What It’s Really Like to Be a Hallmark Holiday Writer

Courtesy Barbara Henske

The path to writing and romance

For many, the schmaltzy seasonal fare that fills the Hallmark Channel’s programming slate between Halloween and New Year’s Eve is as much a part of getting in the holiday spirit as baking cookies, decorating the tree, sipping eggnog, and listening to carols. This year’s batch of fresh feel-good films includes T he Christmas Club , premiering on November 27 at 8 p.m. ET and starring Elizabeth Mitchell ( Lost ) and Cameron Mathison ( All My Children ). The plot? Two busy strangers help an elderly woman find her lost Christmas savings and are brought together by fate time and again until they, of course, fall in love.

It’s based on a book of the same name written by Barbara Hinske , a Phoenix-based corporate lawyer who changed her own destiny by penning novels in her free time and eventually becoming a full-time author in 2019. The mother of six (who has a son, a daughter, two stepsons, and two rescue dogs) and recent grandmother of one chatted with us about what it’s really like to change careers later in life and to be a professional writer whose characters are brought to life in a Hallmark movie. Can’t get enough of these seasonal romances? Binge-watch the 20 best Hallmark Christmas movies . Courtesy Barbara Hinske

A childhood dream

Hinske, who grew up in the Cleveland suburbs, wanted to be a writer since she was a child. That dream that was bolstered by her father, who told her stories every night before bed. “My remarkable father was a gifted storyteller,” she says. “His example set my feet on my current journey as a novelist.” She was also inspired to put pen to paper by a famous author’s story. “I fell in love with the idea of being a writer when, as a child, I read that Louisa May Alcott wrote plays for her sisters to perform,” she explains. “I wrote plays for my brother and his friends, but they didn’t share my vision.” A dream has to start somewhere, right? Here are 10 “dream big” quotes that will motivate you right now . From the law to a laptop

She first went the responsible route and became a lawyer. In fact, Hinske was an attorney for several Fortune 500 companies until July 2019. Writing was her side hustle for years, and she eventually published her first novel in 2012. Even though she authored six installments of the best-selling Rosemont series and had The Christmas Club turned into a Hallmark movie, quitting her day job was not a change she took lightly. “I loved my lawyer job and was reasonably proficient at it, so it was a difficult step to take,” she explains. “I worked with my long-term life coach for almost a year before I allowed myself to step away from that job to fully embrace this new author career that brings me great joy.” Hinske was lucky enough to have liked […]

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