Monday, February 11, 2013

Books, Movies, and Books about Movies

2012 was an unusually busy year for yours truly, both as a film blogger and as a writer. The Virtual Virago blog is mostly a classic movie review site these days, but I still post the occasional literary or pop culture discussion, as well as conference papers. When I'm not blogging here or writing articles over at, I'm typing away at some project or other. What have I been up to lately? Here's a quick look.

THE COMPLETE NOVELS OF JANE AUSTEN (2013) - Just published by Race Point, this edition has all of the novels plus an introduction written by me. It will probably sell better than anything else I ever work on, but, sadly, my name isn't even in the product information (I feel like Austen in her own lifetime - "By a Lady" and all that). Here's hoping I got a byline in the actual book! The publisher is currently doing a Giveaway on Goodreads if you happen to be a Janeite in need of a lavish, hardcover Valentine for yourself.

BEYOND CASABLANCA: 100 CLASSIC MOVIES WORTH WATCHING (2012) - My darling project, which took three years from start to finish, is the book I am most proud of to date. Writing this collection of reviews was so much fun that I would love to do a second book! I have made so many wonderful friends in the classic movie fan community, and this book has been an attempt to honor those friendships by sharing these wonderful old films with others. The book is now on Kindle for $4.99, which I hope will encourage some new readers to give it a try.


SENSE AND SENSIBILITY (2012) - Barnes & Noble occasionally hires me to write introductions to classic novels, and this one was especially nice to work on because I love Austen and her pop culture cred. The edition they produced is really nice, and I also provided all of the bonus material you'll find inside. Besides, who wouldn't love to see her name on the same page with Jane Austen's?

SHERLOCK HOLMES FOR THE 21st CENTURY (2012) - My usual partner in crime, Anissa Graham, and I co-authored an essay for this McFarland anthology by Lynnette Porter. "Sex and the Single Sleuth" looks at the ways that film and TV adaptations have made Sherlock Holmes sexy, especially in the last few years. Of course, we also talk about Basil Rathbone and the early days of Holmes on film!

THE WIDER WORLDS OF JIM HENSON (2012) - Anissa and I finished editing our second McFarland anthology of essays about the works of Jim Henson, this time widening our scope to include films like Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal and series like Fraggle Rock. We had some wonderful contributors who wrote fascinating essays. I wrote "Fandom and Nostalgia in Disney's The Muppets" and co-wrote "Telling Toy Stories in The Christmas Toy." These anthologies are a lot of work, but we have gotten to know some great scholars from around the world, and hopefully other people find our contributions to Muppet Studies useful.

I've finally gotten to the point where I say, "I'm a writer," when people ask me what I do, and I think I might actually mean it. We'll see what I manage to get done in 2013...