Thursday, May 7, 2009


Sean Dixon for DESK SPACE

DESK SPACE Who (a one-liner or a bio)?

Sean Dixon, etc.

DS When did you start writing, publish your first book (or when are you publishing your next)?

SD I wrote my first play in 1989 while working the nightshift at the Toronto General Hospital Radiology Department, purging files. It was produced a year later and I’m still proud of it. My playwright career has been up and down since then. I had a minor Toronto hit in 1995 with a play called The Painting, about a priapic man who worked in a cheese shop, and another in 2003 with a play called Billy Nothin’, described as an existentialist cowboy metamorphoses.

First novel was published two years ago with Coach House Press --The Girls Who Saw Everything -- about several women in a highly self-regarding book club whose latest reading project entangles them in serious world events and the search for a missing boy.

A few months after that, I published the first book in a YA trilogy about a brother/sister pair of peacenik Vikings who are destined to face each other on opposites sides of Ragnarok. The first of these was called The Feathered Cloak. The second, out this August, is called The Winter Drey.

DS Where do you write (at your desk/outside/in bed)?

I’m sitting in Alternative Grounds Coffee Shop on Roncesvalles right now. There’s a corner table here that I like because it features a little hidden side shelf which gives the table more space than it seems. Very appealing characteristic for the middle child in a large family.

At home I either write in the office/guest room in front of a large window, or, when there’s a guest, up in the third floor bedroom in front of a smaller window. None of it is ideal because I can’t see the action on the street below due to an overhanging roof, and also because I like to be surrounded by my library when I write. I used to have a desk that was tucked into a shelf unit, creating the impression of a cave of books that I sat inside, with a side view of a window overlooking a back parking lot where I used to witness the most insane domestic quarrels.

DS Why do you work where you do (at your desk because it is a quiet space/outside b/c it helps you think/in the park b/c you can smoke, etc)?

SD I work at the coffee shop to escape my computer and the internet, although it just so happens that I’m here right now with both.

DS What are you working on now?

SD I’m in the early draft stages of a book about a woman who decides to embark on a vendetta despite the fact that she’s not temperamentally suited to the task. It’s serious though — she’s trying to take action against a man who killed her lover and ruined her life. At the moment I’m thinking of calling it The Doppelgangers.

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