I’ve known Raven Bower for about a year now and have to tell you…very rarely does a writer come along that you just know is going to be huge one day. Raven is just such an author. She is someone that I know will one day become a household name. Her writing is just that good. So, when she announced the release of her newest book in her “Apparitions” series entitled WENDIGO, I knew that now was the perfect time to introduce you guys to her.
Raven Bower is an author of contemporary paranormal (some might say horror) and fantasy. She has a crisp, descriptive writing style that will leave you riveted in your seat.
Here’s a brief bio:
Raven Bower, along with her husband Lain are a wife and husband team of writers. They are avid role-players and love to design mythical and diabolical creatures, characters and fantastic worlds together. They are co-creators of Farath, a new epic fantasy world in the works.
They currently live in Northern Michigan with their four kids and hell hound.
Raven’s most recent excursion into the world of dark fiction is a book called WENDIGO (book 2 of the Apparitions series). I’ll let Raven explain the series in a bit more detail later, but for now, just know that the series follows the dark journey of Bailey Khane as she faces a number of supernatural nasties while trying to discover the truth about herself. The first book in the series is called APPARITIONS.
Here’s the product description for APPARITIONS:
Hunted by a killer who knows no mercy. Stalked by the vengeful dead. Caught between reality and visions…Bailey fights to piece the puzzle together before it crashes down on her. Is the man staying in her boathouse friend… or foe? And what part does he have to play in the macabre game unfolding around her? Under the shadow of the murder’s blade Bailey strives to discover the truth using faith and arcane knowledge. While at the same time the fury of the scorned dead creeps ever closer…
Here are what other authors are saying about APPARITIONS:
“First-time novelist Raven Bower has written a genuine horror story, filled with twists and turns and enough chills to keep readers turning the pages… that is, until the sun sets.” — Steve Alten, N.Y. Times best-selling author of MEG & The LOCH.
“With ‘Apparitions’, author Raven Bower manages to weave a suspenseful crime story with paranormal elements into a chilling read. She reaches deep down into the razor-sharp wire of her imagination and cuts a tale of stark terror. Definitely a writer to watch!” — Darren Franz–author of Jack Frost & Ghost Train.
“Raven Bower’s work shows an intimate awareness of the dark things and the malevolent side of human nature. Unsettling scenes abound in APPARITIONS, and there’s not a doubt in my mind that we’ll be seeing much more of Ms. Bower in the future. A writer with great promise!” –Kealan Patrick Burke, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of CURRENCY OF SOULS, THE TURTLE BOY, and THE HIDES.
You can get a copy of APPARITIONS at Amazon here:
Here is the product description for her second book WENDIGO:
Shunned by the man she loves Bailey Khane seeks solitude in the wilds to mend her heart. But her vacation is disrupted when an evil entity is mistakenly released by an ancient spell. As it gorges itself on the citizens of Whisper, Bailey struggles to find the knowledge and courage to defeat it before she too ends up on the menu.
Recently, I had a chance to talk to Raven about writing, fantasy, horror, and everything in between. Here’s what she had to say:
1) I’ve already shared a bit about your newest book, Wendigo. But I’m always interested in having the author share in their own words what their books are about. So, tell us…what is Wendigo all about?
At its core Wendigo is a story about the struggles we all face. It’s about the challenge of not just finding love but, perhaps harder still, keeping it. It’s a story about acceptance of not just of ourselves and the gifts we’re blessed with, but also accepting others and the reality of the world around us. It’s about the heroine Bailey Khane who bravely faces demons inside of her and outside, not without fear but in spite of it.
2) Now I’m pretty familiar with the Wendigo legend, but many of my readers aren’t. What exactly is the Wendigo and what inspired you to use the legend for your latest novel?
Oooh love this question! The Wendigo is a Native American legend which, interestingly, splits into several different forms. Some tribes attribute the Wendigo as creatures of a supernatural sort (rather like a malevolent Big Foot and indeed some Cryptid researchers claim it may be an insane/evil Big Foot) that live in the forests. They are said to be tall, thin and ghostly and survived off the flesh of man – snatching the unwary travelers.
Yet other tribes link the Wendigo to demonic spirits that possess people causing them to become violent cannibals that prey off their fellow tribesmen.
What intrigued me were the differences yet also threads of similarities within the old stories. Are these tribes speaking of the same being? Are they different beings – one mistaken for the other? If a Wendigo existed in modern times what would it be like? What would it do? Why would it be there? And by everything gracious how would one stop it? That last question turned out to be a fun dilemma for me as an author.
From there the story took root and honored both of the Wendigo veins.
3) Wendigo is part of your Apparitions series (with the book “Apparitions” being the first in the series). What can you tell us about Apparitions (both the first novel and the series as a whole)?
In Apparitions Bailey is visited by the apparitions of dead women — slain by the same ruthless killer. When she renounces her gift of supernatural sight, the enraged spirits seek vengeance on her, their only means of justice. When the killer targets her as his next victim will she have what it takes to survive?
Throughout Apparitions, Wendigo and Rags Beneath (2012) Bailey encounters various supernatural entities and obstacles along her path to discovering what and who she really is.
In a new development that is not yet officially announced the series is going to film! Dead Mouse Productions has purchased the series and the entire team is working together to put together a stellar crew and cast. The official announcements will be out soon and I’ll keep everyone updated as things progress!
4) You are becoming known for your paranormal suspense novels. You tend to write about some pretty dark things. I’m curious…what do you think is the appeal for horror fiction among readers? Why do we like scaring ourselves silly with stories of ghosts and things that go bump in the night?
For every light in this world there’s darkness. A yin and yang. I think it’s natural and healthy for us to seek answers about the dark sides not only of the world and others, but within ourselves as well. Horror, supernatural suspense and fantasy have the capacity to zero in on these questions and explore the answers. We can safely get a closer look at the dark side and walk away with a greater understanding of our world and ourselves.
Entering into a story to be scared acts as a catharsis. The strong emotions linked to the fear experienced by a reader helps to expunge our everyday fears and stress. Suddenly, in the shadow of the knife sneaking up behind the heroine we forget deadlines, angry bosses, the jerky co-worker, the mortgage payment or if the car’s latest malfunction will break the bank.
5) When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? Can you share a little of your journey as an author?
I realized I wanted to be a writer when I read my first Stephen King book. Was it Carrie? Or Christine? Hm. Either way I was in 3rd grade and have been writing ever since – on and off. But it wasn’t until my grandmother died and mortality hit me in the face that I got serious. After all, I’d die one day too and what a shame if my dream died with me. Ignoring the naysayers and people who generally thought I was way off kilter, I wrote Apparitions.
While trying to sell Apparitions I wrote a fantasy novel which, although the story is solid the world was not. 20/20 hindsight is great for picking up flaws like that. Eventually I might rewrite it in my current fantasy world.
When Apparitions was picked up I wrote Wendigo and then Rags Beneath – keeping the ball rolling! Then wrote the script to Apparitions – which just sold as said above!
Currently I’m working on a fantasy series in tandem with the Apparitions movie and another project or two on the burner.
6) Besides writing, what are some of your other interests? What do you do for hobbies or your spare time?
What is this mythical spare time of which you speak?
Oh goodness…I’m interested in almost everything. Bad habit. But tend to gravitate to studying – love learning about the supernatural, religions, cultures, crime (as in criminal cases and mentality – not committing them!), nifty critters and the like. Love reading – I’ll read darn near anything fiction or non. Watching movies of all sorts the good, bad and just plain ugly, doesn’t matter, I’ll watch it. I like playing RPGs but wish they’d go back to the good old days of Balder’s Gate. Fantastic game! I enjoy target shooting with firearms and bow, hanging out by bonfires in the deep country night. The water is one of my favorite things – watching it, swimming in it, floating in it – such beauty, especially when the moon glimmers over the waves.
7) As a writer, who or what would you cite as some of your biggest influences (whether other authors, books, movies, real life events, etc)? As far as authors go, who would be some of your favorites?
My grandparents were a large factor. They taught me that anything is possible and no dream is too far fetched, really wish I’d have listened to them sooner and ousted the negative influences. Every artist I’ve had the pleasure of viewing their art has influenced me in some way and I’m grateful to every one of them – writers, musicians, directors, actors and painters alike. The author who influenced me the most though is Les Edgerton who taught me that it’s okay to be me and to write like me. My husband Lain is also a big influence – never letting me slack or do less than I’m capable of.
Favorite authors…that’s a tough one! James Rollins, Steve Alten, RA Salvatore, Richard Machowicz, Les Edgerton, Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Ian Irvine, CE Lawrence, Linda Godfrey, and many more.
8) Now, if you could offer only one piece of advice to aspiring writers out there, what would you tell them?
Never give up the dream.
Thank you, Raven, for the awesome interview! And good luck to you on the movie front. Keep putting out those bone-chilling fantasies for us!
And if you’d like to learn more about Raven, you can check out her website here: www.ravenbower.com