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