Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Exclusive Interview with Patricia Leavy about her 25th Book Release and Feminism Today

Patricia Leavy, Ph.D. is an independent sociologist and best-selling author. She has published twenty-five books, earning critical and commercial success in both nonfiction and fiction, a rare accomplishment. Her work has been translated into numerous languages. She is also the creator and editor for seven book series with Oxford University Press and Brill-Sense, the co-founder and co-editor-in-chief of Art/Research International: A Transdisciplinary Journal, and a blogger for The Creativity Post and other outlets.

In addition to numerous honors for her books, Patricia has received career awards from New England Sociological Association, the American Creativity Association, the American Educational Research Association, the National Art Education Association, and the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry. In 2016 Mogul, a women’s empowerment network, named her an “Influencer.” In 2018, she was honored by the National Women’s Hall of Fame and SUNY-New Paltz established the annual “Patricia Leavy Award for Art and Social Justice.” Patricia’s latest release, Contemporary Feminist Research from Theory to Practice, is a one-stop book for anyone interested in designing, executing, and sharing feminist research. It’s also her 25th book publication! Patricia is a long-time supporter of Mental Fitness, Inc, and a blogger for We Are the Real Deal and we’ve spoken with her several times over the years. We recently had a chance to chat about her new book and what she has to say about the publishing industry, 25 books in.

You’ve just released Contemporary Feminist Research from Theory to Practice, a coauthored book published by Guilford Press. The book is already receiving rave reviews from leading scholars. It’s also your 25th book publication. Wow! Congratulations on this incredible milestone!!!

Thank you so much and for all of your support over the years.


What does it feel like releasing your 25th book?

It’s a rush of gratitude. I feel profoundly grateful. The books represent 25 times that publishers supported and funded my work. I don’t take that for granted. I take each opportunity, each book contract, seriously. Every author knows what rejection is like and if you’re lucky to reach a phase where you can work steadily with great publishers and secure top-level contracts, it’s a blessing, not a given. Likewise, I’m grateful to each person who has read my work; each professor who has adopted one of my texts and each person who picked up one of my novels to read for pleasure. Authors need readers and I don’t take their time and support for granted. It means the world to me.


Tell us about your new book.

Contemporary Feminist Research from Theory to Practice is meant to be a one-stop book for those interested in feminist research. We cover the history of feminist research, theoretical work from around the globe, ethics, research approaches and methods including how to design a study using quantitative, qualitative, community-based research with participants, content or media analysis, and program evaluation. There are also chapters on how to represent your research from academic articles to artistic representations to popular forms like blogs and op-eds and how to engage in activism and public scholarship. I’m not aware of another book that covers that ground and I especially think people want information about writing and distributing their research. There’s a lot of bang for your buck with this book. It can serve as a primary textbook in a feminist course or even a primary or secondary text in a more general research methods course. It could also be used in other courses such as gender studies. Beyond that, we cover material I think any individual researcher could benefit from. I’m glad to have it on my own bookshelf as a resource. Our approach was to make it really contemporary content-wise. For example, we cover digital feminisms throughout. We think the perspective from which we wrote also distinguishes it from other textbooks. The book adopts an intersectional approach whereby the status of girls and women is only a starting point. We consider how gender, sexuality, race, ableness, and other factors intersect. We took this seriously. For example, we even reject binary ways of writing and instead opted for he/she/they throughout the book. In the opening of the book we present a list of key terms, such as ally, and then throughout the book we have “call out bubbles” when one of those terms comes up so readers can see it in action. We also draw on contemporary examples throughout the book so it feels current and relatable.


You’ve written extensively about different ways of conducting research. Why is feminist research important?

Research is necessarily conducted from a perspective. There is always an underlying value system. There’s a misconception that values only guide some forms of research, but that simply isn’t true. Feminist research is explicit about its human rights value system. We desperately need work that explicitly challenges systemic inequalities and feminism provides pathways.


When did you become interested in feminism?

I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t interested. I was aware of sexism from a young age and quickly became aware of other forms of bias and discrimination. I started pushing back in my own family from the time I was in kindergarten or first grade maybe. I firmly identified as feminist and was engaged in numerous kinds of activism by high school and those commitments have only grown. When you look back at my earliest works, the feminist messages are there, although hopefully I’ve learned a lot over the years and refined my thinking.


Did the current political/social landscape influence the writing of this book? 

Yes. We had signed the book contract years before the election but in the aftermath, things changed. I was deeply depressed after the election and needed to push the pause button. I couldn’t bring myself to write about feminism when it seemed like feminism had failed so egregiously. How so many white women voted as they did was just something I couldn’t get my head around. It was heartbreaking. Writing about feminism seemed ridiculous. So I asked my coauthor if we could take some time to regroup and thankfully she graciously agreed and so did our publisher. That time served us well. Although we had always been writing from an intersectional perspective, the fallout from the election showed us just how important that really was. It forced us to critique our own work and push ourselves further.


You coauthored a feminist research book more than a decade ago. What made you want to do another one?

This book was a do-over for me. I usually don’t like to say anything negative about previous work, but it’s no secret to anyone who follows my work that I wasn’t happy with the earlier coauthored feminist book I was involved with. I think it’s valuable to admit when we produce something that isn’t good enough and to acknowledge how we’ve learned from it. While I wasn’t the captain of that ship, there’s no shade here to my coauthor or publisher. Books are collaborative and so we were all responsible for the resulting book. When my coauthor wanted to do a second edition I declined to participate and negotiated my way out of my non-compete. While I didn’t have the time back then, I always wanted a shot at a do-over. This time around I’m extremely happy with the resulting book. I truly think we wrote a terrific, modern, and useful book and as always Guilford Press did an outstanding job with the production. Guilford also priced it affordably with students in mind which I appreciate.


You’ve published many sole-authored works in both nonfiction and fiction, but your first book publication was co-edited and now your 25th is coauthored. Was that intentional?

That’s interesting but no. I have multiple books in progress at any given time and can rarely plan which will come out first. This one just happened to be number 25 but it worked out well. Feminism has been in my heart since childhood. Also, I do know what my 26th book will be and it’s extremely special to me, and also a real departure. I think it worked out well that after this big milestone I’ll be going in a new direction.


Do you have plans to coauthor more books?

I never say never, but to be honest, I can’t envision coauthoring more books beyond new editions of existing ones. I’ve done it quite a bit of collaborating, and learned a lot from each of my collaborators, but I prefer sole-authoring. There was a reason to coauthor this new feminist book. I would not have done it myself. Anne Harris, my coauthor, has expertise I don’t have, and vice versa, so we brought different knowledge to the table and I think it’s a much stronger book than either of us could have done alone. For example, she’s terrific at researching and writing about theory and I’m not. But moving forward I want to focus on my own creative and scholarly work. I think the forms collaborations will take are in edited books or in my role as a book series editor, which are different ways to be collaborative, or coauthoring blogs or op-eds. There is one exception. There’s an author who also works with Guilford Press and if she ever wants to do a book together I’d agree in a heartbeat. We’ve mentioned it in passing on social media and she knows who she is. If it’s meant to be, we’ll make it happen.


Since this is your 25th book publication, we thought we’d ask you to reflect on your back catalogue, what you’ve learned about publishing, and your plans moving forward. Are you game?



What are your favorite books in your catalogue?

It’s so hard to pick favorites. Each work is such a part of who I am. It’s like asking someone to pick between their children. On top of that, I’ve coauthored and I’ve worked with different publishers so I don’t want to offend anyone. I can’t pick favorites but I can tell you some of the pivotal books in my catalogue. Method Meets Art was my first truly successful book in terms of both sales and reviews. It took my career to a different level. It was also the first time I completely trusted and followed my vision, so it was a turning point for me personally too. My first novel, Low-Fat Love, was also a career-turning point. It’s not my favorite of my novels, but it’s special because it introduced the idea of social fiction and it connected me with readers on deep levels, unlike anything I had experienced before. It struck a chord in a way I couldn’t have predicted. I still receive emotional emails from readers which is humbling. Finally, I would say The Oxford Handbook of Qualitative Research was a key publication for me. I had already worked with Oxford University Press for many years, but this was my first large-scale solo project. It helped me grow my relationship with Oxford, which is something that will be even more apparent in the coming years.


Many of your books are bestsellers for your publishers, with a couple of instant bestsellers as well, but do you have a book you think is underrated?

My co-authored book Low-Fat Love Stories never found an audience. We had amazing reviews, some of the best of my career, and it was such a lovely project that took us years, so it was disappointing. But it was a timing issue. The book came out right after the election. It was just impossible to promote. It was the wrong time. Sometimes there are things like this that you can’t control. That’s why it’s so important to build your own relationship with your work that isn’t based on sales status or reviews. If you’re beholden to those things as measure of worth, you’re heading down a rabbit hole. I’ve always hoped for a long career so I try to focus on the big picture.


If someone who isn’t familiar with your work wants to start reading, what book should they start with?

It depends what they’re interested in. Folks can always roam around my website to see what pops out to them. If I had to offer suggestions I would say Method Meets Art if they’re looking for nonfiction. I kind of consider that book the mothership of my career. It provides an overview of arts-based research which is my main area. If someone is looking for fiction, I recommend my novel, Blue. It’s fairly light and upbeat, and a quick read, although it deals with some substantive stuff. It celebrates the possibilities in each of us and the value of having people in our lives who get us. I’ve always loved it.


What was the hardest book to write?

There have been a few that were extremely challenging in different ways. I’ve had coauthored projects that were very difficult because of the nature of the working relationship.  I’m working on a large reference work right now and I’ve had authors drop out at the last minute and others very late with their contributions. To a certain extent you expect these things with large reference works, which is why you get paid well for them; you’re partly being paid to deal with the inevitable aggravation. But it’s still stressful. In terms of something I sole-authored, my book Research Design was challenging but in a good way. Typically research methods books cover two or three approaches to design. In this book I wanted to cover five. So there really weren’t templates I could look to for how to do this. I had to figure it out myself. I also had to psych myself up for it. It was such a big undertaking. I had to convince myself that I was up for it. My comfort zone is in qualitative and arts-based research but I had a solid background in the various approaches, more than some in my field may realize because I took at least five or six research methods courses, mostly quantitative, I specialized in methodology in grad school, I’ve conducted research with multiple approaches, and I taught qualitative and quantitative research methods just about every semester for over twelve years. But it was still such a daunting task that I had to get myself there mentally. I’m so glad I did because it’s now the book I’m most proud of. I see it as a meaningful contribution to research, both teaching and practice.


Research Design became an instant bestseller upon release. That must have made it worth it.

It’s a good lesson in pushing ourselves.


What was the easiest book to write?

The Handbook of Arts-Based Research. It’s a large edited volume so I didn’t write it per se, but as I just mentioned typically these large reference works are a bear. I’ve had them drag on for six years and there are endless managerial headaches. But with this book, it just came together because of the generosity of the contributors. The arts-based research community is filled with scholars who are not only deeply talented, but also generous and professional. They made this easy. I think it’s a stunning collection. Guilford also priced it much lower than most handbooks even though it’s over 700 large pages, beautifully produced, and includes art in various forms. I recommend it to anyone interested in art, creativity, or research. It’s even a good conversation starter on a coffee table.


In addition to your own books, you created and serve as editor for an astonishing seven book series for Oxford University Press and Brill/Sense. What was the motivation in developing those series?

Creating spaces for others is important to me, especially those that aren’t always heard. Each of the series is based on something I care about. I’m grateful to be a part of putting out so much solid work, books that influence others. Additionally, I didn’t want my livelihood to be dependent solely on my work as an author. That’s a slippery slope. While I’ve been pretty fortunate, there’s never any guarantee a book will sell well. I don’t want to make creative decisions based on financial motivations. I want to write what I feel I should write, regardless of sales because I’m contributing to the work on knowledge-building and following my artistic vision. So I decided to build a publishing business in partnership with existing publishers. As it turns out, I really love running this little business and it’s allowed me to cultivate different talents. I think of my career as three-pronged: scholarly work, artistic work, and a publishing business. There’s overlap but they are also distinct. I enjoy wearing different hats.


Is your role as series editor similar to your work as an author or are these different tasks?

It’s very different. You need a totally different skill set as a series editor. You need to understand marketing and business. I’ve seen some incredible scholars who I admire become series editors but they don’t always realize how much work it takes to do it well, so not all of them are able to produce successful books. I think it’s like anything else, you really need to learn about the job and the industry. It’s not enough to have an idea and sort of pick a few books and that’s it. I’ve learned that you need a carefully thought out vision for the series and each of the components in it. I’m invested in every aspect of my series from selecting titles to marketing copy to production and so on. Over the years I’ve developed extensive marketing lists in numerous fields, conducted market analysis, created ad copy, created email blasts, written back cover synopses, selected books for conferences, and so much more. It’s a major undertaking if you want to do it well. However, after years of attending to every detail, my series are well-oiled machines and I’ve recently turned over most of these tasks to the publishing teams. I’m now focusing more on the big picture vision of each series, how series relate to each other, selecting books, and “the look” of each series. I’m leaving the other details to the publishers which has freed up my time to focus on my own creative work and to develop new large-scale projects with my publishers.


Many book series fail but all of yours are thriving. One of your publishers has said you have a Midas touch. What do you attribute that too?

Honestly, it’s probably because I don’t think that way. I’ve always tried to focus on publishing what ought to be published, thinking about both the whole and the parts that comprise the whole. Some books have a big potential market while others have a much smaller potential market, but they may all be differently valuable. For example, a poetry book might be wonderful even though it’s likely to have a small readership. Or there could be a book about a relatively small community and thus it’s not likely to have wide readership, but it’s important to publish from a justice perspective. Being on the hunt for “big books” only is a fool’s errand. No one has a crystal ball and with that approach alone you won’t necessarily expand the field, which can also bring more attention to your line. And a book that doesn’t necessarily sell well, can nevertheless be invaluable to a series because it receives critical acclaim or engenders good will from readers. I look at my book series like a fashion show. You need some artistic, avant-garde pieces to push the bounds, but then you need your ready-to-wear collection that may have wider appeal.  For sports fans, it’s similar to the approach that you now often see in baseball, shown in the film Moneyball. I look at the big picture and how each book is a part of that.


What have you learned as a series editor?

I’ve developed a lot of empathy for my publishers. [Laughs] Until you’re on the other side, you just don’t know. I’ve spent years learning the business, which in truth I was doing long before the first series I edit was developed. I always wanted to understand the industry. Many authors don’t have the time or desire to do that, but for me it’s essential so that I can best support each of my published books. Once I became a series editor I was determined to learn as much as I could about production, marketing, sales, all of it.


What’s the biggest mistake prospective authors make?

Not following directions. It wastes people’s time and makes them question if they want to work with you.


What’s the biggest mistake signed authors make?

Not following directions. Sometimes my assistant has to email someone multiple times with the same information which is frustrating. Also excessive emailing. If my email or my assistant’s email is constantly tied up, especially with things that don’t involve us or it’s not our job to address, it can be frustrating. You always want to be kind to people but by the same token, you want people to be respectful of your time.


What’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made, professionally?

Working with the wrong people and sticking around past the point when I knew it wasn’t a good working relationship. Also not having clear, unapologetic boundaries. I do now and my life is better for it. I’m sure I’ve made other mistakes, but those stand out.


Academic writing tends to be full of critique. You’ve never written in that way. Was that an intentional choice?

Yes, I made a choice early on to try and make the sky bigger, not smaller. Although leveling critique is an accepted and common way to write and I would say “to be” in academia, I have no interest in going down that road. Even though some people are rewarded for this approach, and can even become academic stars, I actually think they make themselves smaller, not bigger. More importantly, they damage the fields they claim to care about. I look at my own field of arts-based research which is still struggling for space and legitimacy, which we can clearly see for example when we look at funding structures, and I can’t understand why some ABR authors position their own work by either critiquing or ignoring others in the field. It’s so damaging. In Method Meets Art I made a choice to acknowledge key work I was aware of and to focus on positive attributes of people’s work, including those who have ignored or critiqued my work. I always try to keep the growth and health of the field at the forefront. I think academia normalizes criticism and other negative, distracting ways of being. People who come from a mindset based on lack, a belief that if someone has something they can’t have it too, may be susceptible to this kind of academic writing and choose that path. But I believe in abundance and that there’s room for everyone. We need more voices, not fewer. We need to celebrate and elevate others in our professional communities. On a personal level, we only have so much time and energy and we have to think about how to use it and what kind of energy we want to put into the world. In my own life, I prioritize positive energy and joy.


There’s a social media aspect to this as well, right? I’m thinking of both how people critique others and also how you’ve used your platform to promote other authors’ books and events.

 I’ve gotten so much out of social media in terms of connecting with scholars, making friends, and sharing information about my work and the work of others. I genuinely love my Facebook community and they’re a big part of my life. But there’s another side too. We all know about the nasty side with trolls and hateful comments. But I think there’s something even more insidious. It’s about how others in your field respond or don’t respond to your posts and how you do the same. I’ve learned so much about people in my field from social media, by their support of my work and successes along the way, as well as their silence. When a colleague never reacts positively to a post about a new book or an award, things that are directly related to the field they’re in, that says a lot to me and I see who those people are. Their silence puts a spotlight on them. It makes me think they care more about their own name in the field or their book sales than the field itself. That’s disappointing. And there are clear patterns. You can see clearly who does this. Then there are those incredibly generous colleagues who always lend a kind word or show of support. To me it speaks to them as people but it also speaks to their commitment to the field. If we care about our work than we really need to lift everyone up who is doing it, everyone who is making gains, everyone who is creating momentum, everyone who is putting in the time and doing their best. We can’t just support those that we aren’t threatened by. And to me, that’s really what it is. It’s about royalty checks or leadership status in the field. Those things have nothing to do with knowledge advancement. And I often feel there’s some sexism and ageism in the mix too. So I’m happy to use my social media to congratulate colleagues and share info about events or publications they’re involved in, as well as promoting my own work and I’m truly grateful when they do the same.


You’ve even been known to give endorsements to competing books and to invite people critical of your work to contribute to your projects.

I’m deeply committed to advancing arts-based research and I’m happy to support others in the field. You can never go wrong putting out good energy or treating others with kindness, so I support my colleagues when I’m able to. There are times when someone asks a favor and there’s a non-compete issue or another conflict related to the work I do with various publishers, and I have to turn them down and hope they respect the reason why, but if someone is doing good work, I’m happy to lend a hand when I can.


What are you working on now? Earlier you mentioned book 26 is special and a departure for you.

I’ve finished a novel that’s unlike anything I’ve written before. The title is Spark and it’s sort of an adventure story set in Iceland, featuring international characters. I’m absolutely head over heels in love with it. I hope it gives readers a little inspiration. In some ways, it’s a novel about reigniting the spark of creativity and curiosity in each of us and how we might work together across differences. The most exciting part is that it’s being published by the trade department at Guilford Press and will also be sold in their academic, research methods line. They’ve never published fiction before so I’m honored they took a chance on Spark. The book is in production now and will be out by March 2019. It’s available for preorder on the Guilford website. I’m also well into writing a sequel to my novel, Blue. After tackling a challenging novel, this is a lot of fun because I know the genre well. It just flows. Revisiting these characters is like seeing old friends and staying up all night to catch up. I also have a special project with Brill/Sense relating to my fiction, meant as a gift to readers and something that completes a portion of my body of work, but we’re saving that as a surprise.




You left academia in 2012 to be an independent scholar. What’s the best part of being a full-time author?

Working on passion projects. Each day I wake up and follow my bliss. I love being able to choose what to devote my time to. It’s enabled me to take more risks. It’s an incredible privilege. Setting my own schedule and working in sweatpants is pretty great too. [Laughs] When I travel for professional events, it’s fun to get dressed up and be around so much energy because it’s in stark contrast to the rest of my life, which is quiet, private, and focused on writing. You have to be a bit of a loner, and I am. I’m happiest when I crawl into my writing hole and go on a creative journey. Working for yourself demands a lot of discipline though. I don’t set my alarm and I consistently make time for family life and friends, but I can create that balance because I also have a strong work ethic and I’ve developed good writing habits.


Can you share one of those habits?

Writing even when it’s hard. Pushing myself. It’s just a matter of discipline and putting in the time. I don’t wait for ideal conditions or a bolt of inspiration. I just sit down each day and put in the time.


You’ve worked with numerous publishers over your career. Would you ever consider self-publishing?

I’ve been fortunate to have my work funded and supported by excellent publishing teams. As long as publishers I respect are willing to support my projects, I don’t know that I’d self-publish. Good publishers add enormous value. But if my publishers weren’t interested in something I wanted to pursue, or there were creative differences, or business practices around digital publishing changed in certain perhaps foreseeable ways, than yeah, sure, I could see going rogue on a project by project basis. But if I were ever to do that, I’d assemble a team of freelancers with different expertise, so I would still be working with people with in the business.


What are your future plans?

In the short term, over the next couple years, I’m finishing the books I just mentioned as well as a large handbook on methods for public scholarship for Oxford University Press. I also have to promote those books which is time-consuming. After that, I hope to expand my business with Oxford which we’re in the process of discussing. I also hope to continue writing for Guilford and we’ve been talking about a couple of ideas. Beyond that I’ll follow my creative muse. I think she’ll lead me to more fiction. It’s really the most fun to write and it’s a nice contrast to the business side of my work as a series editor.


What keeps you going?

Curiosity. Whenever I’m working on one project I start learning new things and that propels me to the next project. I want to contribute as much as I can to our understanding of how to build and share knowledge. I also love the creative process more than anything. It gives me joy and a sense of purpose.


Your body of work is diverse to say the least, including research methods texts in multiple areas, women’s interest novels, edited volumes about gender, race, and privilege, and more. Are you able to sum up what your body of work is about in a couple of sentences, or is it simply comprised of disparate projects that interest you?

Oh I can sum up what everything in my portfolio is about in one word: possibilities. I write about possibilities. That’s the essence of everything I do.


You’ve been called a “visionary,” “renegade,” “pioneer,” and “trailblazer” numerous times, and you’ve received several national and international awards on that basis. Is it tough to be a trailblazer?

[Laughs]. Well, I’m certainly blushing. There are always challenges when you’re trying to do something new or innovative. When you push the boundaries, you have to expect pushback. I accept that. Like many artists, authors, and scholars, I’ve had many challenges and oodles of rejection along the way. But I also found my people, my community, and outstanding, supportive publishers. I find it’s best to keep my head down and focus on the work. As long as I’m working hard and doing work that I believe it, that engages me, I’m okay. The way I see it, it really isn’t my business what others think about my work and only time will tell anyway. I encourage anyone facing pushback in their work to remember that so much of what we admire in the arts and sciences was not appreciated or understood in its time. My personal goal is simply to enjoy my work-life and leave behind a catalogue I’m proud to have my name on.


Before I let you go, since the last time we spoke the State University of New York at New Paltz established an award in your name called “The Patricia Leavy Award for Art and Social Justice” which they will give annually. Congratulations! That’s impressive. What does it mean to you? And why did you subsequently take yourself out of the running for some of the major awards in your field?

Thank you. It’s incredibly humbling. It’s fitting you asked about this in an interview about my feminist book because I have to say, the moment of receiving the award was weighted with the knowledge that very few women in academia or in any sphere really have awards established in their names. Most academic awards are in the names of white men. So I felt overwhelmed with gratitude, not for myself, but as a representative of so many who were equally or more deserving but who never had that experience. Truly, it was humbling. In terms of what it means to me, I find it’s best not to get too caught up in external recognition like we spoke about before. But in the case of having my name on an award others will receive, I feel a sense of responsibility to keep doing the best work I can with integrity. That same value system and wanting to act with integrity is also what prompted me to pull myself permanently out of the running for some other career awards. As I said in my statement, I will always gratefully accept any book accolades I may be fortunate to receive because books represent the invisible and invaluable labor of many and I’m always glad to celebrate the hard work of my publishing teams. I’d also be grateful for any recognition of my work outside of my own research community, because I can use that recognition to promote the field of arts-based research. But career awards from the qualitative and arts-based community at this point would serve only me. No one needs to decorate their house with awards while others have bare walls. I’ve been very fortunate to be recognized for my work and I’m truly grateful for that. But many others ought to have their work honored. When I began receiving career awards I was able to use them to shine a light on the kind of work and the kinds of scholars who are often pushed into the margins. So the awards didn’t feel like they were about me because I could tie them to a larger purpose. I think many people who identify in some way as critical scholars feel this way if they receive a lot of recognition for their work, that it is for their community. But at some point the way we actually make space is not by shining our spotlight on others, but by getting off the stage so others can step into the spotlight.


Okay, that makes me think of one last question. You have a brilliant writing career and you’ve done so much. Can you ever see walking away and maybe doing something else or retiring early?

In the past I would have categorically said no. I used to think I would always do this. I still think I may, but I can also imagine another life. There’s no question that I’ll always write. I’m a writer to my core. I’ve been writing nearly daily since childhood, even when I had no intention of sharing my work. So I’ll always write whether or not it’s for an audience. But there are other things I enjoy and lives perhaps I could have lived. I’m on the board of directors of a nonprofit called Mental Fitness, Inc. I also support various charities and organizations that assist sexual assault survivors and my family started an allergy-friendly section for our local food pantry. I could see devoting more of my time to this kind of work. Then there are days when I watch the Food Network and marvel at how Giada plans dinner parties. Truly, she considers every detail so her guests have a wonderful time and I think to myself it might be nice to have more time to host friends but I’m always traveling for work or on book deadlines. But then I read or write something about knowledge-building, the arts, or the neuroscience of creativity and all of a sudden I want to write another book. So I might walk away someday, but I kind of doubt it. [Laughs]


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Contemporary Feminist Research at Guilford (automatic 15% off & free shipping in US/Canada):


Contemporary Feminist Research at Amazon:


Spark at Guilford (preorder with automatic 15% off & free shipping in US/Canada):


Research Design at Guilford (automatic 15% off & free shipping in US/Canada):


Method Meets Art at Guilford (automatic 15% off & free shipping in US/Canada):


Handbook of Arts-Based Research at Guilford (automatic 15% off & free shipping in US/Canada):


Blue at Amazon:


Low-Fat Love at Amazon:

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