Today I want you all to meet a new author, she wrote an amazing book called The Banishing. As a part of the bewitching booktours I had the chance to do an interview with her. So first of all a big thank you for Fiona for taking the time and answering my questions.
1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am 29 years old, and I live in the United Kingdom. I have studied many courses, from psychology to film studies to drama. I have loved horror from an early age, in both film and literature, and this inspired me to start creating dark stories of my own. In recent years I have entered fiction contests and I have been writing horror novels.
2. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I remember when I was a child, I must have been around 10 years old, and I was sitting in my school class when the teacher said, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” I raised my hands and shouted, “I want to be a writer!” Even at that age, I knew what I wanted to do. I think it was because I grew up with a love of books from such a young age – my parents read to me each night, and as soon as I was old enough, I began visiting the library. There started my dream.
3. What comes first? The story, the character(s) or the idea for the novel?
The story, most of the time. Usually a seed of an idea settles in my mind, and everything else normally grows from that point.
4. What would be your favourite past time activity, when you are not writing?
Reading, definitely. I love reading, and I’m not a happy person without a good book to read! I also love spending time online (I am a staff member at Talk Paranormal – an online discussion forum) and just relaxing with my family.
5. Are there any writers out there that have inspired you?
Stephen King, Susan Hill, Christopher Ransom, Bill Hussey, Edgar Allen Poe and Dennis Wheatley, to name a few!
6. Can you tell a little more about your book: The Banishing?
It is about the breakdown of a marriage between a young couple. For years they were happy, but Melissa – my main character – starts to notice a change in her husband. He is acting strangely. Then his temper flares, and the mood swings begin. Suddenly, she is frightened of the man in her life, in her home. The story uses supernatural elements, as well as gritty scenes of abuse. It’s a story essentially of survival – and it explores the idea of people being influenced by dark, evil forces.
7. What inspired you to write this story?
I have been fascinated with the idea of demonic possession since I was a teenager, the idea that something evil could come into your home and invade your body and mind. I wanted to create a modern-day tale of possession without the Hollywood dramatics that we’ve all become used to. What happens when evil arrives in the most unsuspecting guises? The Banishing grew from there.
8. Which character did you enjoy writing about the most and why?
My main character, Melissa, because she was just fun to write. I tried to create a woman who was going through hell, but her sheer desperation and determination to save her marriage – and, ultimately her life – gave me so much scope to play with. How far would she go to get what she wants? How much can one woman cope with? It was fun discovering those answers along the way.
9. If you could have dinner with one of your characters who would you choose and why?
Josh, the psychiatrist, because he is intelligent but sexy. Who can resist?
10. Do you get a lot of responses from your readers?
The book hasn’t been out long, but already I have had emails from people who have said they really enjoyed the book. Some said they found it quite unsettling and frightening -which is, of course, what I aim for as a horror writer.
11. What are you currently working on?
My novel, Obsession, is currently being considered for publication. It is about a train driver who witnesses the gruesome suicide of a young man. The driver becomes obsessed with the death of this stranger. He starts to see the dead man in his dreams, then in his home. He occupies his every waking moment. Who is he? Why is he haunting him? What drove him to suicide?
I am also in the middle of writing my third novel – it’s called The Shift. I can’t give away too many details, I’m afraid – I am still in the early stages!
12. Is there anything else you would like to say to your readers?
If you enjoy The Banishing and would like to find out about me and my work, my website address is:
There you can find free short stories, updates on my novels, interviews and reviews.
The Banishing is now available as paperback and e-book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Damnation Books.
Thanks for having me here!
Fiona Dodwell lives in the UK with her husband. She has studied an unusual mixture over the years, from film studies, theology and drama to psychology.
She grew up with a deep passion for horror, both in film and literature, and greatly admires the works of Stephen King, Susan Hill, Adam Neville and Bill Hussey.
She began entering fiction contests at a young age, winning several, and had some of her poems published.
Her first novel to be published, The Banishing, is a dark story exploring demonic possession and domestic abuse. She is currently submitting her second novel, The Obsession, for possible publication and is enjoying writing her third.
So thank you again Fiona for stopping by my blog and taking the time to answer my questions!