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Author Helen Downing Discusses Her Novel ‘Awake In Hell’

Helen Downing 2014

Can you tell me about Awake In Hell?

It’s about a woman named Louise Patterson, and she’s dead. She has been dead for a while, and she is in hell.

A place where everyone must face the challenges of being damned. This includes below code living arrangements, a supernatural closet that makes getting dressed every day punitive, and absolutely horrible coffee.

When Louise was alive, she was one of those “Go Big or Go Home” kinda people. As an underworld dweller, she’s getting used to the fact that living “larger than life” may have had some not-so-great consequences in the afterlife.

That is until she loses her job in Hell. In her search for gainful employment in Central City, Hades, she finds a post-it note that gives her something to look forward to for the first time since arriving down below.

Louise discovers the “Second Chance Temp Agency” along with its enigmatic CEO Mr. Deedy, who gives her so much more than a job.

Louise gets pulled into a truly Hellacious adventure–filled with demons, ghosts, angels, magic, temp jobs, wardrobe malfunctions, and quite possibly…redemption.

Remembering Hell will be less about Louise’s personal journey and more about her learning her role in her new society, to continue her own journey and let others do the same, and how to identify allies.

Helen Downing - Awake in Hell imageWhat sparked the original idea?

I knew I wanted to write a story about redemption, and forgiveness. It came at a time when I was searching for my own redemption and learning that before you can ask for that, you must forgive. Always.

What research, if any, was needed to write it?

Well, Mr Deedy – one of the main characters – is Welsh. I was fortunate to be able to go to Wales to visit family and to hear that wonderful accent. Also it is so green there, and some parts are ancient while other parts are almost cosmopolitan. It really is a wonderful place!

Can you share about the writing process – did you plan in advance or write it by the seat of your pants?

A little of both. I always have an idea of where a character is going. But then I have to write them from point A to point B. I got the A and B part solidified, but the stuff in the middle is always a bit of an adventure!

Helen Downing - Awake in Hell new coverCould you describe two or three of the characters from the book and explain how you created them?

Louise Patterson is the protagonist. While she has had a ton of adventures that I have not, she is still kind of me.

Mr. Deedy is the other main character. He is a mystery…you never know how he’s going to react to Louise, but hopefully you can feel his affection for her from the start. I knew who Deedy was going to be in the book, but I kind of let him create himself during the process. He is my favourite character in this book, and to be honest…I think he’s one of my favourite characters of all time.

Is there a particular message in the book you’d like readers to understand?

Forgive always. Period. Even yourself. Especially yourself!

Where can people buy the book?

From Amazon UK, Amazon US and from Amazon worldwide. It’s also available soon in paperback.

Where can you be found online?

Facebook – www.facebook.com/authorhelendowning

Or my website (with a bunch of links to other places) – www.authorhelendowning.com

  • Helen Downing’s ‘Writing Life’ interview can be read here.
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About Ruth Jacobs (296 Articles)
Author of Soul Destruction: Unforgivable, a novel exposing the dark world and harsh reality of life as a drug addicted call girl. The main storyline is based loosely on events from my own life. In addition to fiction writing, I am also involved in journalism and broadcasting, primarily for human rights campaigning in the areas of sex workers' rights, anti-sexual exploitation and anti-human trafficking.

3 Comments on Author Helen Downing Discusses Her Novel ‘Awake In Hell’

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  1. In the Booth with Ruth – Helen Downing, Author | Ruth Jacobs

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