How do you balance your time?
To be honest, I didn’t for a long time. I put the thesis on hold for four months while I worked on Death of The Outsider. At first I tried to balance it, but switching between creative and academic writing was too difficult, and I had to change tactics. So when my contract period with Arkane was finished, I went back to my PhD. Right now I have a couple of other pieces on as well, and for my handful of other, non-thesis projects, try to set a designated day and get as much done as possible. Then I go right back into the thesis for the rest of the week.
What or who inspires your work?
I have to say Virginia Woolf and Angela Carter here. You don’t read and write on two authors for four years without being influenced by them creatively. But I have academic inspirations too: Tammy Clewell, Carolyn Walker Bynum, Rachel Bowlby, and Patricia Waugh (my supervisor) have all inspired me with their clear writing, academic rigor, and high level of research. They all remind me why I pursued a PhD in the first place.
I also take inspiration from video games. Life is Strange, Oxenfree, Inside, Bloodborne, and Dishonored all possess wonderful storytelling and compelling themes. I think these games are wonderful examples of what video game narratives can be.
(I should mention, as well, that in advance of writing for Death of the Outsider I reread pieces of the Gormenghast series by Mervyn Peake in anticipation. His prose definitely inspired me for some of the writing I did for Arkane.)