Rachael H Dixon lives in the northeast of England with her husband Derek and their furry, four-legged son Marvin. She's been writing pretty much ever since she could hold, albeit strangely, a pen, and her favourite subjects are anything to do with horror and/or the paranormal. Her love for the macabre stems from reading James Herbert novels and late nights spent watching black and white Vincent Price films as a young child.
She has a degree in Graphic Design, and when she's not busy writing and reading she enjoys drawing and painting. And, as with lots of other creative types, she loves a glass of red wine now and then.
To keep tabs on Rachael, go to one, or all, of the following:
General writing journal: http://www.rachaelhdixon.webs.com
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rachael-H-Dixon/125424854223752.
Official Slippery Souls website: http://www.slipperysouls.co.uk
Bio provided by author's site
It was our pleasure to get the opportunity to interview Rachael and learn how she came to writing about the horror genre. Vincent Price is was an influence in her writing in the macabre. Its nice to know Vincent Price is still influencing people! So get comfortable and please give a warm welcome to Rachael!
1. What makes for a good hook in your stories? Where does your inspiration come from?
The initial idea for Slippery Souls came from a dream I had. The two characters instantly struck a chord with me and I couldn’t get them out of my head for weeks on end - theirs was a story I felt that needed to be told.
I always knew that with Slippery Souls I wanted to write something quirky and upbeat – something that I would enjoy reading myself. And as for the fictional Sunray Bay itself, it was born from my love of the good old British seaside resort. I thought it was important, for me, to write about people and places that I could draw pleasure from - to maintain a level of interest and excitement.
2. Are you an organized writer? Do you do things like take notes and make lists of characters? Or do you free write and work it out as you go?
I tend to begin with my characters, so I always have character biographies drafted out and to hand. As for the storyline, with Slippery Souls I tried to plan it out as best I could, though sometimes the characters drove me to deviate sometimes.
With the sequel, The Forgotten Ones, I’m going to try doing it differently, I’ll just let the characters drive me from the beginning – and I’m hoping they’ll guide me right. I’m still experimenting and finding my feet at the moment, so it’ll be interesting to see which method works best for me. I’ll let you know as soon as The Forgotten Ones is finished!
3. What is your normal writing day like? Do you write when you are inspired or do you have a schedule?
I work at my dining room table – and I work every day from about 8am until whenever I’m too exhausted to write any more – often around 10pm.
I have coursework to complete and other writing projects on the go. I like to target the short story market now and then and I’m also working on three other novels - which are all at varying stages. I’m a bit of a juggler, and I try to work to a timetable – which isn’t always possible, but it keeps my head a bit tidier.
4. Who is your favorite author and how did they inspire you to write?
It’s a tough question, but if I had to whittle it down I’d say my favourite author is James Herbert – I was introduced to his books at a very early age. Fluke was the first of his books that I read, and I was absolutely hooked. I much prefer his darker books, but Fluke was a good starting point. I remember thinking that I wanted to be like James Herbert when I grew up (a writer, that is, not a man!)
5. It’s easy to see that you have a passion for writing but is there any part of it you don’t like?
Oh definitely. I hate editing over and over and over again - but it’s brilliant when you get to the stage where you can finally say enough is enough.
6. Do you make time to read and if you do what are you reading right now?
Absolutely, it’s essential to make time to read when you’re a writer. I try to read widely. Other peoples work is often inspirational, and if I ever feel like I’m in a rut with my own writing, reading a book can help kick-start me.
I’m a bit of a juggler with reading as well. At the moment I’ve just finished reading The Book With No Name by Anonymous – which was hilariously good fun! And I’m reading a couple of pieces by fellow indie writers, as well as trying to catch up on two months’ worth of Writing Magazine.
7. How did you get started on writing urban fantasy? Is there personal life experience in the writing?
I think Slippery Souls essentially came about because of my love for vampires and werewolves. It’s located at the seaside though, so I’m not sure it can be classed as straight-forward urban fantasy (which is why I tag-lined it urban fantasy…by the seaside) - which hopefully reflects that it’s a not-too-serious kind of book.
As for life experience, hmmm, I suppose there are elements of life experience in most of my stories, to a degree – though admittedly not when it comes to talking-dogs and monsters.
8. Your books have been published with Amazon.com and Kindle Direct Publishing, Does this mean you see the publishing industry headed this way?
Amazon has certainly been a great foothold for indie writers. The world of publishing is extremely exciting at the moment - I’m not sure how things will pan out, but all I can say is that I’m pleased to be part of it right now.
9. Do you have any online sites where others can read more of your writings?
Yes, there’s a sample from Slippery Souls (as well as competitions and news) on the official Slippery Souls websitewww.slipperysouls.co.uk. And I also have a general writing websitewww.rachaelhdixon.webs.com where you can view my short stories, poems and news.
10. Do you have any more stories in the works? What kinds of stories do you plan to write next?
I’m currently working on The Forgotten Ones, which is the sequel to Slippery Souls.
I also have a women’s fiction novel, called Monday, in its first draft form. And I’ve got some ideas and notes written down for a horror novel - in the future, I can definitely see myself writing more in the way of dark chillers.
11. Who would be your first choice to play Libby from your book "Slippery Souls"?
Hmmm I’m not sure really. In my mind I perhaps imagine her as a younger version of Isla Fisher – Libby is in her early twenties and she’s a pretty red-head.
As for Grim, I definitely imagined he would be Jason Statham!
12. If you could meet anyone from any time who would it be and what would be your first question?
I’d love to meet James Herbert and I’d ask him if he fancied a few beers. It’d be great to while away an afternoon in the pub chatting to him about the makings of a bloody good horror story.