To the Rollins College community, he is Ken Dixon, campus security guard, but to the literary world he is K.T. Dixon, author of the new book Seminole Wind.
The novel is a story about a man named Billy Brightpath who, as a 17-year-old, joins the military. Years later he returns, only to discover that the Florida sugar industry has taken his land. The plot involves Billy’s struggle to regain his land, the arrival of a past love, and the betrayal of an old friend.
One may wonder what would ever compel a campus security guard to write and publish a book, but for Dixon, it was not so much about writing the book as about getting his life back together. In 2008, Dixon suffered what he called a “personal tragedy,” which deteriorated both his mental and physical health to the point that he had a heart attack. The attack was a wake-up call for Dixon and during his recovery time, he began to use writing as an outlet.
At his book signing Sept. 23, Dixon began his speech saying, “like everyone else who writes, I started out reading.” He said that he had always loved to read and in the aftermath of his heart attack, decided that writing could be his own version of therapy. “I got my thoughts together… I’ve been carrying this story about for awhile,” Dixon explained, saying that he would write when he was not working.
Dixon repeatedly stated that he had no intention of being published; it was actually a close friend of his who eventually made him promise to submit an excerpt of his story to a publishing company. “I went onto the Internet and picked the first three publishers… just to keep a promise,” he said.
Soon after, one company contacted him asking for the whole manuscript. “I know that this hardly ever happens to anybody who wants to write a book,” Dixon laughed. “I guess I got lucky… life owed me.”
Dixon said that the biggest impact for him was getting the first hard copy of the novel in the mail. The publishing company requested a sequel before the book had even finished being published and Dixon was happy to oblige. Dixon is about halfway done with the second installment and has described it as more “lighthearted.”
Congratulations to K.T. Dixon on his success and we look forward to hearing more from our literary Campo officer.