Life’s too short to read dull writing.
That’s Dixie Swanson’s take on reading and writing. As a self-admitted book-aholic, she should know. “I don’t write literary fiction. I write stories with a beginning, a middle and an end people can live with. ”
With a wealth of life experiences, Dixie writes knowledgeably about a variety of things. Always intrigued by a challenge, she decided to go to medical school with a toddler in tow. Once established as a pediatrician, she took on the job of being a working television health reporter in a major market. A bit bored, she took demanding writing classes at Rice University. Then came the big challenge.
At age 45, Systemic Lupus rather rudely ended her careers. She entered the half-lit world of the chronically ill. Alone. The stairs in her condo looked like Mt. Everest. If she got out once a day, it was a victory. The only thing she could do was read. When lupus threatened her vision, she “read” audio books.
Slowly the medicines kicked in. She distracted herself from her pain by writing stories and sticking them in a drawer. She met and married the love of her life at 54. “He didn’t mind that I slept 14 hours a day – it gave him time for golf.”
Dixie needed a new challenge. She decided she wanted to write a best-selling novel. Why not? She’d attended the University of Texas at Austin where the library was 27 stories tall. She wrote several books, but nothing met her standards until she thought up “The Accidental President,” based in part on a job she had in college with a confidante of a sitting President.
“Sure, it’s a tall tale. It’s a fable, almost a fairy tale, to drive home civics lessons,” Dixie says. Ever the optimist, she believes our political problems have non-partisan solutions.
“’We the People’ are the most powerful words in America. Whatever 315 million of us want, we can have,” Dixie says. “If you don’t believe that, you don’t have a handle on what makes this nation unique.”