Thursday, November 3, 2016

Elizabeth Raven, dabbler in the paranormal

I met Elizabeth at Chattacon last January, and not only is she a great writer, she's an extremely nice person. You should really check out her books.

Elizabeth Raven is a wife, mother, and Veterinary Professional hiding in the shadows and moonlight of relentlessly sunny Jacksonville, Florida. Her Paranormal Romance Series, Matanzas Moon (Book 3: BEWARE to be released in January 2017) is set in St. Augustine, FL integrating the authentic ghost legends of our Nation’s Oldest City into a lively, narrative driven adventure.  Daylight hours are spent indoors working, reading, cooking, or spending time with family/friends, and her five cats. [Wow, she's even more of a cat lady than I am. I only have four.] Otherwise, she can be found dancing, socializing or joining Ghost Tours whenever her imaginary friends let her out to play!  

Interview


1.     Do you have a day job in addition to being a writer?  If so, what do you do during the day? 
Yes, I am the Hospital Manager for a Veterinary practice in Jacksonville, Florida. Much like Bridget, the lead character of my series, I worked as a Veterinary Technician while pursuing a Veterinary Medical degree. Only, I didn’t have the capital to open a metaphysical store in St. Augustine when I wasn’t accepted to Vet School like Bridget.  You could say that this series began as a way to explore the “what ifs” in my life if I had chosen a different path.

2.     What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Finding time! Managing 5 doctors and 30 team members at work can be exhausting. Add to that my 9 year-old son and 38 year-old Man-Child husband and the equation for writing becomes infinitely more complex.

3.     What is the biggest surprise that you experienced after becoming a writer?
The fact that people actually want to read my stuff, lol!  Seriously, though.  I think most writers would agree that we are chronically plagued by self-doubt. It’s comforting to know that we’re not alone in our miring anxiety, but to hear from readers who’ve read and loved your work truly is an indescribable rush! And that’s saying a lot because we’re writers. We do nothing if not describe.

4.     What are your biggest literary influences? Favorite authors and why?
My literary tastes are quite diverse! Classics such as Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, Jane Austin, the Bronte sisters, Nathanial Hawthorn, and F. Scott Fitzgerald were hugely impactful while in high school and college. Also Sylvia Plath, and Anais Ninn. Some I read as assignments but found myself truly enjoying their stories beyond just studying their use of literary devices.

Anne Rice, Harlan Coben, J.K. Rowling, Janet Evanovich, Laini Taylor, and Bret Easton Ellis are a handful of contemporary novelists I truly enjoy for for different reasons.  Each of the above are masters when creating characters, some more relatable and others more harrowing, but all extremely memorable.  Rice, Rowling, and Taylor paint such vivid pictures of their worlds, and I love Coben, Evanovich, and Ellis for their narrative pacing and snappy dialogue.

5.     What gives you inspiration for your book? 
The city of St. Augustine’s spirit is palpable, even now after disaster struck with Hurricane Matthew. Or should I say, especially now.  History lives and breathes in the nation’s Oldest City, and I’m fortunate enough to be able to visit the Historic Downtown area anytime I choose. The streets are filled with an influx of diverse cultural and ethnic visitors, not to mention people dressed as Colonials, Spanish/French/English soldiers, ghosts, and pirates! Add the town’s bustling activity and friendly, eccentric vibe and you have some very fertile ground to launch any number of stories!
Aside from the city, which is a character in its own right, I derive inspiration from my family and friends.  No one character is one-hundred-percent representative of any one person in my life, but each character has a healthy dose of those I love within. I feel it is very important because the love I feel for my characters translates well to the reader.

6.     Of all the characters you have created, which is your favorite and why?
There is NO WAY I could EVER claim only one of my characters as THE favorite. My series has an ensemble cast with distinct characters. Bridget Quinn’s fiery spirit and affinity for the supernatural represents so much of my life as a twenty-something, so naturally I have a close connection with her. Nick and RIP both represent different characteristics of my husband, as well as myself! But even minor characters, like Travis, Jinx, and Drake, are crafted with such love and fun, I can’t possibly snub them!  

7.     Tell us a little about your plans for the future.  Do you have any other books in the works?
I do! Currently, I am working on the third book in the Matanzas Moon series. This installment is titled Matanzas Moon: Beware, and I am loving the direction the overall series story arc has taken. I have many, many more adventures for Bridget, Nick, and RIP. Believe me, we have only just begun!


Matanza's Moon


Lost in her quarter-life crisis, eccentric Bridget Quinn abandons her Vet School aspirations to open a metaphysical store in St. Augustine, Florida. Adept in Palmistry, Astrology, and Tarot, Bridget discovers her dormant gift of clairvoyance in our nation's oldest, and notoriously haunted city. Mediumship proves to be a pesky affliction, especially when Bridget’s attempt to help a ghostly visitor implicates her in a series of vicious murders!

Her heart dangling between Nick Maddox, the compellingly attractive but rigorously skeptical police officer, and RIP Ryder, a witty and rascally hearse-driving ghost tour guide, Bridget stumbles into a web of mystery and mayhem.

Can they catch the killer before another murder? Exactly how do you handcuff a ghost anyway?


Abaze



These flames can’t be tamed…

After a wicked Halloween showdown with the vigilante ghost of a Voodoo Priestess, clairvoyant Bridget Quinn is hoping her life will finally cool off.   Winter never poses much of a threat to the Nation’s Oldest City where there’s no shortage of Holiday Spirits when the blazing Florida sun sets.    

Again, the Ancient City is plagued by mysterious murders, this time masked by arson.
Hearse-driving Ghost Tour Guide, RIP Ryder, drowns his staggering guilt with excessive intoxication while Officer Nick Maddox’s heart breaks as Bridget’s peculiar behavior escalates.   RIP has an epiphany, recognizing Nick and Bridget’s paranormal vexation as the work of RIP’s ghostly nemesis from years gone by.

Can RIP rally the troops to save Nick and Bridget before the flames consume them all?


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