Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Meet the Author: 'The Apothecary's Curse' Barbara Barnett @B_Barnett #authorinterview

Barbara Barnett is author of the Bram Stoker Award-nominated novel The Apothecary’s Curse  (Pyr Books), an imprint of Prometheus Books. She is also Publisher/Executive Editor of Blogcritics Magazine (blogcritics.org), an online magazine of pop culture, politics and more, for which she has also contributed nearly 1,000 essays, reviews, and interviews over the past decade. She published in-depth interviews with writers, actors and producers, including Jane Espenson, Katie Jacobs, Doris Egan, David Goodman, Jesse Spencer, Jennifer Morrison, Robert Carlyle, Lana Parilla, David Strathairn, Russel Friend, Garrett Lerner, Elie Atie, Wesley Snipes, and many, many more.

Her book on the TV series House, M.D., Chasing Zebras: THE Unofficial Guide to House, M.D. is a critically-acclaimed and quintessential guide to the themes, characters and episodes of the hit show.
Always a pop-culture and sci-fi geek, Barbara was raised on a steady diet of TV (and TV dinners), but she always found her way to the tragic antiheroes and misunderstood champions, whether on TV, in the movies or in literature. (In other words, Spock, not Kirk; Han Solo, not Luke Skywalker!) It was inevitable that she would have to someday create one of her own.

She is an accomplished speaker, an annual favorite at MENSA’s HalloWEEM convention, where she has spoken to standing room crowds on subjects as diverse as “The Byronic Hero in Pop Culture,” “The Many Faces of Sherlock Holmes,” “The Hidden History of Science Fiction,” and “Our Passion for Disaster (Movies).” Most recently, she gave a lecture at MENSA “The Conan Doyle Conundrum,” which explored the famous author’s life-long belief in fairies.

Barbara is available for signings and other author appearances as well as radio, print and television interviews. She also loves to speak at writers and other conferences! Feel free to contact her directly!
She is represented by Katharine Sands at the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency in New York City. You can reach Katharine at katharinesands@nyc.rr.com.



Author: Barbara Barnett
Publisher: Pyr Books
Pages: 345
Genre: Historical Fiction/Gaslamp Fantasy/Urban Fantasy


Between magic and science, medicine and alchemy, history and mythology lies the Apothecary's Curse…
A 2017 finalist for the prestigious Bram Stoker Award and winner of the Reader’s Choice award at this year’s Killer Nashville, The Apothecary’s Curse is a complex tale of love and survival set in a very different Victorian era where science and the supernatural co-exist. The Apothecary’s Curse transports readers between Victorian London and contemporary Chicago, where two men conceal their immortality….

In early Victorian London, the fates of gentleman physician Simon Bell and apothecary Gaelan Erceldoune become irrevocably bound when Simon gives his dying wife an elixir created by Gaelan from an ancient manuscript. Meant to cure her of cancer, instead, it kills her. Now suicidal, Simon swallows the remainder – to no apparent effect. Five years of suicide attempts later, Simon realizes he cannot die. When he hears rumors of a Bedlam inmate—star attraction of a grisly freak show with astounding regenerative powers like his own—Simon is shocked to discover it is Gaelan.

When Machiavellian pharmaceutical company Genomics unearths 19th Century diaries describing the torture of Bedlam inmates, Gaelan and Simon's lives are upended, especially when the company's scientists begin to see a link between Gaelan and one of the unnamed inmates. But Gaelan and Genomics geneticist Anne Shawe find themselves powerfully, almost irresistibly, drawn to each other, and her family connection to his remarkable manuscript leads to a stunning revelation.

Will it bring ruin or redemption?

Meticulous historical detail infuses the narrative with authenticity, providing a rich, complex canvas. And playing off Simon’s connection to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Apothecary’s Curse draws on both the Sherlock Holmes canon and Sir Arthur's spirituality, as well as Celtic mythology, the art of alchemy, and the latest advances in genetics research.


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What first inspired you to write or who inspired you?

My mother always encouraged me to write. She loved writing poetry, and even submitted a couple stories to a publisher, but got rejections. My father collected books—rare, antiquarian books. My early exposure to my parents bookshelves and my mom’s encouragement helped inspire me.

At what age did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve been a writer since I was around nine years old and. A poem I’d written got published in a national Sunday School magazine. It was Sampson and Delilah. I was hooked. Been writing ever since.

Do you take notes when reading or watching a movie?

Not on first viewing. I work as a TV critic, so I watch first to enjoy, second viewing for critical analysis. As a novelist, if something strikes me when I’m watching or reading, it stays with me if it’s something I might riff on for my own work.

Has writing always been a passion for you or did you discover it years later?

I think I started my first novel when I was fifteen, so it’s been a very long time. I’ve worked as a professional writer nearly all my adult life.

Can you name three writing tips to pass on to aspiring authors?

1)      Plan, plan, plan. Even if you’re a “pantser,” know where you’re going or it will be tough to make the finish line. You can outline, storyboard, sketch out the narrative, but plan in some way. 2) Research, even in fiction. One of the most fun parts of writing The Apothecary’s Curse is the journey my research propelled. Research gives your writing authenticity and a firm anchor in time and place. 3) Barrel through your “sloppy copy” and write “the end.” Then go back and start again to find the heart and soul of your book in the revision process.
Do you let unimportant things get in the way of your writing?

Candy Crush and Binge TV watching. Too often.

What hours do you write best?

Early in the morning ‘till about 10 a.m. and then after 10 p.m. Weird, huh?

How often do you write?

Every single day. Full Stop!

Are you an avid reader?

Less so these days due only to lack of time.

What are you reading now?

Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury.”

What are you currently working on?

Finishing the second draft of the sequel to The Apothecary’s Curse. It’s called The Alchemy of Glass.

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