Welcome Dianne Dixon!
As a television writer Dianne Dixon (winner of the Humanitas Prize for Excellence in Screenwriting and double Emmy nominee) regularly received glowing reviews. Now Dianne is receiving equally enthusiastic response to her work as a novelist. Dianne is a former Visiting Professor of Creative Writing at Pitzer College in Claremont, California, a nominee for the Mary Routt Chair of Writing at Scripps College, and has taught screenwriting at the Dodge College of Film & Media at Chapman University in Orange, California.
Dianne’s first novel The Language of Secrets was first published in 2011, a story of an unspeakable loss born of human frailty and an ultimate redemption born of human courage.
The Book of Someday (Sourcebooks Landmark September 2013) is a tale of three women, Livvi, Micah and AnnaLee and one stranger in a shimmering silver dress. Whatever binds them together has already destroyed one life. It just might consume them all. You can read my review of this absorbing novel HERE, but first read on to learn more about Dianne Dixon and The Book of Someday.
Q & A with Dianne Dixon
Q: What are the main themes in The Book of Someday?
Dianne: The novel follows the lives of three, very different women who are strangers to each other…a twenty-seven year old California girl named Livvi, a famous Boston photographer named Micah, and a young Long Island housewife named AnnaLee. Each of them is wrestling with her own set of secrets, as well as issues from the past. As the mysteries in their stories unfold, and eventually intertwine, what’s being explored are the unexpected ways in which we protect, and betray, the people we love.
Q: Which of your three main protagonists, Livvi, Micah or AnnaLee did you relate to most closely and why?
Dianne: That’s a good question. There were aspects of each of them that I could strongly relate to. The one I’m least like is definitely Micah. Between Livvi and AnnLee it’s a close call, but I guess if I had to choose I’d say that I have the deepest connection with Livvi. I’ve known, and survived, someone like Andrew. I completely understand what an emotional rollercoaster that can be.
Q: I was intrigued by the backstory you reveal on your website regarding the woman in the silver dress, who has a role in The Book of Someday. Did you ever figure out what she represented for you?
Dianne: It’s weird, I always thought that if I could write her into a story, find a context for her, I would discover what she represented in my life. But now, even after completing the book, I’m still not certain what the truth about her really is. The one thing I did discover was that by facing my terror of her…being able to get past seeing her as a monster, and begin looking at her simply as a woman crying out to be heard…I came away with an amazing sense of emotional freedom. It happened the instant I decided to stand up to the fear, instead of running from it.
Q: What would be in your Book of Someday?
Dianne: I’d like to know that someday, when it’s my turn to exit the stage, I’ll have in some small way made the world a nicer place for the people I’ve crossed paths with.
Q: As a writer are you a planner or a ‘panster’?
Dianne: A panster? I’ve never heard that word before. I love it. But I don’t think I qualify as a ‘panster.’ Then again, planner doesn’t exactly fit either. When I start a book, although I know what the story is and exactly how it’s going to end, the way the story comes isn’t through step-by-step planning. For example when I decided I wanted to write about the woman in the silver dress, I knew I didn’t want to do her as a ghost story or some supernatural thing. For a while I didn’t think in any more detail than that. But on some subconscious level I suspect I’d been working on her story for a quite a long time. What happened was that one day I just saw it, the story that’s in The Book of Someday. The three women, who they were, their names, where they lived, everything, right up to what the last line of dialog would be. Then I started writing. I’m pretty sure the explanation for my particular writing process is that I sleep way more than most people do. And I’m starting to think that I’m probably developing plots and characters when I’m fast asleep. At least that’s the theory I’ve chosen to believe. Otherwise, the amount of sleeping I do makes me seem incredibly unproductive.
Q: Do you have any quirky habits when writing?
Dianne: Not really. Other than always having Beethoven playing in the background…when I work, I’m pretty quirk-free.
Q: What can we expect next from you?
Dianne: My next book is scheduled for publication in 2014. It’s about twin sisters who share an oddly intertwined existence that’s blown apart by an act of violence committed by a stranger. Then, years later, a chilling clue to what caused that violence, an object so bizarre it’s heart stopping, is found in a suitcase hidden in the attic of a house that one of the sisters has only recently moved into. The question of how that suitcase got into that attic changes the sisters’ lives forever. The answer to the question is startling, and is rooted in guilt and love—and a heartbreaking search for atonement. As soon as I finish the manuscript, and deliver it to my editor, I’m looking forward to spending time with friends and family, doing a lot of cooking, and delving into all the new books I’ve been wanting to read.
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