‘Becoming an author changed my life’
Dr Jo Dixon, author of The Missing Link in Dementia and Swimming in Circles
My first book, a memoir, is an account of the mystery illness that struck me down in my early 40s. After poor health eventually forced me to take early retirement from my job as a hospital consultant in Norwich, I turned to writing about my experiences. After finishing my manuscript and getting my mum to check it, I decided I ought to get it professionally edited before trying to find an agent and publisher. Danielle was quick to get back to me, and I was impressed by her enthusiasm and the fact she wasn’t fazed by the genre of my book – she dealt with both nonfiction and fiction. Initially, Danielle had some really good ideas about changing the structure of the story to make it less chronological. Buoyed by this experience, I decided to go down the self-publishing route and enlisted Danielle’s help once again. This proved to be a great experience, as she took all the hassle out of the publishing process while making all my ideas possible and involving me every step of the way. Since then, I have published a second book with Danielle, an ecofiction novel called Swimming in Circles, and I am working on a young adult novel, which she is also going to publish.
Writing is my hobby, and it has really changed my life. After retiring, I wanted to spend my time doing something meaningful that would allow me to think deeply about things, which I’d done throughout my career in medicine, and explore my creative side. I feel extremely proud of both my books, and I have received emails from people around the world who are interested in the environmental issues I explore in my work. I keep in contact with readers through my blog and Twitter page and was also asked to write an article for a major health website. My books are also in libraries across Norfolk and stocked in bookshops. Being a self-published author has given me such a buzz and I would advise anyone wanting to get their work out there to go for it.