Hi there, Anne here. Welcome to, The Intimate Lives Of Our Detectives, a guest post by the Carpenter and Harding mystery series novelist, and the author of multiple romance books, Barbara Winkes. Actually, Barbara has written some great books in several genres so let me just dispense with trying to run them all down for you and give you her bio:
Barbara Winkes, born in a small town in Germany, has been telling stories from a young age. She has a degree in psychology and worked in the field for several years. One day she decided to go on a vacation to Paris, where she first met her future wife. Two years later, they married in Québec City.
While waiting for her residency application to be reviewed, she had the chance to focus on writing full-time. Eventually, she signed with a small press but decided later to become hybrid-, and then indie-published. She became a Canadian citizen meanwhile. Besides writing, she loves to read, to travel and to explore new cities and restaurants with her wife.
She has written more than twenty titles in different genres. Women loving women always take the lead.
Anne: Her contact and social media links follow this post. Check them out for more about all of her mysteries, romances, thrillers and more.
The Intimate Lives Of Our Detectives:
Anne: I have some older blog posts I post to Twitter from time to time. One is, Mystery with a Little Sex, or Sex with a Little Mystery? The last time it posted, Barb and I got into a discussion about it. She made some interesting points. I asked her to elaborate a little here. So, take it away Barb!
Barbara Winkes: Thank you for having me!
Let’s get right to the question about the intimate lives of our detectives – how much sex is “appropriate” in crime fiction?
For me, there is no one right answer. I have written romantic suspense and thrillers with varying degrees of graphic scenes. It depends on various factors how much ends up on the page. For example, in a serial, the excitement of the main characters meeting for the first time is often tied into a case—both in lesfic and mainstream, and the relationship is told in more detail.
Indiscretions, the first book in my Carpenter/Harding series, deals with a serial killer that targets women he considers leading an “immoral” lifestyle. At the beginning, one of the lead characters is still in an, albeit dysfunctional relationship. I added a little more detail here, because it fits with the theme of the story: Mistakes, paying the price, but also judgment and hypocrisy surrounding the subject of what a person would consider “moral.”
In the later books, the main characters’ relationship continues to mature, and the cases they are confronted with, differ.
Anne: The newest release in the Carpenter/Harding series by Barb is Infatuations. It’s Book 7 in the series, released in June. If you’re not familiar with the series, I suggest you wait to read the latest book and start with Indiscretions.
Barb: In a standalone book, it’s different. There’s simply less room. Do characters even have time for a relationship, and if they make time, what does it mean to them? A desperate moment? A promise of the future?
The main character could be single, by choice or circumstance, or in a platonic relationship, or…any orientation or identity. The possibilities are endless.
I’m also a reader, and I’m open to all of them, as long as the author tells me the “what” and the “why”. I think when dealing with adult characters, it makes sense to talk about their intimate lives, the reasons why they are or aren’t in a relationship. It adds to their persona, and I think it’s important even if the genre is not romance.
As a reader (and as a writer) I’m always curious about that aspect. How much detail? That’s up to the characters. They know best, after all.
Anne: I agree. Sex for the sake of having a sex scene in the book because of an expectation that doesn’t necessarily fit the mystery genre is misplaced. The relationship is more important and, you’re right, the characters know best. Sex scenes are fantastic and they can add so much in terms of character development, but if they aren’t necessary, they can drag your work down. Anybody that’s just looking for an endless stream of sex scenes is better off going online to somewhere like www.watchmygirlfriend.xxx instead of reading a top romance novel.
Let’s switch gears now. You recently released Infatuations and I see you’ve been promoting the new release of the audiobook version of your best selling thriller, The Amnesia Project with T.J. Richards narrating. She’s amazing. I wish you as much success for the audio version as you had with the book.
Barb: Thank you.
Anne: So what’s next? Another Carpenter & Harding? Another romance?
Barb: Actually, I’ve got a dystopian novel coming out soon, Cypher.
Cyphers are assigned a number, a place to live and to work in exchange for giving up rights and freedoms most take for granted. Ami Moore finds herself trapped in what was sold to her as a temporary solution, and her situation gets worse when she is framed and accused of stealing. Ami isn’t certain whether Inspector Katlena Cervantes will be her ally or enemy–but the two women’s fates are tied together from the day they first meet.
Anne: Okay, true confessions time here. I’m a fan of the Leah Remini reality show, ‘Scientology and the Aftermath’. Your description made me think of that and sent a cold shiver down my spine. I can’t wait to read it. I’m sure I’m not the only one!
Want to know more about Barb, how she thinks, what makes her tick and what sets her off? She’s out there on social media and she blogs. Check it all out, below.
Thanks for joining me today Barb and thanks to all of you reading this!
Connect with Barbara Winkes:
Twitter: @Barbara Winkes