Image courtesy of khunaspix / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Thank you very much, Hayley (from Books Are Delicious) for tagging me in this writing process blog hop!
What Am I Working On?
The timing of this blog hop feels a little surreal to me, for right now I am not working on anything, since I have been suffering from a bad burnout all of April. I hope to be back on track around mid May though. I have been working on a lot of nonfiction/academic projects for the past year though. Right now, I have turned in the finished draft of my contracted book, Women in Science Fiction Television, so this is one huge accomplishment for me. I also have a few other papers (about Supernatural, Farscape, Avatar, Terminator Salvation, Star Wars) awaiting publication, but which are completed, unless I need to touch them up per the editor’s request. You can find all my published and upcoming publications on this page. I also am waiting on answers for other possible publications (about Yoko Tsuno, Pacific Rim, Star Wars, James Cameron’s Science Fiction movies) so I hope some of them will be positive!
The next project I want to tackle once I am back to normal and regular writing (besides my usual Star Wars roleplaying writing hobby which helps my creative muse and keeps me in the writing loop even when I suffer from academic burnout lie now) is a book proposal about Dana Scully from the X-Files. I have a few places where I plan to submit it to and I really hope I can find a publisher because I am very excited about this book project.
How Does My Work Differ From Others of Its Genre?
I work a lot on female characters in Science Fiction narratives, most of them on screen (Television, Cinema, Video games). I know I am not the only one who does this, but I am often interested in exploring characters through theme based comparison, as shown in my book, and also certain types of characters, such as what I called the Warrior Mothers (which I hope to expand on in the future). I am well aware that there is still a lot of room to get more layered and richer female characters, but being able to see the good ones that existed, even with some limitations at times, is very important for me. I also have side interests that nourish my main research axis, such as vidding, some 1990’s and 2000’s Bollywood movies, and some French series and movies.
The fact that I write about what I am passionate about is also a driving force in my work and I believe that it shows, although I am careful not to be blinded by some personal preferences. I also don’t mind sharing and writing about the sometimes not so popular opinions I can have regarding certain productions or characters. I believe that all opinions when expressed clearly, politely can bring positive things to a discussion.
Why Do I Write What I Write?
I have written since as far as I can remember, and I already liked telling stories before this. I dabbed into poetry when I was a child, wrote my first novella (Science Fiction for children) when fifteen and completed my first novel (YA dark fantasy) when I was twenty. Neither of these are published so far, though I have good hope to self publish the novella later this year. They are both in French though. I still have lots of notes for other novels, series of novels either in Science Fiction or Fantasy, but I haven’t touched original fiction in years. I believe I will go back to this one day, but now, it is academic writing that is my priority and what I like doing best.
I wrote several research papers over the past decade due to my lengthy studies in film and media studies. In 2009, I started a Ph.D. (which I quit in 2012), so publications and conferences were important. This gave me a renewed and more vibrant love for academic writing, papers and books. Along with my other projects, my writing has helped me establish myself as an independent scholar. I enjoy being able to write about so many topics that I love and being able to contribute to conversations and research about them.
How Does Your Writing Process Work?
I always keep a notebook with me when I’m not at the computer because I tend to have ideas for future papers/books out of the blue. I have four sub folders in my academic writing one: archive (drafts of published papers and documents from previous talks), in progress (what is accepted for publication but not published yet), published (final digital versions of published papers except when they were published in hard copies. These ones are on a shelf in my room) and various. The last sub folder comprises sub sub folders with what is submitted (and for which I am awaiting answers), book projects, WIP (some proposals that were turned down but that I can rework/resubmit at a later date) and one document which is my master list of paper ideas. This scary thing never ceases to grow.
I like being organized so I know where I can find things and I make sure to update my master list whenever I have a new paper idea. The book ideas tend to stand on their own as mentioned above. I admit that I don’t work on any projects, beyond the note taking, unless I have a place to submit it to for publication. I don’t like writing when I have nowhere to submit to. Finding call for papers where I can submit is extremely important for my nonfiction/academic creativity and focus, especially with all the trillion ideas I have. So, I check this site a few times a week, to see which call for papers I can respond to and then I go on the hunt in my master list and turned down abstracts to find something matching and that I feel like working on at the moment. My upcoming book proposal about Scully necessitated further research for publishers though, as I am interested in reaching out to American University Presses. I like that just like for other papers and previous books, there are guidelines to the different places I can submit to.
I enjoy working with deadlines and word counts. It helps me organize my schedule (so I make sure that I don’t accidentally pile up tons of deadlines at once and panic) and progress in my work. Right now, I am already with three other calls for paper I could answer to, depending on how things go. I always then work from my notes and then make sure to establish the structure of the paper or book, so I can break my word count into smaller parts. I tend to focus on a project at a time when writing. When I was writing my book for example, I was focusing on other papers in between chapters. It is funny how I can easily multitask, but writing several projects at the same time doesn’t work for me.
I always try to be early on schedule, and the fact that all my writing goes through a friend of mine who has extensive experience editing, helps a lot, because she needs time to do the proofreading and editing work before I can submit. I admit that writing in English is much more natural to me now than writing in French, and I am glad to see the improvement I have gone through over the past few years, both thanks to my academic writing and my roleplaying hobby.