A writer and musician, Elizabeth Hutchison Bernard lives in Arizona with her husband, Bob, and their black Lab, Pearly Mae.
What made you want to write your historical novel, THE BEAUTY DOCTOR?
It was a combination of things. Having worked for many years in the plastic surgery field, and being fascinated with the early history of cosmetic surgery, I thought it would be a great idea to weave a suspenseful tale around the concept of the old-time "beauty doctor" who, even back in 1907 when my story takes place, was straightening noses, trimming eyelids, and injecting faces with paraffin to smooth out the wrinkles. But even more, I wanted to examine themes of beauty, power, and man's inhumanity to man. I wanted to create a story and characters that would be unique and memorable---to combine historical fiction and mystery and a touch of romance.
What kind of work did you do in the field of plastic surgery?
I was the Executive Editor of the internationally-subscribed journal, AESTHETIC SURGERY JOURNAL. I also directed media relations and communications for a national organization of cosmetic plastic surgeons with over two thousand members. It gives me a lot of interesting knowledge to draw upon now that my time is devoted 100 percent to fiction writing!
In 1907, a doctor's involvement in the early twentieth century eugenics movement raises troubling questions for his young female assistant who becomes ensnared in a web of treachery that challenges her most cherished beliefs about a physician’s sacred duty and threatens to destroy all she loves.