Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Author Spotlight - Nell Dixon

Nell is our first 'returnee' to the Minxes' Spotlight. Last time she spoke about her novel Making Waves, and this time round she's celebrating her latest release: Dangerous to Know.

Dangerous to Know
Jerome Mayer is tall, dark and dangerous to know. Normally Gemma would run a mile, but with a freshly broken heart maybe it’s time for this good girl to take a walk on the wild side. However the danger to them both turns out to be more than just emotional when someone objects to their attempts to uncover a corrupt land deal.

What is your writing process?
I try and set myself weekly goals eg so many words or chapters written pre week. I keep track of my progress on a white board in my office so I can make sure I meet my deadlines.

Everyone who writes knows it's not easy - what methods do you use to keep at it on days when it would be so much easier to go shoe shopping?
I write in little bits. On really sticky days I'll do 100 words, play a game of bejewelled blitz, write another hundred, go on Twitter and so on until I've reached a point where I feel I can leave the story till the next day.

Keeping fit: Do you have an exercise regime to counterbalance all those hours sitting at a computer?
My dh, Mr Nell, bought us a Wii fit a few weeks ago. Now I do twenty minutes a day of yoga and I've lost 7lbs already. Sadly, I have a long way to go!

Do you believe in writer's block?
I think for some people it's very real. I'm fortunate in that it isn't something I've encountered but there are times in every writers life when you struggle to write romance, or feel good stories.

Have you ever used an incident from real life in a book? If so, did it get you into trouble?
Real life is so strange no one would believe me if I put half the things that have happened to me in a book. I could tell you some of my nursing stories - mmm, but then again, I definitely would get into trouble!

In what way is being a published writer different to how you thought it would be?
I didn't realise I would have to learn so many new skills, especially using social marketing and media. Technology has grown and changed so fast in the time I've been writing.

Promotion is no longer a dirty word. In what ways do you strive to reach more readers?
I blog, facebook - which I love, and tweet - which I'm not so good at. I hold regular cyber and real life events and often work jointly with my friends and fellow authors, Elizabeth Hanbury and Phillipa Ashley.

What is your top promo tip for other authors?
Be yourself. Do what feels right and comfortable for you.

What did you learn while writing this book?
I learned, or rather remembered, how much I enjoyed writing novellas.

What was the most fun part of writing this book?
I love the hero of this book and the Lake District setting. He's not a conventional hero and my heroine is so determined to be brave and adventurous.

And just for fun: what would your hero’s honeymoon destination of choice be?
Jerome, my hero, would probably choose a safari of some kind out in the Australian Outback or the plains of Africa.

Dangerous to Know is available from Amazon and Amazon UK, or direct from the publisher, Astraea Press.

And coming soon from Myrmidon Press - Nell's Renovation, Renovation, Renovation: Past and Present touch when renovating an ancient cottage uncovers more than just dry rot.

You can read more about Nell and her books at her website:, or follow her on Twitter.


Phillipa said...

What a fab interview with my Coffee Crew buddy, Nell - what she hasn't told you is that is she is a superb and inspirational mentor, always ready with practical advice on books and career. Liz and I think she would make a great agent. :) And DTK is a lovely read, with a gorgeous hero and setting.

Catherine Coles said...

I love the setting and simply the fact your hero would honeymoon somewhere a little wild and unspoiled makes me love him already :-]

I love Wii Fit, too, or at least I did until we broke it. Long story!!

Teresa Ashby said...

Great interview! The book looks brilliant. I love that you write in little bits - I do too! Now I'm off to Amazon :-)

Suzanne Ross Jones said...

Terrific answers, Nell. Thank you for popping by today.

My 14-year-old has a WiiFit gathering dust, you've inspired me to have a go.

Kat said...

Thanks for being minxy today Nell, great interview. I'm glad someone else feels that bejewelled blitz is a legit part of the writing day! I adore the Lakes so am sur i'm going to love the book.

Sally Clements said...

I like the be yourself advice, Nell. It's always so difficult to do promotion, and yours is good advice! Also very interested to hear of your success with the wii...might get wii fit, I sure could use it!

Lacey Devlin said...

Great interview, Nell. I love that on the bad days you write 100 words and then play agame of bejewelled blitz to get you through.

Nell Dixon said...

Thank you so much for having me and who knew my bad habit of bejewelled would strike a chord with so many of you :)