Refossileer Spotlight, Day 4 — S.L. Dixon

S.L. Dixon takes us to the bayou and beyond with a swampy tale of someone who’s always wanted to see alligators close up, and finds himself in a most unexpected fight for his life.

We spun and spun, I felt my lungs fill and then the world slowed and my soul crept from my body. I looked back and every second happened in long minutes, slowing further and further, almost pausing for me. — “First to One Hundred” by S.L. Dixon

* What inspired your piece in The Refossiling?

SLD: In the situation of First to One Hundred, just prior to writing the story I’d read the novel Boy’s Life by Robert McCammon which includes an alligator that had risen to some fame in the town of the story. Right after that I started reading a collection edited by Ed Gorman titled Stalkers which featured a story by Robert McCammon settled around the same gator.

My mental juices started swirling and I wrote about a man looking for something, but not finding it until he sat face-to-face with a supernatural gator that has a love of Scrabble. The inspiring gator has no resemblance to the gator in my story beyond the scales, but it’s how gators found their way onto my mind.

Once finished, I sought a place to put it and almost immediately stumbled upon the submission call for this anthology and immediately saw it a fit.

* Where can readers and fans find more of your work?

SLD: I try to find a home for most of what I write, magazines, anthologies or zines. Mostly what I write falls into horror or science-fiction, but sometimes I try my pen at something literary or humor and so-far I’ve found a good response from a few different venues. I have a full list on my website,

* Who are your main creative influences, literary/artistic or otherwise?

SLD: My main influences are memories skewed to an eventual point where they no longer resemble the start point. However, I do collect enough inspiration from the ideas of others, but only as a jump-off; I think the most important point to writing is reading. There’s a list of my favorite authors and books read over the last few years on Goodreads (

* What’re you working on, what is your process/routine like?

SLD: My process and routine is very rigid and boring. It involves a lot of solitude in front of a computer screen and just as much with my nose buried in books. Every story I write starts with a character or a group of characters and blossoms (or decays) from there, unraveling things as they come to me. Then I rewrite over and over until I’m happy.

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