Check out this author spotlight for Raven Oak!
You can find all her links furthest down the page, and don’t forget to check out her books!
1. Hi! Welcome to my humble blog of all things bookish! I would like for us to start by getting to know you. Give us a short bio, please!
Multi-international award-winning speculative fiction author Raven Oak is best known for Amaskan’s Blood (2016 Ozma Fantasy Award Winner, Epic Awards Finalist, & Reader’s Choice Award Winner), Amaskan’s War (2018 UK Wishing Award YA Finalist), and Class-M Exile. She also has many published short stories in anthologies and magazines. She’s even published on the moon! (No, really!) Raven spent most of her K-12 education doodling stories and 500 page monstrosities that are forever locked away in a filing cabinet.
Besides being a writer and artist, she’s a geeky, disabled ENBY who enjoys getting her game on with tabletop games, indulging in cartography and art, or staring at the ocean. She lives in the Seattle area with her husband, and their three kitties who enjoy lounging across the keyboard when writing deadlines approach. Her hair color changes as often as her bio does, and you can find her at www.ravenoak.net.
2. To get to know you just a little bit better, I’d like to ask you some this or that questions. Answer 5 of these and explain why you chose this or that, or maybe an entirely different alternative!
Winter, spring, summer or autumn? It’s really a tie between autumn and winter. I love the leaves changing colors and the cool temperatures of fall. I’m also a huge fan of creepy things, so Halloween is definitely my bag. But I also love snowfall and the winter landscape, as well as the December holiday season.
Cat or dog? Cats. I love most animals, including dogs, but cats are more intelligent. They aren’t subservient and like me, tend to do what they please. 😉 I have three disabled cats that own me.
Tea or coffee? Tea. I enjoy cold brew coffee and sugar-coffee aka mochas and pumpkin spice lattes, but tea is everything. It’s warm and soothing or it can have a bit of a kick like it does in black licorice black tea. It’s one of my favorite drinks and yes, I have tea cups.
Morning or evening? Definitely evening. I’m a mid-owl. I do my best work between 2 PM and midnight. By 2 AM, I’m ready for sleep. Book or ebook? You know, for all that I have a M.S. in computers and love tech, I’m a book person. E-books give me migraines and honestly, I lose focus with them. But a book—oh man, you can smell the pages, like memories floating through synapses. You can touch the paper and binding, feel the weight of it in your hands. There’s something about the tactile experience that makes the reading all the more enjoyable for me.
3. When you look for books to read, what trope or type of story will always catch your attention?
I don’t look for tropes typically. I prefer books that subvert them anyway. I tend to look for something that’s unique or something that asks intense questions such as is intelligent life avoiding us or are they as small as we are in the universe? I want to read something with depth of thought and world building. Good covers help too. Nothing bothers me more than a cover that looks like the author made it in paint. I usually pick a page at random to read to ensure the book’s been edited by someone with real editing experience. As an author, I can afford to be picky so I am.
4. What do you write? Tell us about your current projects and the latest happenings!
I mostly write speculative fiction (sci-fi/fantasy) but I do make dips into horror and mystery. What can I say? I love crossing genres. I’m currently working on Book III in my Boahim Trilogy, Amaskan’s Honor. I just finished two short stories for anthologies and should have 3-4 books out this year provided supply chains don’t get worse. I’m hoping to release a collection of short stories too if I get to finishing some of the new stories for it. Right now, I’m writing and waiting for Covid to go away so I can return to being a guest at various conventions. I miss seeing my readers.
5. What is your most recent release? Give us a short presentation, cover, and a link for where to buy it!
I just had two holiday novellas come out in December: The Ringers (gothic fantasy) and Ol’ St. Nick (sci-fi mystery). You can buy them anywhere, but here are the Amazon links: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09MR6JVTL/ (The Ringers)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09MNX94ST/ (Ol’ St. Nick)
In The Ringers: Every time a bell ring, someone’s going to die.
Around Christmas, many towns and villages are full of wonder and magic, full of smiling people who live to spread seasonal joy. But in the dreary village of Dekwood, the midnight bells are ringing once again… Who are these Ringers? Why does no one speak out against the evil in town? Young Elise seeks deadly answers in hopes that she can save the town…and herself. Will the Ringers take them all, or will Elise release evil’s grip on the little village of Dekwood?
In Ol’ St. Nick: When a mobster Santa dies, everyone’s a suspect!
What do you get when you mix an old Earth myth with mobsters and space ships? A locked room mystery with holiday trimmings involving the plucky crew of a scavenger ship.
Captain Mark Barnes has but one request: keep his ship flying and his crew happy. But when someone from his past tears their way into the present, everyone on his ship becomes a murder suspect, including himself. Especially himself. Time’s running out as Mark and his crew struggle to find the murderer among them, because if they don’t, they just might kill one another. When a family falls apart, can the damage be repaired? Or will this holiday go down in history as a complete and utter disaster?
6. What real-life inspiration do you draw from, and what are your primary fictional sources of inspiration (books, authors, films, music, etc.)? Name a few!
I tend to draw from my own life and lives of people around me. File off the serial numbers and voila! New story! For example, my space opera novella, Class-M Exile, came from my past. I grew up in the Bible Belt in a town where even the Catholics pretended to be Southern Baptist/Evangelical. When I first met a good friend, she was the complete antithesis of everyone I knew and as such, people were afraid of her. I used that experience to write about a future where humanity is mostly extinct, so when a group of aliens see one, they freak out. It’s comical but underneath it is an exploration of prejudice. I try not to use existing works by others as inspiration because it would be too easy to write that instead of something new, but I love space westerns so works like Cowboy Bebop and Firefly are appreciated.
7. What is your writing routine? If you have one, give us the run-down!
I write full time for a living so I definitely have a routine. Because I’m disabled and brain fog from both my disease and my meds is a thing, I usually spend the morning shaking it off by reading, doing brain puzzles, or watching a good TV show. Around 11 A.M., I go to my office and answer business emails followed by 30 minutes doing business social media. I spend a few hours editing (I take a lunch break somewhere in there), and around 2 PM, I hit the ground running with writing. I typically work until around 6 or 6:30 PM and then spend the evening with my family. Weekends are typically for family as well, unless I’m at a convention/conference, writer retreat, etc.
8. If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice as you started out on the path to becoming an author, what would it be?
Don’t listen to the anxiety and depression. You’ve got this.
9. Last but not least: where can we find you? Drop those links!
FB Author Page: https://facebook.com/authorroak
FB Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ravenconspiracy
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/raven_oak
BookBub Author Page: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/raven-oak