Thursday, November 5, 2009

Nonfiction and Academic Writing

Okay, so you know I write fiction and that "Blood and Groom: A Sasha Jackson Mystery" will be in stores in a week or two; however, I have spent a helluva lot of time over the last two years writing nonfiction, academic stuff.

I have just finished my MA degree, with a concentration in Cultural Studies, which in my case meant minority literature, which includes Feminism and Women's Writing. To that end, I married my love of crime fiction with my studies and did a few papers on women in detective series.

My favourite paper is called "From Spenser to Yeats: Feminism's Answer to the Hardboiled Sleuth is on the Wagon and Rides a Harley." In this, I argue that the Jane Yeats character by Liz Brady is every bit as much of an ass kicker as Robert B. Parker's Spenser.

Another paper is called "Hardboiled and Hairspray: Feminism and Stephanie Plum." Anyone who has read this series by Janet Evanovich would probably scratch their head at the thesis, but upon close examination, Stephanie - clumsiness, shoe shopping, and mascara notwithstanding - is a modern version of the noir PI walking down the dark and seedy streets.

Finally, I did a paper called "Supermoms, Supersleuths" in which I look at the discrepancy between fact and fiction in terms of the incidence of single mothers and detecting/law enforcement jobs.

So, there, that's another side of me and my writing. And, I really think the academic stuff benefitted me greatly as I was writing "Blood and Groom" - certainly it gave me a solid foundation in the genre.

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