Interview with Keith Dixon

When did you first start writing?
I started writing in my early teen years, mocking up scripts for TV shows and trying to write like my favourite authors. By the time I reached 16 I knew that I wanted to write full-time, and I managed that for a couple of years in my twenties. Life got in the way, though, so I had to find a real job that paid real money, so it wasn't until I was a good deal older that I managed to create the opportunity to write full time. Curiously, I found that many of the jobs that I took included an element of writing, whether it was in the job description or not. That urge to put words on paper was always there ...
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Over the years I began to have real issues with the notion of 'gatekeepers'. At one time I had an agent and even he confessed it was becoming harder to sell to publishers, whose spheres of interest seemed to becoming more and more narrow. As an independent author I can find an audience for my books that might not (yet) be huge - or at least big enough for a commercial publisher - but nonetheless satisfies the wish to see my books in print and know that people are reading them and getting some pleasure from them. With my earlier books I did seek out commercial publication - with my latest ones I'm going straight to independent/self publishing.
What is your writing process?
My writing process seems to vary with each book, at least in the planning stage. Mostly I plan in detail so that the writing of each day is laid out for me. However, that gets messed around with when I have another idea and have to shift my story elements around. On occasion I've written with a very bare outline of maybe three plot elements in place - beginning, middle, end. What doesn't change is that when I'm writing I try to finish at least 1000 words a day. I'm currently using the Scrivener writing program, which includes an on-screen widget that you can see totting up your session wordage until it reaches your target for the day - this is incredibly helpful and motivating!
Who are your favorite authors?
I spent a long time teaching American literature, and some of my favourites come from that area - F.Scott Fitzgerald, John Steinbeck, John Dos Passos, John Updike. In later years I've read a lot of commercial crime and thriller writing, so my current favourites are The Great Elmore Leonard, James Lee Burke, Robert Crais, George Pelecanos and Dennis Lehane. They write in the same genre as my first three books, though I'm widening my range a little now.
Published 2013-08-30.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Strange Girl
By
Pre-release—available September 26, 2014. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 69,540. Language: British English. Category: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
Private Investigator Sam Dyke is hired to find a man who’s been released from prison and subsequently gone missing. But the ex-con is an ex-cop who might have been imprisoned for a crime that he didn’t commit.
Sam Dyke Box Set
By
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 249,340. Language: English. Published: May 19, 2014. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
The first three Sam Dyke Investigations now together in one volume - Altered Life, The Private Lie and The Hard Swim.
The Bleak
By
Series: Sam Dyke Investigations, Book 4. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 82,600. Language: English. Published: May 7, 2014. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
Private Eye Sam Dyke takes on an unpromising case - to find out why an established scientist is falling apart. He soon learns that it's not the pressures of work that are getting to him, but his colleagues and his boss. They have a doomsday plan that is set on producing a calamitous event threatening the lives of hundreds of people. And only Dyke can stop them.
Actress
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 86,250. Language: British English. Published: June 15, 2013. Category: Fiction » Women's fiction » General
Mai Rose, a young television actress, becomes involved in a competition to win the leading role in a new fantasy film. However, she finds that the path to success is constantly undercut by her own personality and her uncertainty about what she really wants from her career - and her life.
Crime Writing Confidential - What Crime Writers Do, and How They've Done It
By
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 30,710. Language: English. Published: June 4, 2013. Category: Nonfiction » Reference » Writing skills
A collection of essays by crime writer Keith Dixon exploring how crime writers structure and write their books. He explores a number of different writing styles and includes both mysteries and thrillers in his analyses.
The Hard Swim
By
Series: Sam Dyke Investigations, Book 3. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 105,150. Language: English. Published: May 28, 2013. Category: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
Private Investigator Sam Dyke rescues a young woman from kidnapping - or worse - and helps her discover the devastating secret that her family has kept since World War II.
The Private Lie
By
Series: Sam Dyke Investigations, Book 2. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 69,780. Language: English. Published: March 22, 2011. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
Sam Dyke's second investigation leads him into a criminal underworld where the kidnapping and violence practised by two Liverpudlian twins begin to have an impact on his family. Which is something that Sam won't let slide ...
Altered Life
By
Series: Sam Dyke Investigations, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 78,940. Language: English. Published: March 10, 2010. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
English Private Eye Sam Dyke tracks down a vicious killer who seems to have no regard for the law ... or anything else.