What are some of your favorite lesbian fiction/romance/erotic authors?
Most fiction you’ll find on my shelves is mystery/suspence. R.E. Bradshaw and J.M. Redmann are two of my favorite authors in that category. Since getting published and connecting with other authors in social media, I’ve come across more awesome books in all genres than I could read in nine lives–that’s why I invented the Wednesday Women, a feature on my blog where guest authors introduce their characters/latest release. I love strong women characters–I know this term has gotten a bit of a bad rep lately, but there are many ways to interpret “strong”.
- Favorite dessert?
If it has chocolate in it, it qualifies!
- Plotter or pantster?
A bit of both. I used to be more of a pantster until I did a NaNoWrimo with a well outlined idea, and put down 70K words that month. That convinced me to do it more often! However, I also learned from NaNoWriMo that sometimes the best writing happens when you veer off the beaten, outlined path.
- What are you working on now?
Deep Cover is the sequel to a book that is under contract, but not scheduled yet, Amber Alert (probably early next year). Those books feature my only straight main character so far (she has a lesbian sister though whose point of view we’ll see as well). I’m still not sure how she happened, but she’s a very lovable character, one of those you want to hug one moment and shake the next.
- Tell us one thing about you that most people don’t know
Synesthesia. I automatically assign colors to book titles, characters, etc. (and just about everything else), so when it’s time to discuss covers with the fab artists of Eternal Press, I work with that.
About the author:
A psychologist/trauma counselor by training, Barbara Winkes left her native Germany to live with her wife in Québec City. Telling stories has always been her passion. She loves to write suspense and romance with female protagonists who try to solve the puzzle of their love life, a murder case, or sometimes, both.
Lesbian fiction with high drama and happy endings:
Barbara’s debut novel “Autumn Leaves” and the follow-up, “Winter Storm”, published by Eternal Press, tell the love story between two women in a small town, where neighbors take an interest in the life of others. The thriller “Secrets” followed November 2013.
2014 releases will include “Spring Fever”, book three in the series about Callie and Rebecca, and the standalone romance “The Interpretation of Love and the Truth”.