Name: Paul A. Dixon
Author of: “One Let Go”
Current Geographic Location: Seattle, WA
Original Hometown: The same
Recent publications: “Planned Obsolescence”, published in July 2012 in IN SITU by Dagan Books, ”Perchance to Wake”, published in March 2012 by Stupefying Stories; “Necrotopia”, published in September 2011 in CHILDREN OF THE MOON by Misanthrope Press; “Fluke”, published in May 2011 by Crossed Genres Quarterly; “Grand Opening”, published in July 2010 by Everyday Weirdness.
Which zodiac sign where you born under? I am a Sagittarius, which frankly isn’t that interesting, and also a Water Rat, which I find much more satisfying.
If a magic fish granted you one wish, what would it be? To still be able to run when I am old. I recently saw an article about a 100 year old man who became the first centenarian to complete a marathon. It was the most wonderful, beautiful, hopeful thing I’d read in a long time.
What inspired your story? This one drew heavily on memories of my grandfather, and my own childhood spent chasing salmon around Puget Sound. To no good effect, I might add.
Did you listen to music while writing it? Not this time. I plotted “One Let Go” on a road trip to the mountains, and then wrote most of the first draft by hand, on whatever scrap paper I could find, while hanging out at Norwescon.
How many rewrites did you do before submitting? Just one complete re-write, along with the usual obsessive line editing.
What is your favorite bit? There are two parts of the story where I got to have fun and simply describe the fish. Here is the first:
Smooth, slick skin, firm, strength that poured through. Silver scales below, black-green above, beautiful black spots. How can spots be beautiful? But they were; they conferred majesty. Gleaming black eye, jaw just beginning to hook. Sharp teeth. Slime on my hands. Curious, I lifted my fingers to my nose, breathed it in. Pure fish smell – clean, wonderful when a fish is still alive. Nothing rotten, no decay – this was life.