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Interview: Heather Dixon

So, if you’ve been following this blog for a while, you might remember me talking about Heather Dixon. She is the author of the YA historical fantasy novel ENTWINED, as well as the not-yet-released YA SteamPunk novel ILLUSIONARIUM. I contacted her…oh…a week ago? Week and a half? I asked her if I could interview her for my blog, and she agreed.

Yep. I really don’t know how to introduce an interview. Here it is:

Q. How long have you been writing?

A. I’ve always been writing–mostly non-traditional things, like comics, and choose-your-own-adventure stories, screenplays, and radio shows {I was obsessed with radio shows in high school…ha!  I was a weird kid.}  Professionally, I guess it’s nearing 8 or 9 years now.  I started writing Entwined in college.

Q.Have you always wanted to be an author, or did it just…happen?

A.Being an author wasn’t ever on my bucket list {though being a storyboard artist for Disney was}.  I just really enjoy creating story–so I guess the author thing ended up coming along with that.

Q. Are there any other authors you look up to?

A. Oh gosh.  Lots!  I think Gail Carson Levine and Martine Leavitt are both very classy ladies.  And Terry Pratchett has been a favorite of mine for years and years.

Q. What are your favorite and least favorite parts about writing?

A. Favorite parts:  Revising.  I love revising.  I love figuring out ways to fix the problems of the story; there’s a real high that comes with that.  It’s probably what being on drugs is like.

Least favorite parts:  The deadlines.  I’m not ever going to write a novel on a NY publishing deadline ever again.  It’s too big of a project to squash into those deadlines {esp. since it doesn’t pay enough to be a full-time job}, and I’m not real fond of nervous breakdowns.

Q.What has been your favorite character to write?

A. I really enjoyed writing Bramble and Lord Bertie from Entwined, and Lockwood from Illusionarium.  They are all pretty distinct characters.

Q. What’s your favorite novel? Or, if it’s too hard to narrow it down, what are a few of your favorites?

A. I’ve loved “Going Postal” by Terry Pratchett for a long time now.  I think that one is gold.  Anything by Roald Dahl and P.G. Wodehouse always gets on my favorites list.  And of course the Harry Potter series.

Q. How do you come up with your titles?

A. Illusionarium was one that had just come naturally along with the story.  Entwined used to be The Great Slipper Scandal, which I thought was a lot of fun–but the publisher didn’t think it would sell the book, so they had me change it.  It was my little sister–17 at the time–who came up with the title Entwined, which fit the story, since the princesses really do get themselves into some dark trouble.

Q. What’s one thing you wish you could be really good at (writing or otherwise)?

A.Well, writing, of course!  I could definitely improve there.  And drawing.  I’m working on getting better at those every day.  I also sometimes wish I wasn’t so shy.

Q. Do you have a special writing spot or do you write everywhere?

A. I do!  The train.  I commute about an hour to work and an hour back, and the train is a pretty good place to get that stuff done.  You’re trapped and surrounded by boring landscape.  You have to pay attention to the computer screen.  I can’t get anything done at home–too many distractions.

Q. What writing program do you use?

A. I just use Microsoft Word.  Pretty low-tech.

Q.What is one thing you wish you could change in an already finished novel?

A. The cover!  Lol.  Writing-wise, I just wish I could have made the thing a better story.  Lol Artist Problems.

Q. What’s your writing process? Do you outline and research a lot first or just kind of throw yourself into it?

A. Yes and yes.  I do a lot of researching, gathering references, collecting pictures on Pinterest, outlining.  Meanwhile, I’m drafting the story.  As I’m drafting the story and it becomes more developed, the plot and characters change, and I write new outlines and gather new pictures and the whole thing is an ugly snarl for several drafts, until the good stuff starts to come out.

Q. And, finally, if you could give one piece of advice to other writers, what would it be?

A. Becoming an author doesn’t suddenly make you good or bad–it just makes you more of what you are.  If you’re shy (like me) its going to make your REALLY shy.  If you are always reading reviews and looking up other author stats, it’ll really drive you bonkers when you become an author.  And if you’re angry about something, it will only get bigger and louder as an author.  But, if you focus on the important things and work to become the best person you can be, that will be amplified in all the best ways.

Thanks, Heather! You can find her blog and information about her books here.

Happy Wednesday,

Siggie

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One thought on “Interview: Heather Dixon

  1. This was incredibly awesome to read! LOVED THE QUESTIONS. And the train…such a good place to write, yes, no distractions. 😉 Sometimes I literally have to force myself not to wander off and just DO my writing. x) It’s awesome Heather uses Pinterest for plotting. So much win.
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

    Like

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