Well, I've always been fascinated by the paranormal, and, as a result, I am a member of several paranormal groups (online and off). I've been involved in discussions with people before, sceptics, who say that ghosts are nothing more than hallucination, delusion, or mental issues. I wanted to explore that, so in my novel, my character begins to feel he is being haunted and visited by a spirit – and it is through exploring his frightening experiences with a therapist, that he has to ask himself some serious questions. Is the ghost he is seeing the result of a troubled mind, or do the dead really reach out to make contact?
Obsessed is your second release. Is there anything you learnt from the release of The Banishing that you used for Obsessed?
I think everything about The Banishing was a learning curve for me. It was my first completed novel, and my first novel to be published, so I had a lot to learn. It was all a new experience. I guess if I had to say I learned anything, it was about editing. How to approach it, what was necessary, what wasn't. I lost a lot of the nervousness this time around, because I knew what to expect, which helped. It meant I could enjoy the experience more, of creating my novel and getting it ready for release.
Obsessed sounds like another intense story – what was the inspiration behind it?
Both Obsessed and The Banishing touch on the supernatural, from the demonic to the ghostly. Are you a believer in the paranormal? How would you cope with a ghost in the house?
I have been completely fascinated by the paranormal since I was a child. I have seen what I believe to be a spirit before, and spent time in a haunted house. I have read books, factual accounts, of so-called hauntings. I am a practising tarot card reader, and I also study rune stones. I have attended paranormal groups and investigations. It all completely draws me in, and often inspires my writing. Yet the strange truth is this: I am easily scared. I wouldn't want to live in a haunted house, and I don't like being alone at night. It's a very strange paradox!
What are the themes you keep coming back to as a writer? Do you notice any recurring ideas and motifs in your work?
My main themes, that always seem to creep in somewhere, are often either spiritual (religious undertones) and paranormal. Those issues sneak into my writing all the time. I've also noticed I'm not a believer in the “traditional” happy-ever-after ending. That's not to say all my books have to be depressing or have nasty endings, but it DOES mean that I like to end a story leaving the reader with questions, ideas and new thoughts of their own. The more I can involve a reader by provoking them, the more satisfied I am.
If you could have dinner with any other writer, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Stephen King. I know it's cliché and said time and time again, but I believe he is the master at what he does.
What's the hardest part of the writing process for you?
Letting go. I always get scared when I approach the end. By the time I will have finished a book and edited it, I'll be thinking, “Is this part good enough?” “Should I add a scene here?” “Does this part come across the way I intended it?” I mean, those are good questions for authors, but not to the point where you can't let go. Sometimes I can hold onto a story for a long time, for fear that I'll make a mistake, or get something wrong. When you hope your work is going to be published and read by many, those fears feel all too real: your work is out there to be judged, and that can be daunting.
And following on from that, your books so far deal with very dark, often disturbing subject matter – do you find it hard to write this kind of thing or are you happiest when getting dark and bloody with your characters?
Horror makes me happy. Seriously. I know some people think that is weird, and some people don't understand it, but I love to be scared (in a safe, entertainment sort of way!) I love to get under the skin and really explore dark, disturbing, scary or eerie issues. It's simply the way I am. I have tried to write outside of horror before, and nothing happens. The magic ends when I try to write outside of what I'm passionate about.
And following on from that, what's your favourite part of the writing process?
The beginning, when you've had that amazing idea, when you're getting to know your characters, when it's all flowing. I love the start – it's like a relationship. At the start it's all exciting and new and you want to explore each and every aspect, but I find it tougher as I get more into it. The editing, the deleting, the submission process etc.
With Obsessed out in the world, what are you working on now?
Well, I finished a horror novel entitled The Shift a few weeks ago. I'm currently submitting that to publishing houses. I have also just literally started writing my fourth – but it's very early stages!
Anything else we should know about Fiona and her works?
Well, I mainly want to share my online home, because that's where you can learn most things about me, my work and my upcoming projects: www.fionasfiction.wordpress.com