I am Author, N.B. Dixon and I reside in Fleet, UK. My parents gave me books as soon as I was old enough to hold them. In spite of the fact that I was born blind, they didn’t see why I shouldn’t develop a love of literature.
They read to me as much as possible, and when I grew older, they gave me audiobooks. Even today, audiobooks remain my chief way of enjoying a novel. I fell in love with the Robin Hood legend as a child. I have a deep love for medieval history, fantasy, and folklore.
Even as an adult, the legend of Robin Hood continues to exert a deep fascination over me. It was for this reason that I decided to do my own take on the story, and so the Outlaw’s Legacy series was born. I was lucky enough to find a publisher in 2016, and the first book in the series, Heir of Locksley, was released that same year. The sequel, Knight of Sherwood, was released the following year. The series will consist of five books in total and I hope that by the end readers will come to love the story of Robin Hood as much as I do.
What inspires you to write?
I’ve made up stories ever since I was a little girl. I used to take my favorite characters from books or TV shows and continue their stories. At school, I was always happiest when my English teacher told me I could make up a story on a certain subject.
I’m not sure how good they were, but I thoroughly enjoyed trying and I used to read out my efforts proudly in class. It was inevitable that I should turn my attention to writing seriously when I was an adult. I attempted several stories and several genres before finally settling on historical fiction. I find the past a good deal more interesting than the present, so historical fiction is the obvious choice. I particularly enjoy legends, which was what inspired me to write the Outlaw’s Legacy series.
Tell us about your writing process.
I always have a plan in my head before I start. I make basic notes, which I enlarge on as I go along. More often than not the story I right may turn out very differently to the one I planned, but I like to have the notes as a guideline. I always think it’s important to know the end of the story before you begin as it gives you something to work towards.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Characters often dictate the way a story is going to turn out. Many are by the time I have been taken down a different path than the one I originally envisioned.
Sometimes my characters turn out quite differently to how they appeared when I first thought them up. I always tend to follow wherever they choose to lead me, even if it means reworking the story to fit around them. I enjoy the intricates of a plot and characters.
Who are your favorite authors?
A difficult question to answer as there are so many. I love JK Rowling because she proved once and for all how easy it is to become lost in a world of imagination and make-believe.
For a great detective story, you can’t beat Sherlock Holmes. For a fantastic historical adventure with lashings of romance, my pick is Elizabeth Chadwick, she is the best. For a deep and thought-provoking read, Philip Pullman is my recommendation. I could go on! Lol.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Very good question as it can be a difficult task.
I’ve tried my hand at both working with a publisher and self-publishing. In the end, for me, it was a simple decision. Being blind, there are certain things I would struggle to do on my own. It’s true that when you self-publish a book you can do it for free.
You can create your own cover or pay for someone to do it for you. You can edit your work or pay for an editor. The choices are all up to you. The rights are also completely your own.
However, if you have no site, you can’t make a cover for yourself. If money is at a premium, then you can’t always afford to pay a cover designer. I use two pieces of software when I write a book. One is voice recognition, allowing me to speak the words into a headset so that they appear on my computer screen. The other is a software that reads back what I’ve written. But there are certain mistakes it won’t highlight, such as context errors. Some editing is purely visual, and again, if you don’t have the money to pay for a professional edit, that leaves you stuck. So I opted to find a publisher.
The main drawback to this is that the rights are often split, as are the royalties. However, I struck lucky. I was taken on by Beaten Track Publishing. Rights and control of my books remain my own, it’s only the royalties that are split and the split is 50-50.
As it is a small company, I have an extremely understanding editor. She is able to help me with any visual errors that my software may have missed, as well as giving me advice on cover design and putting me in touch with the appropriate people.
It’s a unique situation, and I would recommend that people always do what’s best for them. If you want complete control and you feel confident about your editing and cover designing skills, then go ahead and self-publish. If you would prefer a more professional approach, then consider a publisher. Self-publishing is a growing trend and a respected way of publishing a book. It can no longer be ignored. Do what’s right for you.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Authors and writers have more freedom when it cmes to publishing options instead of the few big traditional firms. Gone are the days when publishers will have it all their own way. Many authors don’t like to be dictated to, and so they would rather go it alone. Publishers are going to need to take that into account, and perhaps come up with more inventive ways to encourage authors to use them. They may need to be less rigid in their policies.
Thanks to the digital e-book, things like print runs no longer need to be a publisher’s only concern. Often a publisher would only take a book if they thought it would sell. Print books tend to have a brief shelf life before the next big seller takes their place. E-books are immortal. They will always be available for the next reader who chances to discover them.
What genres do you write?
Historical Fiction, Mature Fairy Tale, Folklore, Adventure, Action
What formats are your books in?
All information is provided by the author and is presented as it was submitted so you the reader get to hear the author’s own “voice” in their interview.