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Christie Dickason - a Palewell Press author

Christie Dickason started to write at the age of three, long before she could spell. Understandably, she hid her poems and (very) short stories from her English professor father, who could spell words like ‘desiccate’ and also insisted on correct grammar. All the same, he passed on to Christie his delight in books and words as well as his joy in pursuing intellectual curiosity. Under his influence, she learned to relish research and value accuracy. (He also kick-started her interest in mountain climbing by putting his uncensored edition of Lady Chatterley’s Lover on the highest shelf of his study.)

While living abroad with her family for most of her teens, in Thailand, Mexico and Switzerland, Christie studied anywhere she could, from the International Children’s Centre in Bangkok, through home-tutoring, to an old-fashioned Swiss convent school. She read English at Harvard University , then earned an MFA in Theatre at the Yale University Drama School (winning a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship and the Shubert Memorial Fellowship for Best Director). From the age of eleven, she also studied dance (and performed): ballet at the Lichine School in Lausanne, modern dance with a former member of Martha Graham’s company, Robert Cohan, and Thai classical dance with a retired member of the King of Thailand’s troupe.

Writing seemed far too much fun to be a serious way to earn a living so she became a director and choreographer. After fourteen years in the theatre illness forced her to stop. Bed-bound and with L-plates on, she returned to her secret passion for writing and hand-wrote her first novel. This book was never published, but it brought a commission for her ‘official’ first novel (THE DRAGON RIDERS, published by Century), which astonished her by reaching number twelve on the best-seller list. What had seemed at first like a health disaster led her into a new career that not only allows time to eat and sleep but also lets her do what she loves most. (Her illness also, when she was ready to deal with it, fuelled her historical novel, QUICKSILVER, about a supposed 17th c. ‘werewolf’.)

As well as seven internationally-published novels including THE PRINCIPESSA, Christie writes poetry, short stories, newspaper articles and works for the theatre. She particularly enjoys collaborating with the award-winning composer Cecilia McDowall on musical works ranging from conventional songs and cantatas to the huge and indescribable, all of which have been performed. Their most recent project was a ‘green cantata’, FIVE SEASONS, commissioned ‘to celebrate the organic landscape in the 21st century’ by the Bournemouth Sinfonietta Choir.

In October 2020, Palewell Press launches her latest historical novel - Fur Beneath the Skin - online.