Featured Interview With Raven Oak
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I spent most of my K-12 education doodling stories and 500 page monstrosities that are forever locked away in a filing cabinet. After twelve years as an English and computer teacher in Texas, I retired from education to pursue writing full-time. As a military brat, I grew up all over, but I currently live in Seattle, WA with my husband and our three kitties, who enjoy lounging across the keyboard when writing deadlines approach.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t fascinated with books. Some of my earliest memories are me writing stories across the pages of other books at age three. The first “book” I ever wrote was called something like The Fish and the Lion. It was a children’s book published for the University of Florida as part of a case study on childhood literacy. I was six when I wrote it & seven when they published it. My first serious foray into writing was at the age of 12. I was in love with Anne McCaffrey’s Pern novels, so I wrote a 450 page novel over the summer.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
I read most genres, though my favorites are science fiction, fantasy, & mystery. As far as authors go, I’m in love with the words of Patrick Rothfuss. That man can tell a seriously good story. I also enjoy Connie Willis and Neil Gaiman. All three of them inspire me as a writer—from their world building to the eloquence of their language, it all sticks in my brain and helps my creative synapses.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
Amaskan’s Blood is an epic fantasy novel I wrote, but never thought would be published. Mainly because I was falling afoul of the “Is my story unique enough?” question, completely forgetting that every story has been told. It’s all about how you tell it. My own doubts were keeping this story hidden for a bit, but now that it’s here—I’m damn proud of it. Amaskan’s Blood only took me two months to write, but it took two years to revise and edit because Adelei is quite a vulnerable bad-ass. She wanted to shake some of those plot lines up.
Adelei was a master in her field, one of the feared Order of Amaska. Those who were a danger to the Little Dozen Kingdoms wound up dead by her hand. The Order sends her deep into the Kingdom of Alexander, away from her home in Sadai, and into the hands of the Order’s enemy.
The job is nothing short of a suicide mission, one serving no king, no god, and certainly not Justice. With no holy order to protect her, she tumbles dagger-first into the Boahim Senate’s political schemes and finds that magic is very much alive and well in the Little Dozen Kingdoms.
While fighting to unravel the betrayal surrounding the royal family of Alexander, she finds her entire past is a lie, right down to those she called family. They say the truth depends on which side of the sword one stands. But they never said what to do when all the swords are pointing at you.
Amidst her enemies, in a land from the darkest reaches of her past, she must decide if she is to be more than another brainwashed puppet. No matter her choice, she must fight to do what is just and right to save the people of the Little Dozen.
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