C L RAVEN
G'day Ladies, and welcome. What a beautiful weather we are having, snow, sleet and hail all the good stuff. Yeah, please don't swing on that pole... its not a pole its a... lever..... oh well never mind. Looks like I am going to spend the afternoon hunting down the Primian. Bugger. Umm ladies, I'm just looking out my window here. Did you guys make those snowmen? You didn't see the signs banning the making of snowman? You did? Yet you...Oh they are Snow-Yetis, great, absolutely great. What's the problem? Well since D.J Doyle drank that acid and melted her guts through her ribs she threw some kind of Celtic curse on my land regarding creatures made of snow. Well if you read her story about Horny Snowmen in our Xtreme Xmas collab. Anyway, I best get the fires burning and crank up the Heater. Oh that poor Primian, this will teach him not to leave his cage without permission. He will never be the same after your Snow-Yetis get through with him. OK, yes the interview, let's get it started.
From where do you hail? And what is your modus operandi with the blood soaked pen?
Greetings! We hail from Cardiff, Wales and we write a range of horror from gothic, historical, supernatural to gore and comedy. Usually the gory and comedic ones are combined. Decapitation will never not be funny.
All of our characters have elements of ourselves woven into them. Which poor character is most like you?
Ooh that’s a tough one. Probably Asta in one of our works in progress. She has the most similar thought processes and opinions. We’ll wait for the backlash when it’s published of people saying how unlikeable or unrelatable she is, and we can say “welcome to inside our heads!”
Imagine I am filthy successful agent (I did say imagine) we are stepping into an elevator. Hit me with your top three elevator pitches for three pieces of your work.
Silent Dawn is a computer game character who steals people’s sanities. Just because her legend dates back hundreds of years, doesn’t mean she’s real. Just because children are going missing, doesn’t mean she’s real. Just because she’s standing in the corner…
The Bubonic Plague is ravaging Edinburgh. When the plague doctor dies from the disease, the council hires student doctor Alex McCrae, promising him one hundred pounds to cure the wretched pest. When the council can’t afford to pay McCrae, they hope he’ll succumb to the disease. But the plague isn’t the only way to kill a man.
Ravens Retreat harbours a sinister secret. Inside its blackened heart lurk the ghosts of patients and staff who died when the asylum was burned down in 1904. Over a hundred years later, the West wing survives and now the patients want revenge. Some things should never be disturbed.
Now I can’t start writing until I have a coffee and digestive biscuits to hand. Do you have a ritual before you start writing, or is it spontaneous venture?
Not so much a ritual but a daily routine. Get up, feed the animal army (there’s currently 24 of them), walk the dog, have a Red Bull and Party Rings, clean out the animal army, clean up the mess we made cleaning them out, have a Fry’s Chocolate Cream, or Moo-Free chocolate, depending what we have in the house, then start writing. We edit more than we write, or we’re doing research. It’s something work-related, even if it’s not actual writing.
Is there one thing you would have done differently or known earlier in your writing career?
That getting your first short story acceptance doesn’t mean more acceptances will swiftly follow. We were young then – 25 – and still naive! We first self-published in 2012, so maybe if we’d done it sooner, we wouldn’t be drowning in the self-publishing sea, but if we’d done it sooner, the work would have been substandard. Although we entered the world of writing knowing how hard it would be to make a success of it, we still had that hope. We’d probably go back and tell our younger selves that it’s not hard, it’s impossible. But younger us didn’t like taking advice. Older us doesn’t like taking advice! Younger us didn’t like being told by other people we’d never make it, so they definitely wouldn’t like to hear it from older us. Actually, we still don’t like hearing it, but we are more realistic now and actually have a plan B. However, due to the pandemic, plan B is not going well at all, so we’re currently back to plan A.
Other than this ground breaking interview, what are you currently working on?
Loads! We’ve just finished two true crime articles, we’re currently editing a gothic novella, we have several novels in the first draft stages that need editing, and we’re starting to work on our first non-fiction book. We also edit a pole and aerial magazine, so we’re constantly working on that. Our plan B is that we opened a mobile pole studio. Right at the beginning of the pandemic, so we’re not currently teaching, otherwise we’d also be working on that. We’re also working on some pole competition routines. Well, we say we’re working on them, but really we’re planning to work on them and figure how we’re actually going to do it when our home pole isn’t tall enough for doubles stuff, and we’re at risk of breaking our toes on the furniture.
We all know horror people are just the warmest, friendliest bunch of writers around. Why do you think this is?
Because we all express our dark sides through writing and creating, rather than repressing it and then unleashing it on people around us. We embrace the darkness. Also, who told you we were friendly? They were lying!
How do you determine success for yourself?
That’s a hard one. Probably when we get to the stage where we’re being invited to prestigious anthologies, being nominated for a Bram Stoker Award, being on one of those lists of people you should read or whatever. Our name being recognised. Or on a smaller scale, selling more than ten copies on release day :D (and one is to our mum). Regularly selling at least 5 books a month.
Other than WIHM which is an amazing month for female horror writers. How do you feel other women can best support each other in this genre.
Recommending each other’s books, sharing or retweeting their work. We’re in a few horror book groups, and whenever someone asks for recommendations, the same names come up: Stephen King, Richard Laymon, Bentley Little, Clive Barker, Adam Neville and Tim Lebbon. All white men! Get in on the discussion and recommend women. Recommend women of colour. Let’s get rid of this notion that horror writers are all white men! Let’s start a feminist horror uprising! Now, we’re in no way suggesting that women of horror should slaughter the men of the genre and write their masterpieces in the men’s blood, but…remember the bit about us not being friendly? 😉
Where did you discover your love for all things that go bump in the night, or splat on the walls?
We can’t remember the exact moment. We’ve always been attracted to the dark side. When we were about 4, and were obsessed with the Care Bears, our mum says we used to stick our tummies out to destroy random children with our Care Bear stare. Looking back, we completely missed the point of the Care Bears. We watched our first horror film when we were 8. It was Snowbeast, and our childhood was spent trying to pause the VHS on the monster’s face. When we wrote stories in primary school, the people would always be murdered horrifically. Nowadays, the psychologists would be called in, but the late ‘80s/early ‘90s were more carefree times. A couple of years ago, we met up with our old teacher from when we were 9. When we told her we were horror writers, she replied, “Yes. I remember your stories.” That’s a good thing, right?
Twins of Terror Links Here, If You Can Handle It!!
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/C-L-Raven/e/B0078NM3M0
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