By Guest Blogger, Barbara Barnett, Television & Film Editor at Blogcritics Magazine
Here it is, two months until the launch of Chasing Zebras: The Unofficial Guide to House, M.D. (ECW Press, September 2010). It’s my first book and I feel a bit like Cinderella wondering when the carriage is going to turn into a pumpkin. I’m a middle-aged mom with a very full full-time job, but being an author has been a fantasy I’ve held since I was nine years old.
Like most writers, I suppose, I have those several unfinished novels rattling around in my computer, but writing a book was something long ago relegated to the “dream on” part of my brain.
No matter where my career has taken me, I’ve always managed to find the writing in it. An undergrad degree in microbiology led me to a gig as an associate editor with a trade magazine; a graduate degree in environmental policy brought me to a niche in public affairs; my current “day job,” which has nothing to do with writing, has produced two award-winning publications.
Then in 2007, my passion for writing bumped heads with my obsession over a television series—and it all seemed to click. After being encouraged to take my personal blog at Livejournal.com and move it to “the big leagues,” I applied to write for Blogcritics magazine, which is now owned by mega aggregator Technorati.
“Welcome to the End of the Thought Process” on Blogcritics became “must read” material for a whole segment of the House fandom. With several thousand readers a week, it has become one of its most popular features. Featuring weekly episode analysis, essays about the series themes and characters, my column has become a large and friendly town square. Each new article generates lengthy comment threads full of debate and discussion. No one is afraid to disagree with me, but everyone is respectful.
Developing a good relationship with the show, I’ve had the opportunity to interview most of the writers, executive producer Katie Jacobs, and several cast members. My readers especially enjoy these (usually lengthy) interviews for their added insight into the inner workings of the series.
After writing for BC for awhile I thought about writing a book about House, M.D. Not a typical companion guide, this would be a look between the lines and under the skin of this intricately written character study—something for the very intelligent fan base the series attracts, and something for my loyal readership that would play off of, but not duplicate, my weekly feature; but also something for newcomers to House’s universe.
One my readers happened to be literary agent Katharine Sands of Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency, and when she and I were introduced last spring it was a perfect match of writer and agent. Already a House uber-fan and a fan of my writing, she became an enthusiastic supporter of the project and is a fantastic advocate for Chasing Zebras: The Unofficial Guide to House, M.D.