She continues, "I eventually decided that it would be fun to develop a book to serve as a guide for the intelligent fans of the show. Rather than a straight-on episode guide, I wanted to do a book about the series’ character and story narratives and the themes; it would provide intelligent and thoughtful analysis of the complex series, in keeping with the flavor of my BC feature, but going into the sort of depth that's impossible writing a blog."
Barbara had some very firm ideas about the book: "I've always liked the idea of series guide for more complex television series and some are better than others. ... The problem with most television series guides is that either the author isn't knowledgeable about the series — or that the guide is simply a rehashing of the episode scripts with some nice pictures thrown in to entice. Or both. Back in my X-Files obsession days, there had been a mass-market paperback written by three XF fans who were also television critics in the UK. Their guide was saucy and fun, but also got into the heart of each episode in a way that simply rehashing a script can't do. I loved that guide. So I had a strong idea that I wanted any book I wrote to capture what I loved about that book. I also wanted to take what I had done in my column and expand and add to create something hopefully unique."
Of course there's a quantum leap between thinking it would be fun to write a book and actually taking steps toward getting someone to notice, and I asked Barbara how that part of the process worked. She replied, "Eventually, my writing at BC led me — a fan, a mom, and a writer — to a foreign land of agents and publishers, who wanted to develop books for the adoring House fans." Barbara credits good advice from Ted Weinstein, of Ted Weinstein Literary Management, with pointing her in the right direction. "He ultimately and wisely introduced me to his House-mad colleague Katharine Sands of the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency as a great agent choice for [my] special introspective look at House."
She continues, "It was fun to see how many publishing people are addicted to House, but the one who I chose was Jack David, publisher of Entertainment Culture Writing (ECW Press). The publishing house focuses on entertainment culture. Jack is a House fan and had already done one book on the series because he loves the show. Once I talked with him, I knew he was the best choice to publish the book. ... I understand that at some point Harper Colllins may be coming out with an 'official' behind the scenes book about the show. As a fan, I'm anticipating it as the first 'official' book from the series. And I can't wait to see it. But Chasing Zebras does what an official book cannot, and that's offer the sort of introspective analysis that's unique and uniquely mine."