Hello, everyone! Today we’ll be looking into the soul of C.B. Dixon. She’s a great friend of mine and I can’t wait to see what she’s got to say! Let’s take a look.
Wicked Soul Ascension is C.B. Dixon’s first book published. She grew up with her husband in the small town of Leduc, Alberta Canada. C.B. Dixon is currently working on Book Two of The Ascension Trilogy, Mortal Soul Ascension. C.B. plunges into nightmares to bring out heart pumping adventures.
Facebook: Author Page
- What is your earliest memory of writing an original story?
It would have to be when I was eleven. I still have the short story I wrote, and I plan to make it into a novel one day. With that being said… the rest is a secret. I’ve known since I was seven that creating stories was what I wanted to do when I was ‘old’.
So old, like twenty, right? That’s how little kids think!
- What authors inspire you?
Recently it was Ransom Riggs with his Home for Peculiar Children series. I like to forget that he made it into a movie… due to how much I loved the uniqueness of his books.
- Where do you get your inspiration from?
I get inspiration from wandering around where the people are and from the secluded forest outside my backdoor.
*Thinks of Little Mermaid* I want to be where the people are… I want to see, want to see ’em dancing!
- How do you build your characters?
I write them until their personalities solidify. With my newest book that is to be released, Mortal Soul Ascension, I had a character piss me off so bad that I had to go walk the beach for the rest of the day. The characters take on a life of their own and there’s no way to remove their traits without making them sound like robots. I had to rewrite this character’s story due to who ‘the character’ wanted to be…
It’s so interesting how writing works that way. How much control do we really have over our stories?
- Do you have pre-writing routines?
I get my coffee and my bagel, check my social media and then put on my writer’s hat to zone into my work.
How long does it take for the coffee hat to start working? haha
- What do you do to take a break from writing?
I go camping, fishing, or hiking. People that have followed me on Instagram have found that I also love taking pictures of mushrooms…strange fascination, but the little devils are so cute.
- When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I was seven when I found out that people wrote stories. It was grade two when we first learnt to put words together to make up stories. After that, I was hooked. I remember asking my teacher, “People can see what I see? With words?” I had always lived in my own little world. I’d get into trouble for day dreaming all the time, and my teacher gave me the perfect excuse. “I’m writing a story. Not daydreaming.”
Teachers like that are the best!
- What’s your favourite point of view to write in?
I like to write in the first person’s view. It’s easy to write it because that’s how I see the characters in my head. I normally see the story through the main characters eyes.
I think that’s my favourite too.
- How do you outline your stories?
I’ve tried for years to outline my stories. I end up wasting months if I do. I have now come to realize that I outline my story by writing a whole first draft. This introduces the characters and the story to me. After that, I read it, scrap it, and then rewrite it without looking back. All the good stuff stays, and all the crap gets left behind.
Sounds like a lot of extra work, but I guess everyone has something different that works for them.
- What genre do you write and read in?
Dark Paranormal Fiction. I love writing darker stories. Twisted tales of magic and chaos. I live a happy little life with my husband and three kitties. I crave a great horror story that will wake me in the night. I haven’t been able to find one that has left me with my heart pounding. I am open to suggestions! I don’t think my writing is quite horror since I don’t find it scary. I’m working towards it. My goal is to master the horror genre.
Have you read many Stephen King novels? He writes a lot of weird/creepy stuff. Don’t think he’s quite classified as horror though haha
- What writing advice would you give to your past self?
Don’t stop telling the ghost stories around the campfire. People remember those camping trips because of you. Your stories will shine if you keep with it.
Side note: I developed this public speaking fear. After that my fire pit stories came to an end…I wish I would have pushed through it.
It’s never too late to try again!
- What piece of advice do you commonly give, but have trouble following yourself?
Trust your gut!
I should have trusted my gut about the book distributor I chose. My book paid the ultimate price. On the plus side, my gut loved my editor Ann Westlake. Holy flying cow shit! Without her, the distributor I talked about would have murdered my baby! She really was amazing. I really should listen to it more…
I think that’s good advice for just about anything in life!
- What does your work environment look like?
…Starbucks. Total cliché I know, but the coffee is always hot. At home my coffee always get cold because I get engulfed by the world of my story. I need coffee!
I may just be the only writer in the world that does not like coffee…
- What time of day are you most productive?
I feel that I am most productive when the husband and the kitties aren’t around. They can be most distracting with their adorableness.
Have you ever had to kick them out of the house??
- How do you motivate yourself to write when you’d rather not write at all?
I take pictures of mushrooms. If you pop on to my Instagram @c.b.dixon you will see all the pictures that I’ve taken while looking for them. I feel much better after the fresh air. When I have to get right to writing, and I am unable to escape to the outdoors, I rest my fingers on the keyboard. I type slow and poor sentences until my brain takes off. There are always months of revisions after the draft has been completed. The story won’t write it’s self.
- What would you do if you weren’t a writer?
I’d be an astronaut. Explore the depths of space in my tiny tin can. I’d love to live on the moon. It’s my biggest dream other than being a writer.
We might be able to live on Mars one day. You’ll have to settle for that.
- What is your favourite setting for a story?
A world of my own. I loved when I created Sin and the Void in Wicked Soul Ascension. Sitting in the coffee shop when I wrote those scenes was amusing. Here I am in the middle of a massacre while people smile at me.
- What type of person is your main character (on average)?
I have only written the first book to The Ascension Trilogy, Wicked Soul Ascension. I am unsure of this question so far. At the moment, my main character is confused, stressed, and depressed. Blaze has more weight on her shoulders than any 18-year-old should. The bravery she sees within her friends gives her the strength she needs to overcome the obstacles in her path.
- Quick! Write a paragraph with this prompt: “the darkness rose through the sky.”
Ell emerged from the depths of the cavern with a blade saturated in black blood. Emell told her that the death of the creature would sustain life for the next millennia. He promised her. Her heart constricted as the darkness rose through the sky. What have I done?
- Have you ever taught someone how to write?
I have not. I don’t think I know enough about writing to properly teach someone. I do offer advice from experience.
- Tell a story about your greatest writing failure.
My biggest writing failure is not reading enough as a child, teen, and young adult. When I was younger I thought I would write better if I didn’t read. I didn’t want to copy anyone’s story. That idea was the biggest mistake of my writing career. I can’t get that time back, but I can learn from it.
The thing people seem to confuse is inspiration with plagiarism. You can find ideas anywhere, and you’re the only one that can tell your side of the story.
- Tell a story about your greatest writing success.
My greatest writing success was this little letter I had written to my steering wheel. I was out for a lovely drive with no place to be. Me and my car on a cruise down the open road. My playlist was attached to the car through blue tooth to play all the songs I loved to sing. A Guns and Roses song that had come on, and I love to try to sing like Axl Rose. I noticed my steering wheel had to hear all that awful noise I was making. The more I thought about what my steering wheel and I had gone through together, the more I felt sorry for the damn thing. So I wrote it a letter on my blog. The letter got more hits than any other post on my blog. People would message me telling me all about the things their steering wheel had heard and seen. I never thought a small little letter would spark that much attention.
I moved it to this blog when I deleted my old one. Here’s the link if you would like to take a peek at it. This is from the earlier days of my writing.
That’s awesome! Everyone should read that.
- How do you work through your rough writing days?
Pots and pots of coffee. Three or four bags of chips; dill pickle, salt and vinegar, and barbecue. On rough days I don’t go to my coffee shop so I can stay in my pyjamas. When I break my routine to have a more relaxed writing day with my kitties I seem to get more done than I do my regular day.
- How many drafts does it take to get you to the final product?
It takes as many as the book needs. Right now Mortal Soul Ascension is on draft four. Wicked Soul Ascension took six. I love how smooth the story comes when I do a full rewrite. The world becomes more crisp with every draft.
- Who is a part of your core writing team?
My husband. He gives me the time I need to get my writing done. Mark is right at my side when my characters piss me off. There are times I need to bounce ideas off someone, and he’s always there to listen. I’d be lost without him.
Aww, so sweet!
- Do you prefer self-publishing or the traditional way?
I can’t really say which one I prefer more. I have only done self-publishing. I hope with my next series to try the traditional publishing way. I think it will be good to try both. I love to try new things.
- What advice can you give aspiring authors?
Write like you’re the only one going to read it. There’s always time to revise your manuscript later. Get it written.
- What is your most prized piece of work?
There’s this story I wrote in grade six. I don’t know where my head was at when I was eleven, this story was beyond what I should have been able to write. I’m holding on to it in a deep dark place. One day, when my writing has improved, I will turn it into a novel. Maybe a series.
- Aside from writing, what’s your favourite part about the whole process of publishing a book?
My favourite part of publishing a book is the polish. It is the best learning experience I have come across. When the beta readers, editor, and whoever else gets to read your rough script. They breathe life into your strengths and weaknesses. There are things that I would have never learned about my writing without them. I feel my team makes me a better writer.
- What character, that you created, would you want to be your best friend?
I would love Hope from Wicked Soul Ascension to be my best friend. Her loyalty and attitude would make everyday exciting. Plus, she has powerful magic that she might be able to teach me how to use.
- What world that you created would you want to live in?
This is a tough one. I have only created my vision of Hell. And I don’t feel like living in Sin. As awesome as it is. Fearing for my life every second doesn’t sound like living. If I had to choose where in Sin to live it would be in the Crystallized Cave. That place has always held a special place in my heart. Those poor souls…
- How do you encourage yourself to keep going when you have doubts about your skills?
I remember how refreshed I feel after writing. That makes it all worth it.
- How did you feel when you first published any piece of work (novel, essay, short story, etc.)?
It felt like I took my brain out of my skull and neatly laid it out for all to criticize. I was terrified. Not only could people see what I looked like…people could see inside my head. It’s pretty messy inside there.
- What is your favourite quote from one of your stories?
I loved it and hated it. Wanted it and didn’t. No matter how I felt about the book, I needed to touch it, feel it, be with it always.
- What is your favourite book of all time?
Narnia by C.S. Lewis. I’ve read The Magician’s Nephew more than any of the other stories with in the book. It’s my favourite story inside a book.
- Which author do you want to give a special shout out to?
Does Kirsten McNeil count? Congratulations on your first publication! Woot-Woot!
You’re the best! Thanks!
I would love to give a shout out to Shari Green and Kolleen Fraser. They have been with me before Wicked Soul Ascension became published. They gave me such great support! Thank you both so much. I was beyond panic as that publish date crept closer and closer. They helped me keep my head cool!
- Do you think you’ll want to keep writing even after you’ve retired?
I’m sure I will be a writer until I die. Some people paint, others work on cars. Everyone has at least one thing that makes them feel great after. Writing is my release. All of my happiness, frustrations, tears, anger, laughs, all of the emotions I feel day to day pours into my writing. This is how I let it all out. It’s what works for me. My mind will always be creating a story, even if I can no longer type or hold a pen.
- What’s your favourite book to movie adaptation?
Lord of the Rings. Those were hard books to fit into a movie. I think the team did a great job filling impossible shoes.
- What actor(s)/actress(es) would you want to play you in the story of your life?
Courtney Cox; when she played Monica on friends she was just like me. I see a lot of similarities between Monica and I. I think Courtney would play a great me.
Maybe you should be a chef when you can’t write anymore!
- What project are you currently working on?
I am currently working on book two of The Ascension Trilogy, Mortal Soul Ascension. This book is based in the modern world where Blaze encounters the paranormal dangers of the Earthly Realm. That’s all I will say for now since the manuscript is still fresh. Anything could happen to the story at this time.
Thank you, Kirsten, for the taking time to do this interview. I wish you all the best with your novel! I had to think about these questions. When I had to pick an actress to play the role of me was the most challenging. I had never considered that before.
Thanks so much to C.B. Dixon and all the other authors that have been involved in this! Keep an eye out for my post this Friday where I’ll have yet another awesome author to interview!
If you have any ideas on what I should write about in my next post, head to the Suggestion Box. I’d love to hear from you.
STRENGTH FROM WITHIN, MY DEBUT NOVEL, IS AVAILABLE NOW IN KINDLE STORES AROUND THE WORLD.
Here’s a couple links to help you find it:
If you need help finding it for your country, let me know and I might have a link. Thanks so much! See you next time 🙂
Photo Cred: Stock Snap