Spine-chill­ing au­thor be­lieves in lost souls

A Bucks writer who has writ­ten dozens of short hor­ror sto­ries talks to CAMILLA GOOD­MAN about her ca­reer as an au­thor, what keeps her awake at night and her Hal­loween plans

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - HALLOWEEN SPECIAL -

AHORROR au­thor is look­ing for­ward to Hal­loween and all the ghoul­ish an­tics it en­tails. Mother-of-one Raven Dane, 59, from Che­sham, can get the hairs on the back of your neck to stand on end with her spine-chill­ing writ­ing and ap­pears on two lists of top in­ter­na­tional fe­male hor­ror writ­ers this year.

She has al­ready had six nov­els, a col­lec­tion of Vic­to­rian ghosts sto­ries and a host of short hor­ror sto­ries pub­lished and she was the win­ner of the Steam­punk Novel of the Year 2012 with Cyrus Dar­ian and the Tech­nomi­cron.

Writ­ing is a ca­reer Ms Dane has en­joyed since school and has been a lo­cal news­pa­per re­porter and fea­ture writer for mag­a­zines. Another of her pas­sions is horses and she moved into a ca­reer train­ing peo­ple to ride for films, which gave her time to write for fun.

The first thing Ms Dane wrote, on a typewriter, was a space opera.

She said: “It was some­thing ridicu­lous like 300,000 words. It was mas­sive, but it got lost and was never seen again. I think it was my se­cret muse say­ing don’t carry on with it another minute.”

Ms Dane, who is a mem­ber of Che­sham Bois Catholic Play­ers, then met her friend for cof­fee who said a sim­i­lar thing and said maybe sci-fi was not for her and in­vited her to write a dark fan­tasy book for her.

She started writ­ing it on the train home and it was her first novel Blood Tears which was re­leased in 2006 and re­mains her best seller.

Ms Dane said: “Peo­ple just love that book. I haven’t stopped writ­ing since and I now do it full time.”

Ms Dane thinks her belief in the su­per­nat­u­ral has helped her hor­ror writ­ing.

She said: “I don’t be­lieve in rat­tling chains or demons but I do be­lieve in the after­life and that there’s lost souls stuck down here un­able to move on. I think my own ex­pe­ri­ences with the su­per­nat­u­ral must colour my writ­ing.”

Ms Dane has re­cently been read­ing some Che­sham peo­ple’s short hor­ror sto­ries after they sub­mit­ted en­tries to a com­pe­ti­tion in aid of the Hospice of St Fran­cis, which she judged.

She said: “We’ve got some re­ally good writ­ers in Che­sham who don’t ac­tu­ally re­alise how good they are.”

The win­ners were an­nounced at the Che­sham Hal­loween Ta­ble Top sale at Che­sham Town Hall on Satur­day.

Ms Dane is look­ing for­ward to cel­e­brat­ing Hal­loween to­mor­row with her hus­band and 17-yearold son.

“I love Hal­loween,” she said. “We al­ways dec­o­rate the out­side of the house for the trick or treaters and we al­ways have lots of sweets in, we al­ways wel­come them. As a pa­gan it is also Samhain, which is the start of the Celtic new year, so it’s a dou­ble cel­e­bra­tion.”

Con­trib­uted

SPOOKY TIME: Che­sham au­thor Raven Dane will be cel­e­brat­ing Hal­loween and as a pa­gan Samhain, which is the start of the Celtic new year

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