Photo shoot 003 (2)This week on Author on the Couch,

I conduct a session with

Nan Dixon.

GIVEAWAY! 

Nan is giving away a copy of A SAVANNAH CHRISTMAS WISH to one random person who comments on this blog!

Me: Tell me about an experience that had a profound impact on your life.

Nan: My brother committed suicide when he was 38. He hid his depression too well, being the consummate salesman. His death was a catalyst to my father’s heart attack six months later and then my mother succumbing to her cancer thirteen months later. (That’s 43% of my family gone in 20 months.) Luckily my remaining three sisters and I have stayed very close.

Me: So often people who commit suicide are not thinking–or capable of thinking–about the devastation their action causes to others. It’s a sad situation for everyone.

What personality trait of yours helps you most as an author?

Nan: Optimism. There are so many rejections in this business. When I submitted to contests, agents and editors, if I got a bad score or a rejections, I would give myself twenty-four hours to grieve. Then I would move on to the next submission or book.

Me: What personality trait of yours hinders you most as an author?

Nan: Self-doubt. My previous career was as a financial executive. Most days, there were right and wrong answers. I used my creativity to think outside of the box and problem solve, always with the ability to bounce ideas off my team.   Now, I pour my heart and angst into a book, spending months drafting and revising. Alone. I do have a critique group, but since I am now on deadline, they can’t get through my books fast enough. By the time I’m through with a book, I have no clue if the writing is any good.

Me: Self doubt is a dominant theme among my Authors on the Couch. I too suffer with it.

What was your high point as a writer—a time when you were happiest, on cloud nine, flying high?

Nan: The day my agent, Laura Bradford called to tell me I’d sold SOUTHERN COMFORTS. I’d talked to my pregnant daughter that morning because she’d been in the ER the night before. (If you check out my Facebook page, this is Fluffy Top’s Mom.) I slipped the phone in my robe pocket where it stayed most of the day. It was also during the Heartbreak virus, so I had my internet shut off. I worked until almost four before deciding I really needed to find my phone. Laura had been trying to get hold of me half the day! Phone, email, she’d even hinted on Twitter.

Me: What a fun story to be able to tell–missing the call, the email, the tweet…

What was your low point as a writer—a time when questioned your path as a writer, a time when you felt really crappy about your writing?

Nan: I was a 2011 Golden Heart finalist (SOUTHERN COMFORTS). The manuscript had gotten some interest from agents. One agent asked for an exclusive. Since it was so near RWA, I agreed. The exclusive expired without me hearing from the agent.

Disappointed, I sent out more queries. I ran into the agent who had asked for the exclusive at a party during RWA. We got to talking, she was saying all the right things about my writing and my career and she made a verbal offer of representation. I was ecstatic.

Two weeks later, the agent sent me a letter, rescinding the offer. When she’d made the verbal offer, she hadn’t finished the book.

I was devastated. I couldn’t tell anyone about this … disgrace … for almost two weeks. I did get a call from Laura Bradford during that time, rejecting the same manuscript, but telling me she wanted me to keep submitting to her. That call gave me the boost I needed to keep writing.

Me: Being a mental health counselor I’m curious… If you had to pick a mental disorder to have for only one day (purely for writer research purposes), which one would you choose? Why?

Nan: I would pick dyslexia. Nathan, the hero of my current work in process, is dyslexic. He believes his flaw makes him stupid. I cannot imagine my brain being wired so differently that I couldn’t interpret written or spoken language easily.

Me: How many books have you written? How long does it typically take you to write a book? What’s the most painful part of the writing process for you?

A Savannah Christmas Wish -- CoverNan: I’m pretty sure I have written 14 books. Why am I in doubt? Because the first books I wrote are backed up on hard diskettes!

Now that I write on contract, my process is becoming more streamlined. I allowed 5 months between books, but those five months included six to seven weeks of work on A SAVANNAH CHRISTMAS WISH. (I have spreadsheets that I use to track each step.) Drafting the book is the hardest steps in my process. But once I have something written, I can start to shape the story and figure out what stays and what goes. In SOUTHERN COMFORTS I cut a wedding, which I loved. Now it’s appearing in A SAVANNAH CHRISTMAS WISH from Bess and Daniel’s points of view.

Me: If you could have dinner with any famous author who would it be? Why?

Nan: Oh my–Rudyard Kipling because my grandfather was in the British cavalry in WWI stationed in India. He fell in love with the country. When my grandparents came and lived with us for a little over a year, he always recited or read his work to us. Grandpa Crapper even taught my five-year-old sister to recite the entire Gunga Din. (Yes – my mother’s maiden name was Crapper. That a whole ‘nother story!)

Me: Tell me about your book A SAVANNAH CHRISTMAS WISH

Nan:

A relationship in need of renovation 

 

Bess Fitzgerald is thrilled to be overseeing the expansion of her family’s B and B. Working with Daniel Forester, not so much. After one wild night, they agreed to stay out of each other’s lives. The attraction still sizzles between them now, but Daniel’s need to be in control and Bess’s impulsive nature continually drive them apart.

 

Keeping their relationship professional is harder than Bess anticipated. And it’s not long before they give in to temptation. Suddenly it’s clear Daniel needs her in a way she never thought possible. This may be the year Bess finally gets her Christmas wish!

 

Me: Share with us a favorite paragraph or two from your newest release. Why do you love this paragraph?

Nan: 

 

The music shifted to a jazzy slow wail. Daniel wasn’t about to hold Bess in his arms. He turned to leave the floor.

 

“Come on.” Bess caught his hand. Her hazel eyes sparkled with gold in the ballroom’s dim light. “You boasted you could be around me for an entire evening.”

 

He should run. Instead he stepped close and her hands slid around his neck. Like a jigsaw puzzle, her curves fit his angles.

 

He sucked in the heady scents of lemon, flowers and earth. This was a mistake, but he couldn’t pull away.

 

They were too close for a friendly dance. Close enough for him to feel her nipples, hard and firm under her dress. His leg slipped between hers.

 

She looked at him through half-closed eyes. “I hate you, you know.”

 

He exhaled. “I know.”

 

I love this section because Daniel and Bess have history. He hates her impulsive nature and she wants him to loosen up. To find their happily-ever-after they have to deal with the baggage they’ve carried around for ten years.


To Purchase A SAVANNAH CHRISTMAS WISH go to:

Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Google Play     iBooks     Kobo


You can find Nan here:

WEBSITE     FACEBOOK     TWITTER     PINTEREST     INSTAGRAM


If you enjoyed this post, please hit one of the handy dandy Click-to-Tweet buttons below and share it with your friends. Thank you so much for your support!

 

 [Tweet theme=”basic-full”]#Author @nandixonauthor chats about the crazy ups and downs of being a writer. via @Abbie_Roads #giveaway http://wp.me/p5h5aN-hC[/Tweet]

 

[Tweet theme=”basic-full”]Are you curious about the emotional life of #authors? Check out @Abbie_Roads interview with @nandixonauthor http://wp.me/p5h5aN-hC[/Tweet]

 

[Tweet theme=”basic-full”]Love a good holiday romance? Check out the excerpt for A SAVANNAH CHRISTMAS WISH by @nandixonauthor. Via @Abbie_Roads http://wp.me/p5h5aN-hC[/Tweet]

 

If you are interested in being an Author on the Couch, just email me at abbieroads@yahoo.com

About the author: abbieroads

41 comments to “Author on the Couch: Nan Dixon”

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  1. peggy clayton - November 20, 2015 Reply

    Sorry I can’t tweet but what a wonderful book it sounds like. This author was so honest and so clear as to what the book was about. Great interview can’t wait to get the book someday.

    • Nan Dixon - November 21, 2015 Reply

      Thank you for stopping by, Peggy! And for the kind words, too!

  2. Nan Dixon - November 20, 2015 Reply

    Abbie – Thank you so much for having me! I enjoyed my time on the couch! And the winner is—— Sharon Wray. I will contact you offline, Sharon!

    Thank you everyone for stopping by!

  3. Darcy Woods - November 19, 2015 Reply

    Nan, you are such an incredible role model and shining beacon of positivity. What a journey! And I’m so honored to have been along for the ride for a part of it. The room service breakfast at Spring Fling was just a bonus. 😉

    Jingling with joy for A SAVANNAH CHRISTMAS to be gracing the world in a just a few weeks!!!! Congrats, my sweet!

    <3

    • Nan Dixon - November 19, 2015 Reply

      Oh Darcy! I cannot wait to go SuperNova for you! Thank you for stopping by and shining your light and happiness! What a ride we have had. We should write book!!

  4. Sandra Owens - November 19, 2015 Reply

    I saw those Laura tweets too, and wondered if she was talking about you. 🙂 Sometimes things that at first seem to be a step back are actually leading you down a better path. Considering how it all worked out, I’m guessing you’d agree. Looking forward to reading A SAVANNAH CHRISTMAS. Savannah is one of my favorite cites in the south.

    • Nan Dixon - November 19, 2015 Reply

      Ahh – thanks for stopping in Sandra. There were a lot of comment son Laura’s post that day. (I keep trying to lose my phone , so she can call with more good news! Superstitious maybe?)

  5. Bonnie Staring - November 19, 2015 Reply

    Oh Nan, I can’t wait to get my hands on A SAVANNAH CHRISTMAS WISH! And I’m so glad you and your sisters can rally together. I can’t believe that one agent rescinded her offer of representation! #agentfail! Your optimism and organizational skills always amaze me!

    • Nan Dixon - November 19, 2015 Reply

      Thanks for stopping by. If we had known each other when that agent rescinded her offer — I’m sure you would have the cabana boys along!!

  6. Saralee - November 19, 2015 Reply

    I really enjoyed the excerpt of A Savannah Christmas Wish!

    Glad to hear your personal writing story is at a high point — that’s great.

    • Nan Dixon - November 19, 2015 Reply

      Thank you Saralee,

      (Darn it– your name made me hungry for pastries!)

      I’m feeling pretty good about having the 2nd book releasing in less than two weeks. Of course I’m biting my nails a little since I haven’t heard anything about Book 3. But I just push on. Now I’m halfway through the Ugly First Draft of Book 4 of the Fitzgerald House series.

  7. Diana Belchase - November 19, 2015 Reply

    I remember your heartbreak, Nan, with the first agent. I’ve been rooting for you and am so glad your story has a happy ending with Laura!

    • Nan Dixon - November 19, 2015 Reply

      You were there, Diana! I was having such a blast in NYC. Then wam, slapped down with one letter. But I love where I am at right now. Thank you for stopping!

  8. Amanda Uhl - November 19, 2015 Reply

    It’s great to realize that I’m not alone in experiencing rejection and all of the highs and lows you had to endure to get to the point of a contract and agent. Thanks for sharing.

    • Nan Dixon - November 19, 2015 Reply

      Thanks for stopping in Amanda,

      I’m thinking the highs are that much sweeter, because I hit that low point.

  9. Sharon Wray - November 19, 2015 Reply

    Hi Abbie and Nan! I loved your post and I am so sorry, Nan, about what that agent did to you. I, too, suffer from terrific self-doubt and I can’t imagine how I would have recovered from something like that.
    But I am so happy those hard days are behind you and that your future is shining bright!

    • abbieroads - November 19, 2015 Reply

      Hi Sharon!

      Self doubt… I have it too. Wish there was some way to get rid of it. But I don’t think there is. Thanks for dropping by.

    • Nan Dixon - November 19, 2015 Reply

      Thanks Sharon,

      I remember sending out the note to the Golden Heart sisterhood. They (you too) helped me through it. I have never found a more supportive group than my Golden Heart sisterhood friends. And you and I have been GH sisters for–forever!

  10. McCall - November 19, 2015 Reply

    Loved learning more about you as a person, Nan. And loved learning more about your Savannah Christmas story. It sounds amazing!

    • Nan Dixon - November 20, 2015 Reply

      McCall — Thanks so much for stopping in–and I love the hearts too! (Heart envy)

  11. Vanessa Barneveld - November 19, 2015 Reply

    Hi, Abbie! Hi, Nan!

    Nan, I adored Southern Comforts. I’ve such a soft spot for Savannah and reading SC brought back some wonderful memories. Can’t wait to read A Savannah Christmas Wish.

    Thank you for sharing about the profound losses in your family. I’m so glad you and your sisters pulled together. I imagine your sisters provided a lot of inspiration for your characters!

    • abbieroads - November 19, 2015 Reply

      Hi Vanessa!

      I’ve never been to Savannah. I’m dying to go! One of these days…

      Thanks for stopping by.

    • Nan Dixon - November 19, 2015 Reply

      Thank you for stopping in, Vanessa.
      It is easy to fall in love with Savannah. My sisters are fabulous. Of course, they all think different characters are them–and I’m telling them who is who!

  12. McCall - November 18, 2015 Reply

    Enjoyed the post, Nan! And I admire you’re optimistic, can-do attitude. ❤️💚💜❤️💚💜

    • abbieroads - November 19, 2015 Reply

      Hi McCall!

      Call me dumb, but how did you get those pretty colored hearts to show up in your comment? I love them!

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • Nan Dixon - November 19, 2015 Reply

      Thanks so much for stopping by McCall. My cup is always 1/2 full1 (Or at least I try to keep it that way!)

  13. Erika Kelly - November 18, 2015 Reply

    Wow, Nan, what heartbreaking loss. I’m so sorry you lost so many dear family members. Pretty much our greatest fear, right?

    I really enjoyed Southern Comforts–looking forward to A Savannah Christmas Wish!

    • abbieroads - November 19, 2015 Reply

      Hi Erika!

      Thanks for popping in!

    • Nan Dixon - November 19, 2015 Reply

      Hi Ericka —
      That was a very rough two years. I did get some grief counseling and the counselor would send me inspirational notes one the anniversaries of the deaths. So touching.

  14. holdenj - November 18, 2015 Reply

    Great post and intro to Nan. Interesting about your grandpa and wanting to meet Kipling.

    • abbieroads - November 19, 2015 Reply

      Hi holenj!

      Thanks for dropping by!

    • Nan Dixon - November 19, 2015 Reply

      My grandparents from England were so much fun! They were always reciting things. It was wonderful to have them live with us for a year and half. My grandma got me interested in baking, because she would always make 2 pie or desserts for Sunday dinner. One for dinner. And one for tea. My lasting memory of them is laughter.

  15. Pintip - November 18, 2015 Reply

    Great interview Nan & Abbie. It’s fun to learn more about you! The agent story is just… Devastating. Glad it all worked out in the end. Congrats on the book — it sounds awesome!!! 😍😀😃

    • abbieroads - November 19, 2015 Reply

      Hi Pintip!

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • Nan Dixon - November 19, 2015 Reply

      Thanks Pintip,
      The rescinding of the offer was horrible and embarrassing. And I’m so glad it happened, because I think anyone who would do that–couldn’t be thinking about my career.

  16. abbieroads - November 18, 2015 Reply

    Hi Nan!

    Thanks so much for being an Author on the Couch! I love sharing the stories behind the storyteller!

  17. Laura Trentham - November 18, 2015 Reply

    Oh my, I remember seeing Laura Bs tweets that day and I had guessed it was you!! Lol.

    I have a dyslexic heroine in my new series that struggles with the same issues. Of course, I paired her with a Doogie Houser wanna be:)

    Loved Southern Comforts and can’t wait for A Savannah Christmas Wish! Savannah is such a rich location.

    PS. Abbie, I love how you have the ready-made tweets on the page…you must tell me how…

    • abbieroads - November 18, 2015 Reply

      Hi Laura!

      How I get those ready-made tweets… It’s a WordPress plugin called Easy Click-to-Tweet. It’s super simple or I wouldn’t be able to do it!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      • Nan Dixon - November 19, 2015 Reply

        Thanks for hosting me on the couch today! It is so much fun to be here!

    • Nan Dixon - November 19, 2015 Reply

      Thanks so much for stopping by Laurie!
      That was a crazy day when I lost my phone! But I love the outcome.

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