Take Your Medicine by Hannah Carmack (plus author interview!)

I’m incredibly excited to be sharing my first author interview! I recently received an advanced copy of Hannah Carmack’s Alice in Wonderland inspired book, TakeYourMedicine, and we managed to have a quick chat about the book too!

Take Your Medicine is a short, sweet novel about Alice, who lives with vasovagal syncope, a fainting disorder triggered by strong emotions. Her life is complicated when she meets the enigmatic Rabbit at the end of her orchard.

I loved the themes of family bonds in the book, as well as the budding relationship between Alice and Rabbit, whose witch background counterbalances Alice’s mother’s medical one. It’s a real coming of age story about finding your way as you approach adulthood; with a f/f relationship, strong mother-daughter bonds and a healthy sprinkle of flora witchcraft.

Now, on to the interview with Hannah Carmack!

Take Your Medicine is obviously Alice in Wonderland inspired. Other than Alice, who are yourfavouritecharactersfromtheoriginal?

It may be obvious when boiling down screen time in TYM, but I always loved the White Rabbit. I’m a notorious clock watcher, but rather than always saying ‘I’m Late!’ it’s more ‘I’m 20 minutes early and no one is here yet’

Whatkind of research did you do before writing?

I did tons of research! I don’t have vasovagal syncope, so getting the symptoms and treatment methods correct was really important to me. It was a lot of time spent researching on webMD and vasovagal syncope boards. /r/syncope was a HUGE and helpful resource.

There’s also a lot of plant and bug life referenced in the novel, so I had to do some digging to figure out what flora and fauna were native to Alabama.

What made you decide to write a character living with vasovagal syncope? Was there somethingthatinspiredyou?

Although I don’t have vasovagal syncope, I do have ulcerative colitis. Having an illness that isn’t often portrayed in media (and when it is it’s done as a joke) I felt a strong need to feature more illness/disability in my stories. I really want to normalize talking about illness and demystify the medical world. Vasovagal Syncope specifically attracted me because it can be so tied to emotional stressors.

Each of the characters has a very different voice, who was yourfavourite to write and why?

Al all the way. She’s such a fun character to write and she’s a little bit sarcastic! The scenes between her and her mother are some of my favorite scenes I’ve written to date. She also has such a unique way of viewing her landscape. Her voice lends itself to really unique descriptions and that’s something else I really appreciate.

Take Your Medicine is out on 5th March! Preorder a copy here.

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Indie-Athon and My Indie Plans

I was very excited to find out that there is a readAthon in March inspired entirely by independent writers and publishers. I subscribe to a lot of independent presses, as well as Ninja Book Box, which supports indie books, so I have a massive backlog of indie published books to read. Many diverse ebooks that I’ve bought are also independently published, which makes my TBR even longer!

I’m not going to be making an official TBR for the month because I am such a mood reader, but I am going to make sure that every book I read in March is independently published. My current reads are: An Unkindness Of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon (Akashic Books), Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann (Okay, Swoon Reads is technically an imprint of Macmillan but I’m over halfway through this one so will finish it this month!), The Sorcerer Of the Wildeeps by Kai Ashante Wilson (Tor) and In the Present Tense by Carrie Pack (Interlude Press). Which seems like a lot but, like I said, I’m a mood reader!

The IndieAThon got me thinking about ways I could be supporting independent authors and publishers. I sent out a call on twitter for people interested in being featured and got a bunch of responses! So over the next few weeks I’ll be doing book spotlights, interviews and reviews with independent authors and about independently published books!

My first post is up today, an interview with Hannah Carmack and review of her newest novel, Take Your Medicine. I also have a few reviews from my backlist to post so I’ll intersperse those posts with reviews!

For those of you interested, the book featured in the photo for this post is Hummingbird by Sophia Elaine Hanson, published by Calinda Lux Publishing. A beautiful collection of poetry that I would thoroughly recommend!