Tuesday, 30 May 2017

New interview with me by the lovely Alexandra Peel


Tuesday, 9 May 2017

@Trumpocalypse anthology #resist

We deal with the craziness of our world how best we can....

As a Brit, coping with the  unfolding aftermath of Brexit, I thought there was nothing I could do about the nightmare  unfolding across the Atlantic ....the shock of the Trump election and horrors of his administration of selfish, cruel self-interested billionaires. And yes, it does affect me....and all citizens of the world. It is not just internal politics. The damage  to the environment that  he and his wealthy cronies will  wreak is the stuff of nightmares. The effects on the already vulnerable and increasingly fragile Arctic from the proposed drilling for oil with Russia alone is terrifying. What has he got against wildlife, especially endangered species, clean air and unpolluted water?  I do not know where to start on the horrors to be inflicted on human rights, welfare, education and health care on ordinary American citizens cursed not to be born trust fund babies, to be poor, old or sick.

So when I saw submissions wanted for a satirical , horror based anthology compiled and edited by Alex S Johnson and published by Horrified Press, I just had to write something. My short story Imperator, Flatus wrote itself, in a torrent of creative energy. A purge of all my anger, fear and disgust. I wear the inevitable slur of being a limey libtard snowflake with pride.  Each snowflake is unique, beautiful..many snowflakes make a blizzard, blizzards end up as avalanches....watch out Imperator Flatus,  Winter is Coming!


Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Women In Horror Month, February 2017

As always, mixed feelings about February’s Women in Horror Month. I have shied away in the past from openly promoting it from pure cowardice. I have been shot down in flames in the past for daring to raise my head above the genre parapet and it hurt, every time. Apparently I do not ‘know my place in the pecking order’ and  ‘should do the world a favour and give up writing.’

In truth, we shouldn’t need it, not in 2017. Good writing is good writing regardless of what we have tucked in our scanties.  But…yes, there is a but….

There are still dinosaur editors only commissioning male authors for anthologies, readers refusing to accept women can write bloody good horror and good, bloody horror. There are cynical critics like the one announcing on Facebook ‘that only crap women writers support WiHM’ and getting approval and ‘likes’ from her male pals. And I still feel nervous about speaking about this openly…for that alone I have to support WiHM.
I’ve earned my spurs with a body of work I can be proud of. No more shrinking violet. This old bird is not going to be silenced anymore.

Thank you again to the awesome Billie Sue Mosiman, for including one of my stories in her anthology Frightmare, Women Write Horror, on the HWA awards long list… So honoured and delighted to have work included amongst such wonderful writers.
Huzzah !   Another new horror anthology with my work in it...this time not one, but two stories. Editor Trevor Kennedy liked both 'The Front Parlour' and 'Squillions' , so used them both.  The first is a creepy tale set in my familiar comfort zone, Victorian England. Squillions is set in the unlikely contemporary background of a sleepy English village in the wealthy Surrey commuter belt. What could possibly go wrong there? The anthology is cram packed with great writing from seasoned professional authors to exciting newcomers.

 In Trevor Kennedy's words 'Are you ready for ghosts, demons, abominations of nature, ghouls, the darkest of dark poetry, a haunted dolls' house, giant spiders, knife-wielding maniacs, the Pale Emperor, malevolent insects, zombies, 'Sandmen', visits to 1980s Northern Ireland, Victorian England and 'Isla's Island', a man who can morph into a scarecrow, 1990s pop pin-up Chesney Hawkes trying to survive living on the mean streets of Belfast while claiming DLA (Disability Living Allowance), aging songstress Cher doing battle with Jesus and Thor to save the space-time continuum, and a whole plethora of other unspeakable horrors?!

Friday, 14 October 2016

1066 The Battle of Hastings


On October 145th, 950 years ago, England and its  peaceful, wealthy Anglo Saxon society was brutally destroyed by the Norman Conquest. The consequences of this have resonated through the centuries, even to this day.

Many years ago, my ever wayward Muse sent me ideas for an alternative history version of the lead up to the battle,  This inspiration blossomed into a novel, then called Prince of Ravens,  One where Celtic warriors helped by pagan magic and courageous Saxon warriors take on the might of William the Bastard's army...with a very different ending.

It is a visceral, adult-orientated book set in an alternative Britain, highlighting the turbulent events leading up to 1066.  Only this is a world where the Normans have acquired primitive steam-powered weaponry and the Celtic Twilight realms of Ireland, Wales, Cornwall and Brittany are still staunchly pagan and have the use of formidable ancient magic to defend them. Anglo-Saxon England is a prize many powerful enemies seek, a peaceful, prosperous Christian realm under the saintly but ineffective and ailing Edward the Confessor. His death without an heir, will unleash a great storm of greed, ambition and a bloody struggle for power which will change his country for ever. 

The book’s narrative is seen from the eyes of three people. Hereward, a young Saxon nobleman who is sent as an envoy/hostage to the Norman court of William the Bastard. Na├»ve yet courageous, what he learns in Normandy places both him and his beloved England in the gravest of dangers.  There is thirteen year old Seren, a Welsh novice witch, deceptively vulnerable from her blindness, she is gifted with the ability to communicate with mysterious other dimensions and beings. She will endure many dangers, both from human hands and a supernatural evil from a shocking source.  At the centre of the book is an Irish mercenary, Brandon of the Golden Harp, a devil may care charmer, a gifted musician and skilled in both warfare and seduction. He is also a man who harbours an unknown dark secret in his soul, one that if released could endanger mankind itself.  

In 2O15, Telos Publishing brought out this novel now called Death's Dark Wings .


Sunday, 11 September 2016

How I discovered my steamy side

Way back in 2008, I was heavily involved in my ‘vampires with a difference’ series, promoting the Legacy of the Dark Kind wherever I could.
I was deeply honoured to be an author guest at Elfie… the spectacular three day festival of all things fantasy related in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Over 30,000 people passed through the castle gates over the weekend from all over Europe. Including wonderful family groups from grandparents down to babies and pet dogs dressed in a fantasy theme…like elves and orcs or other wondrous characters.  While I was wandering around all this marvelous spectacle, I came across people dressed in an unknown and extraordinary way, top hats with brass goggles, ladies in corsets and bustles and all manner of weird and wonderful gadgets and contraptions including metal wings that could expand.
Whatever it was, I loved it….I wanted in!  On return to the UK, my very dear friend, Gothic model and DJ Darren Powell posted photos from a recent shoot, wearing similar garb which I now knew to be steampunk. The creative boost this aesthetic always triggers in people kicked in, I began to make jewellery with cogs and gears, seeking out charity shops and car boot sales for items to adapt and re-cycle. Not to sell, but for the pleasure of making it.

The following spring, I attended Easter Con which had a steampunk theme and ball in the evening. Surrounded by people of all ages and backgrounds in their splendid finery, I felt like the dowdy Cinderella who would not be attending the ball. In my lonely hotel room, I needed to create….something. That night my first and most successful steampunk novel (so far) Cyrus Darian and the Technomicron was born…a paean to my love affair with all things steampunk.
I always avoid reading anything in a genre I am working on, so this book was inspired by the people and imagery I’d seen and by my love of the darker side of Victorian life, the dangerous, fog –shrouded alleyways of Old London, the possibilities of what may lurk there. Their fascination with the occult and magic of the time and the confidence of the age that technology could solve all problems.

Darren Powell at the Cyrus sequel launch
     Next year, I attended my first steampunk event, the extraordinary Weekend at the Asylum in old Lincoln, immediately overwhelmed by the warm welcome and friendliness of the community, the die was cast. Raven Dane became a fully-fledged steampunk first….who happened to write about it second.

    When that same community voted Cyrus Darian and the Technomicron as Steampunk Novel of the Year for 2011, I was in tears of surprise and joy…such an overwhelming and emotional moment. I had joined a vibrant and creative community as a total newbie and they loved my rogue alchemist.  To add to my joy, a fabulous portrait of Cyrus by Vincent Shaw Morton won the VSS art prize that year too. 

Monday, 29 August 2016

The World of Raven Dane , Fantasy,Steampunk and Horror Author

Welcome to my world, I am Raven Dane, possessed scribbler of dark fantasy, steampunk, horror and alternative history with occasional forays into comedy fantasy. I write novels and short stories and currently published by Endaxi  Press and by Telos Publishing as well as many other publishers with my short stories in anthologies.

Here are some of the anthologies that feature my stories