Speaking of readers' perspectives, she adds, "House is an incredibly complex series, and there is little wasted either in the dialogue, the music, the sets — even the wardrobe. Everything says something. Writing a column or an episode review is much easier in that everyone knows it's simply my opinion. ... But with a book, I felt I needed to hear all the voices: those that spoke to me and those that spoke to fans who see things I may not. I spent a lot of time agonizing over whether I was missing the point sometimes, or over-analyzing at others. Because it's a work of criticism - analysis - it's still my subjective perspective, but I've always tried to keep others' in mind."
Barbara notes that the easiest part of the writing process was working from a detailed outline as it allowed her to work on one part of the manuscript or another without having to maintain a linear workflow. She goes on to say, "The absolutely most fun chapter to write was House's. I cast him as a Byronic hero, using the attributes of that literary archetype and running the character through that lens. It's amazing how well he fits that archetype. It's a huge chapter, of necessity. At one point, I thought I was running so far over my word limit, I thought about severely cutting it back. My agent talked me out of it. She was right. This chapter is really the heart of the book, as it should be. Everything on the show revolves around House's orbit!"
The biggest surprise about the process? Being able to finish the book on time! She notes, "The process has been thus far a joy. I have a supportive and energetic advocate and friend in my agent; a great publisher who has involved me in selecting the cover shot and planning the book's cover design (and I've heard horror stories from other authors about this issue much to the contrary with their publishers)."
Now that the book is finished, what's next on Barbara's schedule? "Continue writing for BC — and hopefully another book. Probably not a TV book (although you never know). I have three or four ideas rattling around — and then there's those two unfinished novels, of course!"
Because Barbara has realized the dream that so many of us aspire to, I had to finish up by asking her if she had any advice for writers wondering how to get to the next level. She responded, "Keep at it and always keep your eyes open to possibilities, no matter how remote. Don't be afraid to let others know what you're doing. The thing I have been most asked by agents, publishers, etc. is whether I had a platform, a built-in readership of those who know and enjoy my writing. There's really only one way to get that. Don't be afraid to approach producers, actors, writers, etc (if you're into writing about film or TV). Email is my best friend. I would never have the courage to call someone up and ask for an interview. But emailing is another story entirely. I'm a fearless emailer. Much safer territory for my easily bruised artiste ego."