Mar. 15th, 2011

naomi_jay: (ice cream happens)
A couple of other authors are doing the same as me and donating all the money made from their books sales this week to help Japan. Awesome! Here are some details: 

JH Sked, author of WolfSong is talking about what she and others are doing here. I really need to credit her with introducing me to this idea, as she was tweeting about it on Sunday and it inspired me to join in. WolfSong is available at Amazon, Smashwords, Diesel, and Sony. You can follow her on Twitter at @JHSked. I've bought my copy of WolfSong! ^_^

Lynda Horner, author of Darlin' Druid, has joined in too, and is talking about it at her blog here. You can buy her book here at Amazon or here from Barnes and Noble.

Laurie over at Laurie's Thoughts is helping spread the word about this, and I'm very grateful to her for that! And I'm also really thankful to anyone who's already bought a book, Tweeted, or blogged about this. It's not often I get a chance to do something that will genuinely make a difference in the world, and I'm delighted to see so many other people pitching in, getting the word out, and giving their time to a cause. I'm sure there are plenty of other people out there in the blogosphere doing their bit to help too, so if you know of anything or anyone, please give me a shout so I can mention it here.
naomi_jay: (mask)
Obviously I'm trying to keep the focus on my charitable endeavours this week, but there is other stuff happening in the blogosphere! Like, for example, me interviewing Fiona Dodwell, my fellow Damnation Books author. Fiona's debut novel, THE BANISHING, was released this month, and Fiona took the time to talk to me about the book and her writing. Go!


What were your favourite books as a child and what is your favourite genre to read now?

As a child, I genuinely loved what I love now: anything dark, mysterious, foreboding. I read a lot of Stephen King – with concerned parents peering over my shoulder – and enjoyed some of the lighter teenage horror fiction that was out at the time, such as R.L Stine's horror novels.

What's your creative process like? What do you have to do before you can actually sit down and write?

Once a seed of an idea has formed in my mind, I plan a very general outline of what my story will consist of and where I want to take it. If I need to research something, I normally do that before putting pen to paper. I don't plan my stories rigidly because I love the feeling of being surprised and taken aback by where my story goes and where my character takes me. There is nothing better than breathing life into your book and letting it grow. There is a magic moment when a story comes to life – I live for those moments.

Do you remember the first piece you ever wrote?

Yes, it was a short novel called 'Caged Demon' and I must have been around the age of ten or eleven. I loved that story at the time – I wish I had kept it. It was about a teenager who fell in love with a local man, only to find out he had recently escaped a maximum security prison – and was highly unbalanced! I'm sure if I read it back now I would laugh, but I was proud of it at the time.

Who are your biggest influences as a writer?

A mixture of Stephen King, Susan Hill and William Peter Blatty. I love any writer that can scare me!

What sort of goals do you set yourself when writing a book? Do you have a daily schedule to stick to?

If I feel like writing for four hours a day, I will. Some days I barely squeeze out three pages. I follow my gut instinct and go where the inspiration leads me. I normally have a vague outline in my head and work from that. I don't enjoy planning anything to rigidly because I like to leave room for my characters to grow and my story to bloom.

What are you working on right now?

I am working on my third novel, The Governess, a supernatural horror. I am also in the process of submitting my second novel, The Obsession, for publication.

What advice do you have for any writers just starting out and not sure what to do with their work?

Work hard at your story. Do your best with what you've got, don't be afraid of the delete button -sometimes we have to be our own harshest critic! Don't over-analyse, just write what you want to write, then you can return to the beginning and make your work as strong as it can be. Then, if you're happy with it, you can begin submitting it to publishers or agents. Don't be afraid of rejection – the best have faced that. We all do. Believe in your work and don't under-sell yourself.

Now, tell us about THE BANISHING – it's a gorgeous cover! But what about the story?

Thanks – I love the cover too. Dawne Dominique is an amazing artist. As for The Banishing, it is a story about the struggle of one woman to survive.  That's one strong element throughout my story: survival – and how far you would go to survive.

When Melissa first notices a change in her husband, she puts it down to stress. Long hours at work and on the road. However, when these changes start to become altogether more sinister and frightening, Melissa has to ask some serious questions. Is Mark mentally unwell? Or could be be under the influence of forces darker than she ever imagined? The Banishing explores themes of demonic possession, marital break-down and mental illness.

Where can readers find out more about you and your writing?

Please visit my website, www.fionasfiction.wordpress.com. There you will find a link to buy The Banishing as well as interviews, articles and short stories. The Banishing is available in e-book and paperback formats from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Damnation Books.

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