I get a flattering number of letters. (And a sincere thank you to everyone who has ever taken the time to send me an e-mail.) Many are just nice acknowledgments of my work, and I never get tired of that. Many others are questions. Here are the questions I get most often.
How come you don't review [show name]?
I get this question all the time. There are two answers.
1. I have to be in love with a show in order to spend evenings and weekends writing about it. I write quickly, but it still takes a chunk of time and effort. I'd love to write episode reviews full-time, but...
2. Nobody pays me to do this. I have a family and friends and a full-time job, as well as two cats who unreasonably expect me to spend quality time with them. I've put up advertising on my site in hopes of eventually generating enough income so that I could stay home and write, but the return has been minimal so far.
If you would like to offer me a job writing about my favorite television shows, I'd love to hear from you. My email address is billiedoux at gmail dot com.
What's your real name, and what do you look like?
Billie Doux is my pen name. It's a take-off of the French expression "billet-doux," (pronounced bee-yay doo) which means "love letter." I don't use my real name because I would like to retain some privacy in this increasingly un-private world, and I haven't put up photos for the same reason. (The lovely cartoon of me was created by Dimitri A.C. Ly.) But if it helps any, I look exactly like Evangeline Lilly. Yes, I'm kidding. I'm not a hot young college girl; I'm over the hill and picking up speed. Nothing to see here. Move along. Seriously!
How popular is your site?
Not as popular as I'd like it to be (see paragraph above about my deep and unfulfilled desire to write full time), but we get over forty thousand visits a month, and it gets higher all the time. There are over four thousand reviews on douxreviews.com right now, can you believe it? It's like the geek television critic's version of War and Peace. If you'd like to advertise on my site and will give me cash for it, again, my address is billiedoux at gmail dot com.
The episode [blank] was on last night. So where's your review?
It usually takes me at least a day to finish a review, because I nearly always watch the episode a second time. Reviews are usually up in two calendar days. Three at the most. If I'm having a bad week, they're up by Sunday night.
Could you send me a copy of [something I've reviewed that's hard to find]?
I've gotten this question many times (mostly about Roy Dupuis' hard-to-find titles), and my answer is always the same. I'm really sorry, and I know how frustrating it is to want something you can't get, but I just don't have the time or the equipment to make copies of stuff for people. You might want to try posting boards, because other fans are in the same boat.
There was this song that was playing on the last episode of [show name]. Do you know what it is?
I was asked about Michelle Branch's "Goodbye to You" from the Buffy episode "Tabula Rasa" so many times that I knew the answer and could give it to people. But for the most part, even though I like music, I'm just not that familiar with music titles and artists. In order to answer your question, I'd have to do some research on the internet and get back to you. Please don't ask me to do research for you. :)
Who is Dan?
Not all of us are lucky enough to have someone in their lives that likes a lot of the same shows that they do. I've watched many of my favorite shows with Dan over the years. He's smart and observant, and often comes up with things that I put in my reviews, so I like to give him credit. And that's why I mention him. I'd rather not say more, for privacy reasons.
What's your favorite episode of [a specific show]?
This is sometimes difficult to answer because I don't always have one. But I've started compiling a list, and I'm even including favorites for shows I don't review.
Angel: Destiny, Smile Time
Babylon 5: Severed Dreams
Buffy: Fool for Love, Once More with Feeling
Dead Zone: Cabin Pressure, Deja Voodoo
Dexter: Shrink Wrap
Doctor Who: Human Nature/The Family of Blood, Blink
Firefly: Out of Gas, Shindig
Highlander: The Modern Prometheus, Comes a Horseman/Revelation 6:8
Nikita: Into the Looking Glass, Psychic Pilgrim
Six Feet Under: Everyone's Waiting
Star Trek: City on the Edge of Forever, The Doomsday Machine
Star Trek, The Next Generation: Best of Both Worlds, The Inner Light
Supernatural: Bad Day at Black Rock, In the Beginning, The Monster at the End of this Book, and I could keep going
Torchwood: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Fragments, Children of Earth
True Blood: Cold Ground, I Will Rise Up
Veronica Mars: Leave it to Beaver, Hot Dogs
How did you get started writing episode reviews?
I started writing brief Babylon 5 reviews for my wonderful friends on STWTTF (the Star Trek Women's Caramel Sauce Task Force discussion list) back in 1997. (Those reviews are now lost somewhere in the ether, or there would be a Babylon 5 section on this site.)
Right about the time Babylon 5 ended, I fell madly in love with Buffy the Vampire Slayer (it was the end of season two) and it seemed like a natural reviewing segue. Angel premiered a year later, and I started reviewing it, too. One day, while perusing a terrific Buffy/Angel site on the web, it occurred to me that I had all of these reviews only my friends had read, and the wonderful site I was looking at had none, and a light bulb went off in my head. I offered, and they took me on. (The site is no longer on the web, or I'd give you the link.) Awhile later, I found another web magazine and wrote for them. I was also a featured reviewer on TV Tome until it got bought out by TV.com. That's when I decided it was time for my own site.
I want to be a writer, too. How can I get started?
I honestly don't know what to tell you, because I sort of fell sideways into this. You could try taking writing classes, and entering writing contests. You could go to the library and look through journals intended to assist professional writers, too, to see where to start. Or look for the electronic equivalent on the internet.
I've gotten requests from writers who want to become part of the douxreviews.com writing staff. And I've written a response. I thought it would be easier to put it up instead of re-writing it every time someone asks.
Could I post your reviews on a board?
Yes, please. As long as you keep the review intact and put my name and a link to my web site at the end. And link to me as much as you want; I'd love it. However, you cannot post my review, or parts of my review, and say that it's yours. It's happened; people have written and told me about it. I've been plagiarized at least three times that I know of. Come on. Cheaters never prosper.
Can I send you spoilers?
Please don't. I avoid them, and prefer discussion lists and boards that don't have them. I honestly believe that spoilers... well, spoil things. I got deeply into spoilers once, during the sixth season of Buffy. I was so into it that I simply couldn't stop myself; I had to know what was going to happen. All of the major events in "Seeing Red" were ruined for me; there was no impact, because I knew what was coming. I stopped reading spoilers at that point, and the last minute of season six was an exceptionally pleasant surprise. This experience convinced me that spoilers are, at their core, evil. I also suspect they have a negative effect on my writing.
If you've gotten this far...
Yeah, I realized that I didn't really say much about myself, personally; this page is basically a FAQ. Let's see. I have a master's degree. I read a lot; when I was a teenager, nearly everything I read was science fiction, but I've branched out since then. My current favorite science fiction writer is John Varley. I've seen every episode of Star Trek in each of its incarnations (except the cartoon), and meeting Scott Bakula on the set of Star Trek: Enterprise was one of the high points of my life. I'm not into animation at all, which drives a certain person in my family nuts. And I'm a mom.