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Guest Post – Fiona Dodwell – Horror Author Extraordinaire

June 11, 2011

I am very happy to introduce my very first guest blog. I met Fiona Dodwell through the Absolute Write Water Cooler web site. She is one great lady and an outstanding horror author. Fiona has agreed to do an interview for me to post here.


Fiona Dodwell lives in the UK, with her husband. She currently works part-time in psychiatry, and writes passionately during her time off. She has studied theology, psychology, drama and film studies. She has been writing since she was a child; writing short stories, poems and entering writing contests filled much of her time. Her first novel, The Banishing, was released in March this year, and her second novel, Obsessed, is due for release in September.

 Fiona Dodwell on The Banishing

 Can you tell me a bit about your novel?

 The Banishing is a horror story that explores the dark subjects of demonic possession and domestic abuse. Here is the synopsis:

 When Melissa first notices the change in her husband – subtle at first – she thinks it may be the stress of moving into their new home. Or working long hours. But soon he turns into something far darker, far more sinister.

 Who or what is the dark shadow living beneath her husband? What is haunting him?

 Melissa must quickly find the answer to these questions, because Mark is changing, and fast. Soon her fight will be for her life, as well as for her marriage.

 The Banishing is a dark, disturbing novel exploring the world of demonic possession, spiritual oppression and domestic abuse.

 Can you tell me what inspired you to write The Banishing?

 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. I wanted to create a horror story that was distant from the drama and special effects that people have come to expect from such a story; to take readers by surprise.

 You seem fascinated by ghosts, demons and the paranormal. Can you tell me more?

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’m 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.

How did you find writing The Banishing? It does touch upon some dark issues. Did you find this difficult?

The Banishing was a difficult book to write. I had times when I just wanted to omit certain scenes or change the direction of the book, but I felt drawn and compelled to move forward with it, despite those feelings. Melissa, my main character, goes through hell. There were times I just wanted to get her to pack up and get out of that house, away from her husband, but somehow that wasn’t the story that wanted to be written.

I wanted to explore the reasons women might stay in an abusive relationship. It does happen, unfortunately. I wanted to explore my character, the way her mind works. In the book we find out she lost both of her parents in a tragic accident some years before. She is quite a solitary person. She is clinging to her marriage because, at times, she feels it’s all she has left.

Domestic abuse aside, I wanted to explore spiritual oppression and demonic possession. As someone who has long been fascinated by such subjects, I wanted to take the idea of an abusive character and take it down a different route: Is he being influenced? Possessed? Are there demons in the house or in his mind? I’m hoping these twists take the reader on a new and original journey. Mark’s behaviour does become different from that of a ‘typical’ abusive relationship, as readers will see.

Why do you like writing horror? Tell us of your fascination with horror, ghosts, the occult, etc. Are you a fan of the genre? What writers do you read, and who would you compare yourself to?

I have been fascinated with the paranormal all of my life. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t interested in the subject. I grew up reading accounts of hauntings and demonic possession, I joined online communities to discuss such topics, and I am also a member of the staff team at Talk Paranormal.

The writers I enjoy reading? I love Stephen King, Christopher Ransom, Bill Hussey, Adam Neville, Stephen Leather, Susan Hill and Edgar Allan Poe. The list goes on! I also enjoy non-fiction books on the subject of the paranormal and occult. I highly recommend Hostage To The Devil, by Martin Malachi.

What is next for you?

My second novel, Obsessed, is due for release in September this year. It’s a ghost story that also tackles issues about post-traumatic stress. I am also busy working away on my third novel, The Shift.

Where can we find out more about The Banishing and your other work?

My website is the best place:

You can also email me with any comments or questions at: 

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 11, 2011 6:53 am

    Thanks for having me as a guest, Fred!

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