A few weeks ago, Hannah Carmack got in contact with me to review her new novella and interview her for the blog and I instantly got interested in this when she told me what it was about. Take Your Medicine is an Alice retelling with a protagonist that has Vasovagal Syncope, something that I also live with my whole life although with different triggers. For those who don’t know what this is, Vasovagal Syncope occurs when you faint because your body overreacts to certain triggers, such as the sight of blood or extreme emotional distress. It was so nice to see a part of me in a book that I’ve never seen before so I’m glad to bring Hannah here to share a bit about her writing.
Q1: Where did the inspiration to write an Alice retelling with a protagonist who has Vasovagal Syncope came from?
Ironically, it started with her mother. Having the Queen of Hearts as a Cardiothoracic surgeon was a no brainer, but it had to be relevant. Living with a physical disability, I also knew I wanted to write about a character who struggled with illness. The two kind of met in the middle and blended perfectly.
Q2: What was your favorite part of writing this novella?
I do love writing March and Mads, so their scene was really fun, but I also loved working with Al and her mother. I think the two’s relationship is so complex, but so clearly loving. It was always a pleasure to write.
Q3: Do you prefer writing long novels or short novellas?
I actually always struggled with short form, but Take Your Medicine was designed with a specific anthology in mind, which is why it rounds out around 25k. For the most part, I enjoy writing novels. They allow for so much more character exploration.
Q4: What are some of your favorite LGBT+ books?
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is a must read for me in queer fiction. I think it’s probably one of the best books ever written. Some other titles worth checking out would be Simon Versus the Homo Sapiens Agenda, Fortitude Smashed, and The Wicked + The Divine.
Q5: Do you have anything else in the works? What can we expect from you next?
Currently, I’m polishing my next project for querying, so hopefully I’ll have that out in the world within the next year. It’s a LGBTQIA+ Thriller that focuses on a dystopian education system. It’s topical and I’m super excited to share it with the world.
About the Author:
Hannah Carmack is a recent graduate of Northern Illinois University. She enjoys volunteer work and spends most of her time with the organization STEM Read, connecting authors and reluctant readers through hands-on STEM activities. Her debut novel Seven-Sided Spy was released January 2018.