Wednesday, June 13, 2012

"I Bid You Welcome": Conversation Continues with Medium and Author Dorothy Davies

Dorothy Davies is a writer, editor and medium who lives on the Isle of Wight, a small island off the south coast of England. It is reputed to be the most haunted place in the UK, the word wight means spirit, which may well explain why her latent psychic abilities only came fully to the fore when she moved there just over 17 years ago.

Dorothy returns today as my guest. In my June 11, 2012 blog post, we discussed her early experiences as a medium. Today, our chat will focus on her writing, especially her book I Bid You Welcome: A Collection of Dark Tales from Writers in Spirit. (cover and purchase links can be found at the bottom of this post)

Dorothy provides this insight in the book’s description on Createspace:

As a medium I am used to spirits walking in and working with me. There are a lot of books out there with my name on, all of which have been dictated by spirit authors. Richard Laymon arrived some time before we actually began work on the novel he wanted to write: he was just there, a companion whilst I fought my way through the process of getting the first channelled book into the public arena. Once the book was published, he began hinting that it would be rather fun to begin something which was not historical, which we did. We then started to write what felt like a non-stop stream of short stories which have been published in anthologies, both print and on-line. Richard asked me to collect them into a separate anthology as we worked.

Dorothy, reading the stories in this book, I must say the writers I was familiar with did in fact seem to speak in these pages—Richard Layman’s famous dark comedy and relentless gore, Edith Wharton’s literary and chilling style.

Of course, those who refuse to believe in the supernatural might just say you have learned to mimic the styles and voice of these deceased authors and historical figures. How do handle such skepticism?

I ask them if they could write a story in an evening and have it accepted without revision or editing. The stories just spilled from me. I do not let it bother me that people may think I am copying, the facts are this: each writer has their own 'voice' when writing. My stories have different 'voices' which is impossible to do if they were coming from my mind, my imagination. Same with the historical 'novels'. I have information not found in history books and, the amount of research I would have had to do for each of those books is unbelievable. I wrote Henry's book in six months. I wrote Judas' book in six weeks (and had it vetted by two knowledgeable people as I did so). I know more about Guy Fawkes' torture and trial than anyone has written. The same goes for the stories. I 'grew up' with Ray Bradbury's wonderful work but I do not write like Ray Bradbury. I had not read a single story by Edith Wharton until she came to me with her delicate chilling ghost stories.

I grew up viewing endless repeats of the old Universal monster films and always loved watching Bela Lugosi. Tell us about your first encounter with Bela.

I am not a film buff, I only know of Bela through the occasional horror film way back when. Static Movement proposed a vampire anthology. I recall sitting in my office saying to Richard (Laymon) 'I'd like to be in that but I don't do vampires.' I became aware of a presence almost immediately, looked round and said 'Bela?' and got the laugh I associate with him. 'Now you can,' he said. 'Rich and I can write vampire stories.' (It's one of the 'strange' things about my mediumship that I know who is there without seeing them. They impress themselves that strongly on me.) No way would I have thought of Bela as a writer, but he has stories to tell and tells them against himself at times. Transformation is Bela laughing at his own image. He is a delight.

What challenges did you face compiling this collection?

Balance, mostly, trying to ensure gore was offset with delicate, chill rather than ice, so the anthology flows from one to the other. Each story was a pleasure to transcribe, there is a deep sense of joy when working one to one with a spirit in that way.
My usual editor didn't like the stories, said they didn't work for him, so I offered it to Fiction4all who took it, created the cover and put it out in all the formats. I am very grateful to them for the belief in the collection.

Do you ever write as “Dorothy” now, without channelling? If so, how is that writing process different?

Rarely! Dorothy as a writer has become subsumed into Dorothy the medium. As with public speaking, it is sooooo much easier to let someone else do the work…it leaves the brain free for editing...

What projects are you working on now?

Books and more books. I hope! The list is endless, the visitors innumerable, the pleasure immense. I should be told when the last book is done, so I can dispose of the vast library of books  - I have a book on each person to keep track of the timeline. They are good at memories, bad at timelines, but then, aren't we all?

Thank you for this opportunity! It is very much appreciated, by me and those I work with.  Richard Laymon says, good one, George, we appreciate it and by the way, I like your stories!

Thank you. That is great. Tell Richard I am a great fan. I have only recently began to work my way through some of his novels but he is one of those short story writers (along with Richard Matheson, Ray Bradbury or Clive Barker) who if you see his name on an anthology you buy it. No hesitation.

Thanks again for stopping by Dorothy and thanks to any visitors to the blog. I hope you found Dorothy as much a delight to chat with as I have. Please check the links below to this collection we’ve been discussing and to Dorothy’s website.

I Bid You Welcome, is available at:

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