Today I have the pleasure of welcoming author Fiona Dodwell over on her book tour for Obsessed!
On Ghosts and the After-Life
When I wrote The Banishing, a couple of years ago, I knew that demons and evil were going to be the main focus. They were not easy subjects to tackle; the story was full of darkness, evil and helplessness, and I knew it would not be everybody's favourite subject. It was around this time that I knew I had to write a ghost story. I feel I am not generalising too much when I say most of us love a good ghost story. Ghost stories get under the skin, leave us all with that sinister thrill of wonder: do they exist? Do houses truly get haunted?
That was how Obsessed came about. I wanted to explore my favourite subject. Those questions that have haunted human beings since time began: do we live on? Do we possess a soul?
I enjoy exploring the paranormal; I am a staff member of an online paranormal forum (Talk Paranormal), I attend and review paranormal events and study literature on the subject in my spare time. You might say I live and breathe the subject – and you would not be exaggerating. It's been a passion since childhood, so I could not imagine anything better than writing a ghost story for my second novel.
Obsessed touches upon the after-life, about one man's struggle to come to terms with a haunting. This theme got me thinking about some of my own experiences, times where I felt I had come face-to-face with something I could not fully explain. I thought it might be fun to share one of my own ghostly encounters, and perhaps readers of this blog might want to add some of their own via the comments board, or email me (email address at the end.)
My ghostly encounter:
Three years back, I went with my husband to stay with his family, and we decided to stay for the week, so we had to sleep in the spare room. I remember that it was early hours of the morning, and I suddenly woke up with a jolt, as if something had woken me. I looked around me - my husband was fast asleep on the other side of the bed - but when I looked at the end of the bed, there was an old woman there. Now, my heart beat faster than ever, and I was so, so scared. I literally froze. She was tall, wearing a black dress. She was old looking, with grey hair tied up in a sort of bun. She wore glasses, and was staring not at me but at the door to the bedroom.
After a second, I reached over to wake my husband as I was so shocked, but the moment that I looked back, she was gone.
The next day, over breakfast, I explained what had happened that night to my Mother-in-law. She sounded shocked when I described the old woman. She said, "It sounds like Grandma!" She grabbed a photo from an old family album- and the ghost looked exactly like my husbands Nan.
Nothing has happened since that, in this particular home, but it was an amazing experience.
Is my story really paranormal in nature? Or am I too quick to dismiss the rational explanations for what I saw that night, as I lay in bed? That is the great part: delving into the unknown, being part of a larger mystery. It's exactly the kind of mystery I threw my character, James Barker into.
If you want to share your story, please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Obsessed is available now, in paperback and eBook formats!
Paperback, 182 pages
Published September 1st 2011 by Damnation Books, LLC (first published August 31st 2011)
Sometimes the past just won't stay dead and buried...
James Barker is a happily married man. He thinks he has it all-until one morning when he witnesses a gruesome suicide. Haunted by the death, James embarks on a journey. Who was this man? Why did he kill himself?
Now haunted by visions of the dead man in his home and in his nightmares, James begins to wonder if he is losing his mind. Surely the dead can't return?
As James uncovers the terrifying truth of the stranger who died at his own hands, he realizes his own life is in danger-and the lives of those he loves.
He’d heard somewhere that drowning was a nice death that unconsciousness was quick to come, that it was like floating to oblivion. The idea sounded almost inviting.
James recoiled, jerked his body away from the edge of the pier, scared of how easy it was to end it all. What the hell am I doing?
“Go on, then. Do it.” The voice was behind him, close, he could almost feel the warmth of someone's breath against his neck. Suddenly he felt himself being shoved by invisible hands against the railing behind him.
James spun around, gasped. No one was near him, no one beside him, but he watched as a dark figure strolled casually away from the pier. He walked with big strides, a confident looking man. Except he is not a man, James thought, fighting the compulsion to turn back to the sea and jump into its cold clutches. It’s a demon. And I won’t let him win.