Swift Six Author Interview – Raven Oak #Fantasy

Name:   Raven Oak

Please introduce yourself (250 words or so):

I’m a disabled, geeky, enby and full-time SF/F author and artist. I live in the Seattle area with my partner and three special-needs kitties and we both enjoy gaming (tabletop, board game, and video games) and exploring the ocean. Cartography and linguistics are both hobbies of mine, and I love living in the Pacific NW.

Tell us about your book(s) – title, genre etc (short)

I have a lot of them so I’ll tell you about Book I of my Boahim Trilogy, Amaskan’s Blood.

It’s been described by others as Disney’s Tangled meets Game of Thrones. I don’t think it’s as violent as GoT but it’s a valid description in terms of the study of familial relationships and political intrigue. My short blurb for it is: Two sisters. Two loyalties. One path together. The two sisters didn’t grow up together and are the antithesis of each other. Adelei has been raised in the Order of Amaska, a holy sect of assassins that seek out Justice for their clients. Margaret is the very stereotype of spoiled princess. Through book I, as they grow to know each other, they both learn lessons from each other that make them better people. While the familial themes are going, there’s an ancient evil brewing because let’s be honest, there always is in epic fantasy. The trilogy is about how they deal with various shades of evil and what evil really is.

When did you start your writing adventure? What was the inspiration for it?

I’ve always written. My first publication was actually a children’s book I wrote and illustrated that was published as part of a university study on children’s literacy. Whenever I got into trouble, I made up a story to go along with it and explain what “really happened” and why it “wasn’t my fault.” Some people call those lies or super-elaborations but in my brain, they were stories. Adventures to entertain me and keep me from thinking too hard about the environment I grew up in.

When I was twelve, I discovered the majority of SF/F, specifically Anne McCaffrey. I liked her photo in the back of the book because she looked like my grandmother and even shared the same birthday (April 1st), plus the books I first found had dragons (my fav). After devouring the Pern novels, I spent my summer that year writing a 350+ page novel that was my own version of The Dragonriders of Pern. I didn’t know what fanfiction was but it was pretty much that. I even got map making supplies and drew my own maps. I drew dragons and characters as well. I was hooked. I’d written stories before then but never a full novel. After that book, I wrote a trilogy, and by the time I was in high school, I was writing daily of my own material (not fan-fiction). It wasn’t until college that I began to seek publication.

What writing plans do you have for the future?

I’ve got three novels, 1 short story collection, and 1 story in an anthology due out in the next twelve months! Right now, I’m working on revisions for most of those works with some pretty serious deadlines so wish me luck!

What do you like to read?

I read most genres: sci-fi, fantasy, horror, thriller, mysteries, urban fantasy, historical fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, etc. I don’t read a lot of romance unless it’s mixed into one of the other genres. Straight up romance and erotica tends to bore me as a demisexual. As far as my favorites, they shift all the time since I read a LOT, but some favs are: Rebecca Roanhorse, Neil Gaiman, Connie Willis, Jenny Lawson, and Shannon Mayer.

What piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you’d started your writing adventure?

Don’t be afraid to experiment. It’s how we learn.

Author bio and book synopsis

BIO:

Multi-international award-winning speculative fiction author Raven Oak is best known for Amaskan’s Blood (2016 Ozma Fantasy Award Winner, Epic Awards Finalist, & Reader’s Choice Award Winner), Amaskan’s War (2018 UK Wishing Award YA Finalist), and Class-M Exile. She also has many published short stories in anthologies and magazines. She’s even published on the moon! Raven spent most of her K-12 education doodling stories and 500 page monstrosities that are forever locked away in a filing cabinet.

Besides being a writer and artist, she’s a geeky, disabled ENBY who enjoys getting her game on. She lives in the Seattle area with her husband, and their three kitties who enjoy lounging across the keyboard when writing deadlines approach. Her hair color changes as often as her bio does, and you can find her at www.ravenoak.net.

Amaskan’s Blood Book Synopsis:

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, her birth father. 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.

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.

Links/Social media

Website: www.ravenoak.net

Mailing List: https://www.ravenoak.net/join-the-conspiracy/

Facebook Author Page:  https://facebook.com/authorroak

Facebook Reader Group:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/ravenconspiracy

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/raven_oak

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/author_raven_oak/

Goodreads Author Page:  https://www.goodreads.com/raven_oak

Bookbub Author Page: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/raven-oak

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Raven-Oak/e/B00P5PT4AM

YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/user/kaonevar/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ravenoak1

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