Dixon Reuel is a Dublin-based Science Fiction & Fantasy author who wrote one of the standout debut novels last year with the fantastic ‘Rise Of One,’ the first in her ‘Blood Brute’ series. It’s a dark, atmospheric post-apocalyptic thriller where a small coven of vampires seek to lead a quiet existence but are threatened on all sides by living and undead enemies. I caught up with Dixon to grill her about her writing and all manner of other stuff.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your life in Ireland?
Well, I’m Eve, originally from Waterford and now living in Dublin. I began writing & publishing with poetry, being runner-up for The Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award and receiving a bursary to The Tyrone Guthrie Centre. Through a Words Ireland mentorship award with Oisin McCann, I moved away from poetry to explore SFF fiction and worlds. And when the idea for Blood Brute sparked into my little head, I learned all I could about the differences between traditional, indie, and self-publishing. I took the plunge into indie publishing in 2019 by creating the Dixon Reuel penname – and here we are today!
How did you come up with the pen name Dixon Reuel?
I knew I wanted something gender neutral and a tad unusual for this penname that spoke to nerds and geeks, so I took ‘Dixon’ from Picard’s Dixon Hill alter ego character on Star Trek. Reuel is one of the ‘R’s in JRR Tolkien’s name.
‘Rise Of One’ is the first of five books. How can we expect the series to unfold?
Expect a lot more adventure as the vampires of my Blood Brute series tackle not just the unfolding zombie apocalypse, but the threats from those around them; both from fellow vampires and the now desperate humans, too. Prepare yourself for plenty of new locations and intrigue, along with Rise’s constant journey to get his coven back together!
In the book a human, Cypress, is in a loving, fulfilling relationship with a vampire, Rise. How important was that relationship at the core of the novel?
That relationship, between the Vampire Rise and the human Cypriot, is a core relationship throughout not just Rise of One, but all of the Blood Brute books. It’s a main driving force of motivation for Rise to get his coven back together in the books that follow Rise of One… but as Blood Brute plays out, we find out that the Rise/Cypriot relationship, while loving and fulfilling, may not have been the healthiest of relationships for either of them.
Your characters are inspirational as well as deeply flawed. How you work at developing such complex characters?
I believe it’s so important to balance ‘how people actually act’ with ‘how a hero acts within a narrative’. And you can play with that concept, too. For example, there’s a chapter in Rise of One where the Vampire Rise is convinced that he’s going to take a particular course of action. The reader turns the page, and lo, Rise has utterly reversed his decision due to nerves and guilt. I feel that’s very human: yes I’ll do the thing oh wait no scrap that!
The tension in ‘Rise of One’ is palpable as the coven lead a tense, claustrophobic life surrounded by their enemies. How did you work at building this tension?
Throughout Blood Brute, I really wanted to explore a set of characters who’ve just been around each other for way too long. They’ve said everything there is to say. They know each other’s behaviors and temperaments inside out. Each day blends into the other and life is often reduced to talking to one person, getting bored, going and talking to someone else. Couple this with the self-inflicted ‘quarantine’ that accompanies the novel’s zombie apocalypse, and you can’t help but write some juicy tension!
I know you are also a big comic con & cos-play fan. Who was your favourite character to dress up as and how much are you missing it?
I miss cons SO MUCH! Just the wandering around, seeing all the great cosplays & bumping into friends, attending panels and all the like. My favourite character to cosplay as was an Orion Syndicate Starfleet Officer from Original Series Stark Trek – I got to paint myself green, hair in a beehive, Original Series props (tricorder, communicator) borrowed from a friend. A lot of older Trekkies came up to me that day and ‘got’ the character.
Like me, you’re a big Lord Of The Rings fan. Who is your favourite character and why?
That’d have to be Galadriel! Amazing lineage from the original three Elven tribes, to her ethereal depiction in the movies.
What are your writing plans beyond the ‘Blood Brute’ series?
After Blood Brute, I want to focus more on trilogies rather than multi-book series. At the moment, I’m working towards a SciFi Space Adventure that’s like a mystical mashup between The Mandalorian and The Witcher. I also have plans for a Hellenistic Fantasy trilogy that follows the relationship between two princes of rival kingdoms. So, there’s plenty to come when Blood Brute finishes!
Finally where can we find more of Dixon Reuel on social media?
Facebook – www.facebook.com/DixonReuel
Twitter / Instagram: @DixonReuel
Thank you Dixon aka Eve. Stay tuned for another author interview next week.