Quick Six Interview: Allison Dickson

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<h1>Quick Six: Allison Dickson</h1>

Allison Dickson started out writing horror novels, and made her way to the suspenseful, clever and fun that is her latest novel, The Other Mrs. Miller, published by Putnam. She’s got a way with the quirky inner dialogue of some of the less-than-likeable characters like the titular Mrs. Miller herself. It’s a book you’ll want to add to your buy list for this summer.

We caught up with Allison for a Quick Six interview.

What inspires you recently?

I’m almost always inspired by true crime, oddities of the human condition, or some other unusual real-life event. Fiction seems like a good place to examine those things and maybe figure them out a little. When there’s a new crime docuseries on Netflix, I get a little too excited.

Who decides on your book cover art?

With THE OTHER MRS MILLER, I was lucky to have some great in-house design folks, as well as the sales and marketing teams who loved the book and knew instinctively how to convey the tone via the cover in a way that would give it maximum shelf appeal. Both the US and UK cover designs are quite different, but manage to really capture the essence of the book in their own ways, which I love. They asked me for some ideas I had about cover art early in the process, and I gave them some suggestions, but I fully own up to this not being my specialty, so I was happy to let the professionals take the wheel and I’m glad I did.

What is an artist’s relationship to their publisher? What is yours?

The publisher is the hub of a writer’s professional life. The publisher is all. They help you make your book the best it can be. They prime your book to leap in front of as many eyes and into as many hands as possible. I couldn’t be happier with the enthusiastic and talented team at Putnam here in the US and Sphere in the UK. A great publisher can anticipate any need and address it quickly. They’re ready to hit the ground running to make your book a success. They treat your book like the investment it is. They treat you like you matter. I had a lot of people tell me over the years that writers get lost in the shuffle in the Big 5 world, that they treat writers like cogs in machine or numbers in a spreadsheet. I haven’t once felt that way with this experience. These are people who not only love books, but they live and breathe. That is a uniting characteristic among publishers of all shapes and sizes, and if you’re not getting that feeling, you’re with the wrong publisher.

How do you know when a book is finished?

I’m not so sure it’s a process of finishing so much as surrender. I could fiddle with a book forever, but thankfully I have external forces like outlines and deadlines keeping me in check.

Any film/tv adaptations either make you cringe or make you think, they nailed it?

I think The Shawshank Redemption still stands among the perfect film adaptations in that it not only captured what was best about the book, but also improved upon it. That’s rare.

What’s next for you?

I’m currently working on another domestic thriller that I hope will see the light of day at some point. I’m also looking forward to meeting readers in various cities on my book tour this summer for THE OTHER MRS MILLER.


Check out our review of The Other Mrs. Miller:

Phoebe Miller is dying of boredom in the suburbs. She’s got a bit of refuge there from the embarrassment of her famous, rich (and recently deceased) father’s scandalous behaviour, but her life mostly consists of drinking wine and staring out her window at a car parked outside her house. She thinks she’s acquired a stalker, and that’s the most exciting thing that’s happened in awhile.

Until the new neighbors move in. (Click to continue)


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JL JamiesonQuick Six Interview: Allison Dickson