To kick off the 1 week tour for The Banishing by Fiona Dodwell we have her here today for an interview.
Can you tell readers a little bit about yourself and what inspired to write in this particular genre?
I live in the UK with my husband. I currently work in psychiatry part-time, and around that, I write. I've been writing since I was a teenager – short stories, poems and writing competitions filled a lot of my time when I was young. I've been a fan of horror since I was a child; I picked up my brother's copies of Stephen King's paperbacks and became quickly engrossed in dark fiction, and that is what inspired me, eventually to write horror myself. My first book, The Banishing, is my first full length novel to be published – my second, called Obsessed, is due for publication this summer.
What is it about the paranormal, in particular demons and spirits, that fascinates you so much?
I've got quite a morbid fascination for these topics. Even as a child, I studied paranormal literature, watched documentaries, read case studies and reports of hauntings and possession. Today, I'm still heavily engrossed in these subjects – I'm a staff member at a paranormal web site and I have attended some paranormal investigators evenings. I'm learning about these things all the time. I can't honestly say why I am drawn to these things – it's something I've been drawn to for as long as I can remember. The idea that spirits roam this earth, that they seek to contact us, and the theory that demons exist and want to possess us simply amazes and terrifies me. My work often touches upon these things.
What inspired you to write this book?
The idea for The Banishing didn't hit me like a strike of lightening – it was an idea that simply evolved over time. I had been reading testimonies from those that claimed to have been possessed by demons, I had also been reading literature on the subject of demonology. I found the idea of somebody being possessed by an entity purely terrifying – especially after reading The Exorcist and watching the movie, The Exorcism of Emily Rose. I wanted to create a story about a modern day possession that felt real, gritty, realistic and close to home. From the reactions of readers, so far, I feel I have come close to achieving that.
Was one of your characters more challenging to write than another?
I found my main character, Melissa Sanderson, hard to write. In The Banishing, Melissa undergoes some very traumatic domestic abuse, and as a writer, I wanted to pull her out of that situation. I kept thinking in my own logical way “Why would she stay with her partner? I need her out of there.” But I looked into the subject of domestic abuse – and so many women or men DO stay with their partners, even when suffering terrible abuse. It's a fact; it happens. So my struggle was making my character, Melissa, understandable and likeable to people who felt that she, as a character, was insane for staying by her partner. I had to make people see and understand the reasons why people stand by somebody who abuses them – and it's something I explored in The Banishing.
What is the most interesting thing you have physically done for book related research purposes?
Well, in writing The Banishing, I wanted to surround myself in the subjects of demons, possessions and the after-life, so I read some fascinating literature – some which is allegedly true, some was fiction, but it all helped inspire me and helped me to learn. I read some great – and frightening things. I love that about writing – the things you expose yourself to, that you'd have otherwise never come across.
Do any of your characters have similar characteristics of yourself in them and what are they?
I always try to distance my characters from myself and the people I know, however I feel that parts of me, and the people I know, sneak in there on some level.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? How do you deal with it?
I haven't, to any serious degree, but I do have moments where I just don't feel mentally in the place to write and I don't force it – if there are a few days where I'm not ready to write, I just don't write. There is no use in me forcing myself, I have tried that before and the results were bad. I have to be inspired, I have to feel in the place, or the writing won't be as good as it could be. It means I have a few days, sometimes a couple of weeks off, but thankfully most of the time I feel good and write at least something each day.
Do you write in different genres?
I only write horror books – however, horror can cover a wealth of other subjects. For instance, my second novel, Obsessed, which is due for release in September, is a ghost story, however it also delves heavily into the subjects of therapy, post-traumatic stress and mental issues. Horror sounds like it is all about blood and gore, but quite often, a good scary story will involve so much more.
When did you consider yourself a writer?
I consider myself a writer now - because I write all the time, and thankfully I am now published too.
What was the last amazing book you read?
The Mother's Tale, by Cammilla Noli. It's such a dark, disturbing story – not typical horror at all, but it really gets you under your skin. Sometimes we find horror in surprising places.
Where is your favorite place to read? Do you have a cozy corner or special reading spot?
I like to read each day, if time permits. I normally grab a cup of coffee, curl up on my sofa, and read. All the better if it's a cold, wet day and I can snuggle down!
What can readers expect next from you?
Well, I'm still busy promoting The Banishing. I have Obsessed, which is a ghost story, due for release in in a couple of months, so I'll be busy working on the release for that. I have finished writing my third novel, The Shift, and I am currently submitting that to different publishing companies – so fingers crossed that it will be released in the future. Alongside that, there are often short stories, articles and interviews being added to my website.
Where can readers find you on the web?
My website, which is updated regularly, is the best place:
You can also email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
To visit Fiona at other stops along her tour check this list:
June 13th and 14thThe Plot Character Post
June 13 Tour Kick Off
June 13 Review Authors By Authors
June 14 Guest Post Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews:
June 15 Guest Post
June 16 Guest Blog Mysteriousbooks
June 16 Guest Blog and Review All Things Books
June 17 Review and Guest Post Reader Girls
2 ebook copies of The Banishing
will be given away tour wide-
if you'd like to enter to win a copy
please leave a comment on this post
with your email address
Winners will be chosen at the end of the tour