Addison Dixon is someone I've known since I started posting on Instagram. An awesome author and fellow believer, Addison published "A Star Appears" this March...a portal fantasy which I personally loved! I interviewed Addison recently about writing, faith, and magic in fantasy. Check out our interview below!
1) What started you writing?
I enjoyed writing little stories when I was a child. I did a lot more drawing, however, than writing. I drew little comics featuring my characters (from “A Star Appears”) until my parents suggested I write the stories.
2) Do you read a lot? Who are your favorite authors?
Yes. I enjoy C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, L.M. Montgomery, Laura Ingalls, John Bunyan, and Geronimo Stilton (The author of the “Geronimo Stilton” series is Elisabetta Dami, but the author’s real name is never mentioned. The series is “written” by the protagonist).
3) Those are some great authors! In a nutshell, what inspired “A Star Appears” and what is the plot?
The places I’ve traveled to, the people I know/have met, the experiences I’ve gone through, and the adventures I went on as a child all inspired the story. Videogames I’ve played and some of the books I read and movies I watched growing up also inspired me. It’s just an amalgamation of things. My younger brother and I were best friends growing up and our adventures made an impact on my writing. I love being around my family, and family is a significant part of a person’s life. One of the most significant, I must add. That shows up often in my stories.
Riley, a teen boy, discovers he is the last of a generation of people who were destroyed hundreds of years ago by an evil man. Riley must battle this man in order to stop the Dark Magic from overtaking the world of Leíso and the Human World—as only one with a symbol can defeat him.
(Great summary, Addison, and that's neat about your brother and you!)
4) Are you a panster or a plotter? What was the hardest thing for you about writing “A Star Appears?”
Umm, I guess I’m a little bit of both(?) I think through my stories before writing them, but sometimes I’m so into the story, I just write whatever comes to mind.
The hardest thing? Well, I first wrote it when I was 12, so I guess making sure everything connected was my biggest challenge. As a child, you don’t always think through how events weave together in order to make sense. You might even think everything will, somehow, magically tie together, haha!
That's so true! I created Starganauts as a 10-year-old, so you can imagine the changes I needed to make! lol.
5) As a Christian author, how much does your faith influence your writing?
I have a character named Elomé in my story (Elohim) who is basically God—hence the “Elohim.” He was partly inspired by Aslan. He “speaks” to the characters, but it’s not always obvious to them that it is Elomé. As a matter of fact, they often question it. Just like how it’s not always easy to know whether it’s God speaking to you, or your own thoughts.
Riley has a symbol. The symbols represent gifts. Gifts God gives us. Riley’s star stands for bravery. A flame would stand for strength. A raindrop, for peace, etc. Unfortunately, it is possible to lose your symbol. When you don’t use your gift, or you doubt yourself, your symbol (or gift) slowly fades away. I also have Light Magic and Dark Magic in my stories. Light Magic reflects the powers of God. Dark Magic is of the Vile One (Satan).
6) You’re an indie author like me. Describe your experience self-publishing.
I’m glad I did it for the first book. I got to experience the world of indie publishing and learned a lot about marketing. I’ve had a lot of help from family and friends. It can be fun, but boy, it’s expensive and hard work. However, I’m pursuing traditional publishing for the sequel. I might do indie again someday when more of my books are out there, but right now, I’d like to try the traditional route.
Thanks for sharing! I wish you the best of luck. 👍
7) What advice do you have for fellow writers with their first novels?
My advice is don’t give up. Write the story you want to see in the world. Don’t try to imitate other authors simply because they seem be receiving a lot of praise or “striking it rich.” Don’t follow the crowd. I mean, if you want to write a dystopian because you want to, then, by all means, do it! Just don’t write it solely for the money.
Trends are ever-changing. If your first novel doesn’t do as well as you’d like, try different marketing strategies. You could even focus on another project, if you have one in mind. Maybe take the traditional route if you’re indie. Choose whatever works for you. Taking breaks is also beneficial, and don’t be afraid (or prideful) to ask for help. I’m exceedingly grateful for the help my family has given me.
8) Some say Christian authors shouldn’t write magic into their novels. What would your response be to that kind of criticism?
Well, for one, I understand why they would feel that way. One should never depend on it to get through life—particularly Christians. Realistically, witchcraft is dangerous. However, there are many Christian authors who have magic in their stories, but there is a huge difference between the magic for good and for evil. Take C.S. Lewis, for example. He’s one of the most inspirational Christians out there, and yet he has magic in his Narnia series. It’s not glorified, though, and it’s even attracted
audiences who like a bit of whimsy in their stories (like me!). Tolkien and George MacDonald are two other examples, among many.
In my stories, my characters use magic, but if they rely on it, then their strength eventually fades. It’s like depending solely on one’s self. Without God in the picture, there is a huge difference, whether or not we realize it. As I mentioned earlier, I have Light Magic and Dark Magic. Light Magic is what might be called “Elomé’s special gift” to those who use it. Not JUST anyone can use it. And if you misuse it, then it becomes Dark Magic.
Dark Magic is from the Vile One. It is like a drug. If you use it constantly, then it takes its toll on you. One thing the characters keep reminding themselves (like we all do) is that Elomé is more powerful than the Vile One. Whether or not we win our battles against Dark Magic (metaphorically-speaking, of course), we still must remember that God is for us. Things happen and we make mistakes, but God is still the same. We just need to learn from our mistakes. The characters also have to remind themselves of this.
Cool! It sounds like you've given this a lot of thought, and I like how your magic system works.
11) If you could be any character in your own work, who would it be and why?
Oh my. Well, I’d probably be Joseph. I know with Joseph, I partly based him off of myself as a fifteen-year-old. A little shy and usually quiet. Or maybe Riley, as I had fun writing him. I’m not completely sure, haha!
12) With “A Star Appears” out in the world, what’s next for you?
I’m submitting the sequel, “A Brother’s Battle,” to literary agents. I’m also working on the third book and exploring a character who might surprise the reader. I’ve been having a lot of fun with writing the third one. It’ll also be the most intense story I’ve written so far. That’s all I’ll say on that. 😊 I’m marketing the first book as well by posting pictures/reels on Facebook and spreading the word by mouth.
Awesome! It's been great interviewing you, and I wish your books all the success in the world. I enjoyed "A Star Appears" and am eagerly awaiting "A Brother's Battle." How about you, Dear Reader? Interested in Addison's works? Follow this author on Instagram at @addisondixon10. You can also check out "A Star Appears" via the link below.