Archive for February 22nd, 2016|Daily archive page

Monday’s Friend: Fiona Dodwell

Today I’m pleased to welcome another woman of horror to the blog – British horror writer Fiona Dodwell.

SJT: Some writers discover their calling at a very young age. Others arrive at it a bit later in life. How did it come to you?

Fiona DodwellFD: This is a tough one to answer, because in all honesty, I don’t remember a time when I didn’t want to write. I seem to have been born with a passion for writing, and there doesn’t seem to be a particular moment that sparked this, at least that I recall. It seems to be in my blood! One of my earliest memories is of writing short stories and poems, and of declaring to my teacher in primary school that “when I grow up, I want to write books.”

SJT: What advice would you pass on to beginner writers that you wish someone had told you when you were first starting out?

FD: Not to over-think things. I believe it’s far too easy to put up your own road-blocks, to keep thinking of the struggles, obstacles and difficulties in writing. The reasons can be many: I don’t have much time. I find this story hard to write. What if no one likes it? Am I good enough? You can carry these issues around and let it stop you, or you can ignore the doubts and simply try. Only two things can happen: 1) You complete a story you are happy with, which is an immense achievement or 2) You write something you feel unhappy with. Ultimately, neither of those two outcomes are a waste of time – all the while you are trying, working, writing and practising, you are becoming the best writer you can be. Don’t let doubts stop you, or you’ll never reach your full potential. You’ll never know what you could have done.

SJT: You seem to have been rather busy in the last six months, with several new releases. Want to tell us about them?

FD: Yes, I’ve had a really good time lately. Last year, I was offered representation with Media Bitch Literary Agency, and from the team there I’ve had a lot of support. The agents there are amazing – always helping, supporting, promoting and uplifting their authors. That’s a big part of why I’ve been able to get a lot done – they’ve been behind me all the way, helping me. In the last few months, I’ve released Nails, which is a paranormal novella, The Redwood Lodge Investigation and Juniper’s Shadow, which is the first segment of what will eventually be a trilogy. I also took part in The Dichotomy of Christmas, an anthology of horror stories alongside wonderful talents such as Graham Masterton, Michael Bray and M.R Sellars.

nails full wrap NO SPINE (2)SJT: Why is horror the genre for you? What’s the appeal, for you, about writing spooky stories?

FD: From the youngest age, I loved telling friends ghost stories at sleep-overs, and watching scary movies. I’ve always had a morbid fascination with anything dark or creepy. I used to go to the library and borrow books on hauntings, and obsess over the tales for days. I’m not so much into blood and gore, but I love a good creepy ghost story. I think it’s because I find reading something scary quite thrilling. I love the fear, the tension, the sense of darkness. I’m really not someone who loves comedies and romantic films!

SJT: February is Women In Horror month. Would you say that there is still a misconception out there that women don’t write horror? Have things improved? Discuss!

FD: I think horror is still very dominated by male presence – we have Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Adam Nevill, Jack Ketchum, Joe Hill etc who are all brilliant, and who I very much admire. But I think females can bring something different to the table, something that shouldn’t be ignored. There is a quiet and sinister element to certain female horror writers that really gets under my skin, in such a delicious way. One only has to read Susan Hill, Alison Littlewood, Sarah Pinborough or Shirley Jackson to know that a female writer can be very dark – in a very unnerving way. I love that more and more female horror writers are making a name for themselves. With the advent of ebook publishing, I think we will start to see more of us, and hopefully the playing field will be a little more level as time goes on.

SJT: What projects have you got on the go at the moment?

FD: I have some projects ahead of me in 2016 that I am very excited about. There are some that I can’t yet share, unfortunately, but I promise there is a lot going on.

Juniper FINAL (2)What I can tell you is that I am taking part in a horror anthology which will be released in March, called Beasts. I am really happy to be sharing pages alongside Jack Ketchum, Iain Rob Wright, Michael Bray and many, many more fantastic writers on that project. I will also be releasing a novella entitled The Faceless, which has been great fun to write.

Later in the year I will hopefully be releasing my fourth full-length novel, The Risen. That novel is in the hands of my agent as we speak, and being shopped around various publishers. So it’s full steam ahead, and I am really excited to see what the year brings. I’m enjoying being busy, and it’s keeping me out of trouble!

Many thanks to Fiona for being my guest today! You can find all of Fiona’s books at Amazon.