Category: vampire novels


New friend Ralph Carr with a copy of one of my books, author and publisher David J Howe all about to be assimilated by the Borg

New friend Ralph Carr with a copy of one of my books, author and publisher David J Howe all about to be assimilated by the Borg

The nearest I will ever get to Jon Snow from Game of Thrones !

The nearest I will ever get to Jon Snow from Game of Thrones !

Wales Comic Con 2013, Wrexham

My second visit to Wales Comic Con  as a guest author  was even better than the year before, I didn’t think that was possible as 2012 was amazing enough. At the rate this event is growing, we could have a contender to rival the USA’s awesome Dragon Con ! In fact I keep accidently typing World Comic Con instead of Wales….perhaps a premonition?

Jaime Milner, organizer extraordinaire and his hard working, happy and friendly team created a near perfect Con for all fans of SF movies, TV, comics and books .  The team had urged people to buy tickets in advance but the huge number of people arriving without tickets and preparing to queue for as much as three hours seemed perfectly happy to do so and waited cheerfully for entrance to a one day event now grown into two large buildings at Wrexham University.

Jaime has the awesome ability to get great media guests, the biggest draw to the event. He had the entire Red Dwarf crew including both Hollys, cast members from Buffy, Star Trek, Twilight, Game of Thrones, Primeval, Dr Who and The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings among many other great shows and films. Biggest queues were for Robert Picardo from Star Trek, Billy Boyd from Lord of the Rings, Nicholas Brendon from Buffy and Warwick Davis with his delightful family, all helping out. I am always astounded by the stamina and friendliness of these media guests, even after many, long hours of non-stop meet and greet and signing autographs, they remained cheerful and welcoming to their fans. I was very impressed by them all.

An enduring highlight of this event is always the wonderful attendees, so many resplendent in wonderful attire showing great skill and imagination. Among my many personal favourites were a fabulous, perfect Borg who must have parked the Cube outside in the car park and the nearest I will ever get to Jon Snow from Game of Thrones !

 Among the crowds thronging the well laid out aisles looking at interesting things to buy like big knitted Dr Whos and film-inspired jewellery, I spotted some extraordinary cosplay outfits  and professional look alikes including a jaw-droppingly accurate Jean Luc Picard.  The atmosphere of the event was exhilarating all day. I lost count of the number of lovely people I spoke to during the full on but thoroughly enjoyable day which sped past on warp factor ten. I even sold loads of books which is extra icing on the cake!

Big thanks to Sam and David for their ever-generous hospitality , to Fraser Hines for being such great company and to my lovely publishers  Andrew and Michele from Endaxi Press for being there to support me and my books.  You guys all rock! 

             And of course to Jaime and his team….have a well-earned rest then roll on Wales Comic Con 2014 !

Once an avid reader, devouring several books a week, I now find my reading time restricted by bad eyesight and work on my own books.  My strict motto now is quality over quantity.

This year I have enjoyed several books by favourite authors and discovered two exciting new published ones. I won’t bore you with all of them and apologise to those I have missed out. Some of the best work I’ve read are books I found on Harper Collins’ authonomy site such as Jeff Sinclair’s No Heaven and Jared Conway’s Mummy’s Boy.

Among those already out there in the book stores, among stand out reads so far has been Company of Liars and The  Owl Killers by Karen Maitland…these novels are impossible  to categorise.  At first superficial glance these books are historical set in bleak plague and famine-ridden 13th century England. But they are so much more. Beautiful, dark , authentic and vivid with supernatural undertones, extraordinary characterisation and plot twists, turns and astonishing surprises, these haunting books are in a category all of their own.

I also discovered the delights of new young horror writer, Joe Hill starting with Heart Shaped Box, then Horns with Twentieth Century Ghosts next in line on my bedside table.  A wonderful new voice with a delightfully twisted imagination combined with highly skilful craftsmanship. And so different in style and  tone to his father, Stephen King.

Sam Stone’s Vampire Gene series never fails to deliver. Sam’s work is intelligent, sensual and vastly superior to the the glut of vampire literature clogging up the bookshop shelves.  Reading her latest, Demon Dance is like curling up on the sofa under a furry throw,  with an open log fire  and a fine red wine and a box of luxury chocolates.  A delicious treat for all the senses.

I have been a fan of Phil Rickman for many years, loving his early work such as Crybbe and becoming addicted to his Merrily Watkins series. This year, he moved away from contemporary Hereford to Elizabethan England with The Bones of Avalon,  a mystery starring a real life person…the mysterious Dr John Dee..astrologer to the Queen. Combining real life people and events with  his own plot set in post dissolution Glastonbury, I  couldn’t put this book down…at the expense of my own work!

Only disappointment so far was Stephen King’s The Dome…I had such high hopes of this huge tome but it didn’t excite me in the same way his other work such as The Stand or It did.

Now back to my own work in progress…the sequel to Cyrus Darian and the Technomicron. No title yet but plenty of wild, occult adventures and steam-powered gadgets!

My funny fantasy , The Unwise Woman of Fuggis Mire is now available to buy!

It can be ordered online, from all good bookshops, on Kindle and directly from Endaxi Press.

Cyrus Darian and the Technomicron

London, 1874, where brash new technology exists alongside occult forces. Cyrus Darian is torn between gaining power or doing the right thing. Never an easy choice.

 

Cyrus Darian; hedonist, philanderer, alchemist and necromancer is approached by a wealthy American to find a mysterious occult book called the Technomicron. He soon finds out most of London’s criminal and spiritual underworld wants it too.

After a vicious attack on his home, Darian gathers up his team of trusted adventurers, including an inventor, a demon and a half human shapeshifter.
Nothing in Heaven, Earth or Hell will stop him getting hold of the book for himself despite not knowing what it is or what it can do.

Can he also trust his shapeshifter lover, the beautiful and bewitching Lady Teknoligi, owner of the insanely itinerant Emporium of Magickal Curios? Her knowledge could give Darian the edge he needs over his enemies but she could also kill him on her own pursuit of the Technomicron.

After all, she had tried to kill him before….

The first of a series of Cyrus Darian steampunk misadventures

 

 

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Preview critique… 

‘This is an extremely good example of steampunk. An impressively imagined pseudo Victorian world of airships, clockwork men, brass goggles, steam hansoms, and deadly polluting gasworks. This is the type of steampunk that embraces the dark magical world of powerful ancient artefacts, ethereal creatures, and demonic conjuring. There are wonderful contrasts of location, from dreamlike emporiums to the bustling streets of London. Darian is perfect as the main character, with a mixed heritage, shifting ethics, and a wealth of skill and experience. The writing must be praised here, for it is luxuriously elegant, the rich descriptions conveying even the sense of smell (a favourite of mine). I really enjoyed reading ‘Cyrus Darian and the Technomicron’.

© Raven Dane 2010

A belated blog about  Odyssey 2010 , one of sci fi and fantasy fandom’s greatest conventions. I got such a charge to my creative batteries from this wonderful event, I have been too busy writing a new book.

This year the  event graced the Radisson Edwardian Hotel near Heathrow Airport, a luxurious, comfortable but Euclidian building.  The layout appeared to change at random, I swear I could see the shadow of  the minotaur down one of the many corridor labyrinths.

It didn’t eat me, too old and chewy I suspect which left me free to enjoy a packed and varied programme of events…some not really sci fi related but certainly no less fun. Sadly,  I was too cackhanded to attempt to knit my own Clanger or build an interdimentional robot. There were panels and quizes covering a wide range of sci fi and fantasy interests from the deeply scientfic to the borderline insane. I love that !

Inevitably there was such a surfeit of riches, that some clashed, something impossible to avoid with so many wonderful things happening at once. Thanks to the wonders of 21st century, many panels were recorded as podcasts.

Nor did I have  mega cool clothes to go the Steam Punk Ball either but I have a year to get some before the next EasterCon….

I need these fun events to give the batteries of  my creative inner workings  a much needed boost. Meeting so many talented, creative people gives me the kick up the backside I deserve.   Odyssey worked so well I haven’t stopped writing my first steampunk novel Cyrus Darian and the Technomicron since I returned home… Thank you Odyssey people …much huggage !

I was supposed to be launching my first funny fantasy ; The Unwise Woman of Fuggis Mire at Odyssey. Delays at the publishers meant I went to the Con empty handed but I was delighted to be invited on the panels of several discussions, all well attended with enthusiastic and lively audiences that joined in the discussions with insight and good humour…the best kind!

Friday night I was on a panel discussing the  modern interpretation of Arthur and Merlin legends. With three eminent historians and authors, Kari Sperring and Edward James and  Liz Williams.  I felt out of my depth but there was no need to worry. They were lovely. The debate between me and fellow panelist Nickey Barnard championing the BBC Merlin became  a tad  lively at times but we both thoroughly enjoyed the good-natured verbal jousting.

On Saturday, after doing a book signing session, I was able to relax for the whole day. It was a joy to attend as many panels as possible as a member of the audience including a fascinating and informative one on swordplay by Steve Kilbane who helped us learn the correct way to use rapiers, longswords and other weapons

Sis in law picked my up from the hotel and we went home on Sunday to join in the Great Family Easter Egg Hunt and then brought me back during the evening.

Monday was a busy one for me. I had a thoroughly entertaining time on the panel discussing funny fantasy where I was a good girl and didn’t plug The Unwise Woman….yeah right!  As if….OK. I confess to a small degree of shameless plugging. Also on the panel were John Coxon,author Johnny Nexus, comedian Donna Scott and the delightful American author Esther Friesner with her hamster ears. ( She raises money for charity by doing cheeblemancy…divination by hamster! )Later in the day with the help of a massive dose of  caffeine , I managed to summon enough energy to be on the panel discussing researching fantasy with the event’s Guest of Honour Liz Williams,Jane Killick and MD Lachlan.

A perfect end to a fabulous weekend.   I found out  what filking was and that it wasn’t something rude, missed the bondage demonstrations which would have been, didn’t knit a Clanger and made lovely new friends.

In convention terms, as near as perfect as you can get.

Thank you all the organising team, you are diamonds !

Raven and Enta the Dragon

Raven Dane

‘Vampirism at a deliciously literary level, dark fantasy at its best!’

Author of Blood Tears, Blood Lament and Blood Alliance.

Available to order from all good bookstores and on line.

If  you are looking for a  book with angst ridden teenage vamps or a beautiful maiden  swooning into the arms of a tall dark , brooding stranger…avoid this series.

If you want something original, beautifully written and on an epic scale…why not give the Legacy of the Dark Kind series a try.

What do people think about the Legacy series?

Reader Lee Done posted this about Blood Tears ;

There are many things you must do before you die…..reading this book is one of them.

Raven Dane has created a work of gothic horror which should be placed right up with the lofty excellence of Shelly and Stoker.

She weaves a story with such depth and emotion that you become involved with each twist and turn at times leaving you spellbound.

Raven Dane has produced a book which takes the reader on a breathtaking ride from page one to the final chapter leaving you wanting to continue to read and read.

Each chapter brings forth another twist which at times comes from the blue keeping you on the edge of your seat.

If you don’t read Blood Tears, you have missed out on one of the greatest works since Dracula….or THE greatest work full stop.

Lou Hub wrote this about Blood Lament;

‘Blood Lament’ is the second in Raven Dane’s Dark Kind based trilogy and far surpasses it’s thoroughly enjoyable predecessor, ‘Blood Tears’.

Following Jazriel on his beloved Ducati through a variety of misadventures, ‘Blood Lament’ is an exciting and gripping novel that incorporates adventure, raw emotion and the occasion one-liner for those with a sense of humour.

Well worth reading and I personally can’t wait for the next installment.

Adam Greenwood thought this about Blood Alliance;

I’m only 70 pages in and I’m hooked! I couldn’t wait until I’d finished it to leave this review (maybe I’ll put another one later! hehe) Having read and very much enjoyed Raven’s last two books, I can honestly say this is the best one yet! My two favourite characters (Azrar and Diego) take centre stage in this tense horror/thriller set in the near future. I’m off now to read some more!!!


It’s Warhammer Time!

Another fun time at the annual fest of all things gamer…Gamesfest 4 where I was one of the invited guest authors. This year, the more spacious venue of the Coloseum  in Watford was needed to house so much for RPG enthusiasts to enjoy. And yet again, the organisers made us scribblers most welcome and looked after us very well.

It was great to meet up with old friends, Steve Dean, Peter Mark May, Derek Gunn and many others.  Last year we had a sweet fight, authors versus graphic artists.  This year we ate the sweets…Haribo monsters. I could swear I picked out a jelly Chluthu. Not every day you get to eat a brain devouring primordial god.

I shared a table with Bob Fischer, author of the hilarious book, ‘Wiffle Lever to Full’….a must for all those who remember eating butterscotch angel delight while watching Dr Who behind the sofa.

Later I met top selling historical writer Robyn Young who apart from being very glamorous . was also charming and lovely to chat with. We were both guests at this year’s Elf Fantasy Festival in Holland but our paths did not cross at that huge event.

Thank you Mark and all the hardworking team at Gamesfest…it was an enjoyable event.  One that will continue to grow.

FCon 2009

What is it about the British Fantasy Society’s annual get together…FCon ? Even after four years attendance, I still get that delicious buzz of excitement on the longish drive up to Nottingham.  Nothing on the journey can dampen it, bad weather, terrible drivers. Being stuck in a traffic jam and running out of Opal Fruits….Pah, they will never be called Starbursts in my car.

There is a simple answer. The anticipation of a long weekend spent with great company, an escape from  groundhog daily life and the packed programme of panels, film shows , a quiz and book launches.
The team of hard working volunteers did us proud , a relaxed, fun and efficiently run event.

Thank you everyone, with this FCon you do spoil us.

Personal highlights….Being on my first panel at FCon, discussing vampires. And having so many people seek me out afterwards to congratulate me on my contribution. I needed that affirmation being used to appearing on panels in Ireland where there is always a lively contribution from the audience from the off.  A two way discussion and banter. In the UK, people are more reserved so it was hard to know whether I was rubbish. It seems not…phew.

Also meeting a table full of new people (to me) on Friday night’s quiz.  In  the tradition of FCon, they saw me and author friend Adam Greenwood sitting on our own and invited us to join them. They were all wonderful, fun company. Thank you for the hospitality!   The quiz is designed to break the ice at the event and it always works a treat.  Especially when huge bowls of hot chips were delivered to every table.

Personal lowlights…Missing Sebasian Peake’s talk.  My fault, too much gossiping to noticing the time.

And falling asleep in my room and missing the BFS awards….huge congrats to all the winners, so sorry I wasn’t there to give a big cheer.

Not being solvent enough to buy an Andy Bigwood print that I fell in love with  in the Fantasy Art exhibition. ( Or to commission an Ann Sudworth original….one day though!)  There were so many beautiful pieces in a variety of media to enjoy and buy.

After a well attended and lively reading session of my work last year,  I was relieved not to be the only one with zero attendance this year.  Maybe it was the lack of oxygen and Sherpas to get people up  to the tenth floor?  Many of us thought it would be lovely if the reading sessions could be held down in the main body of the Con, perhaps in that little quiet lounge area between the registration area and main bar?

Anyway, a thoroughly enjoyable and memorable FCon.

I came away with nearly as many books as I arrived with, including Sam Stone’s delicious, intelligent and sensuous Futile Flame.

Roll on FCon 2010 !