Name: Elias Raven
Where are you from: Redondo Beach, California
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc :
I grew up in Southern California. My family is of mixed heritage with some Asian, Irish, Scottish, German, Dutch and English. Most of my education was in Southern California. We moved around a lot so I went to a variety of schools growing up. I also did a stint in the US Army when I graduated High School and spent a few years in Europe. After I was discharged from the service, like most young men I tried out various occupations working in the auto industry, construction, including carpentry and plumbing. I also worked in the IT industry.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Well my latest news is my first novel “Cain – Sins of the Father” just uploaded to Amazon for presale and will be released on November 8th 2015. The release party has a stellar line up of guest authors that have helped me in my writing career and I am beyond excited to finally get the book out. I also released a Poetry Book called “The Painted Shadows” on Amazon and Barnes & Noble featuring 30 of my poems and I also had 9 guest authors, some of them very well known, that graciously published some of their work in the poetry book as well.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started first as a poet, writing poetry when I was in my 20’s. I had met a friend online and during a conversation I freestyled some verse to her and she really liked it and asked when I had written it and I told her just now. She laughed and said seriously? I said yep! The rest is history. I started writing tons of poetry. I even setup a poetry web site on the old America Online and started doing live readings around Hollywood and Los Angeles perfecting my art.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Smiling… When I sent the very first drafts of Cain out to my editor and she said it was so bad that she couldn’t finish the chapter! LOL!
But she also said she didn’t dislike the book; I just had a lot of work to do. That was my first bad review and taught me a lot about honing my craft and making sure that I put out the absolute best that I can do, not something half ass. That was also when I had to decide if I really wanted to be a writer. I had to suck it up and take the good with the bad.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
A long conversation in a chat room with Gina Whitney about her first book Saving Abel. As we were talking I started to get the initial story ideas for Cain and sent her the early drafts.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I am a very visual writer. I see the characters in my head like I am watching a movie. I write very stream of conscious as the ideas are coming to me. I can type about 80-100 wpm so it works great when it’s flowing.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Well the main character Elias Cain is paying for his father’s mistake that he made in the story line. I don’t want to give away too much of the story, but basically the title is about his father’s sin and what the consequences were that impacted not only Elias, but the entire family.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
What a great question. The novel has so many aspects to it. The biggest message is to keep an open mind; you never know who you may encounter.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Quite a bit actually. I did quite a bit of research as I wrote Cain. There are elements that are only now being experimented with in the real world, but part of writing is making the reader believe what you are telling them in the story.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Yes parts of the story are based on my own experiences in the physical and spiritual parts of my life.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Probably one of the most influential books I have read is “Illusions” by Richard Bach; that, along with Jonathan Livingston Seagull. Both books teach you a lot about pushing the boundaries of belief.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
The Alienist by Caleb Carr.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Quite a few actually! Sadie Bisett, JL Sins, Alexandria Sure & T.Lee Hunt all come to mind. There are also some more established writers like Al Daltrey, Gina Whitney & Ethan Radcliff that I’ve started reading as well. Each one of them has a very unique writing style and especially with the brand new writers, I love getting into the nuts and bolts of how they created the story and why.
Fiona: What are your current projects?,
I’m working on a few projects actually. As you’re aware, I have a few different areas I am busy in. There is “Author Elias Raven” and on that side of the house I am working on a suspense thriller, a short story collection and another poetry book. Also, Elias Raven Productions engages in a lot of book trailer videos as well as promotional videos. Lastly, there is Elias Raven Musician. I have a Sound Cloud site that I demo and work on music for myself as well as other authors and musicians looking for specific genres of music that will best fit there needs. I hope to have an album out sometime next year.
Fiona: Name an entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Facebook if I am naming an entity. My Facebook community of fellow authors and friends has been very supportive. They have made my endeavor into the literary world very exciting.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, I do now. I’m hoping as time moves on and each book comes out it will be a viable alternative to the daily 9-5 grind.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Nope. I’m happy with the final product. It’s the culmination of almost two years.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I have always been a voracious reader. My love for literature is what started it. I studied classical literature first from a very young age and when I started writing my first poems it just fueled the fire.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Chapter 1 – Draft (unedited)
I could not quell my unease. It was as if every fiber of my being was screaming at my soul that something or someone was coming.
I was not a penitent man, not a believer in the workings of God. Let lesser men stand at the altars handing over there hard earned coin to the Vicar and fill the churches coiffures to overwhelming.
I was resolute in my belief that science and my razor sharp intellect could solve any problem. Little did I know that both science and my disbelief in a creator would be sorely put to the test and when the adventure was over, would I be still standing on the edge of the knife between repentance and the flame.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I think the hardest thing I struggle with is I am constantly coming up with new ideas in all phases of my art. It makes it challenging when I am working on a novel and suddenly there is a song idea or video idea. I stop, write it down or record it then continue 😀
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I have many – Everyone from Stephen R. Donaldson to Patricia McKillip to classical writers like Hemingway or Joseph Conrad.
What strikes me about all of them is how they paint the picture in such a way that you are completely immersed in the environment and emotionally pulled in.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Not yet, but hopefully I will be in the next few years as I research some of the more complex novels.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Cain’s cover was designed by Jessica at Creative Book Concepts. I chose the image for my poetry book “The Painted Shadows” and my ‘go to’ assistant & friend Eva Poole did the rest of the design work on it.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Once you start the book, just keep going. Don’t get caught up in going back to edit everything. Have your editor edit while your writing and make the changes afterwards otherwise you’ll never finish.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Just do it. Don’t be afraid to pursue your dream. Ask for help, learn from others and just do it.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for purchasing and reading my books and for helping me to realize my dreams. I hope that, like the authors that came before me, my novels take you for one hell of a ride and that you will continue to join me as each new novel is released.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Yes. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I can be very emotional. A good movie, a great story, something a family member or friend says in confidence, a touching moment, a day in the wilds by myself where all of the raw primal self is free to just release into the open spaces, a picture even will do it depending on the image and or where it touches me inside.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Khalil Gibran – Fantastic writer, poet and artist.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
Everyone and everything can be a story, it depends on the writer to bring it alive to the reader and carry them fully on the journey…
As to the why… It just feels right.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
Photography, making music, hiking, reading, electronics, cooking and swimming.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
My newest obsession is the new Evil Dead TV show getting ready to release on Starz. I was a huge fan of the old movies and the new X-Files show coming out in January. Otherwise, documentaries and cooking shows.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I’m a gourmet cook. I love Mexican and the foods of Catalonia & Spain. I love Asian food and Italian as well.
Favorite color? I vacillate between red and blue.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Adventurer or Inventor.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Author Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/eliasravenauthor
Facebook Music & Video Production Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Elias-Raven-Music-Video-Production/308963965959568?fref=ts
Barnes and Noble: http://tinyurl.com/qxo8ta8
The Painted Shadows: Poetry Collection: Amazon US: http://tinyurl.com/o4x4nzx Amazon CA: http://tinyurl.com/ottystt Amazon UK: http://tinyurl.com/o3f2nw6 Amazon AU: http://tinyurl.com/pujqkxh Barnes & Noble: http://tinyurl.com/otkprko
CAIN - Sins of the Father on PRE-ORDER NOW!!! Release date and party on 11/8/2015. Amazon US: http://tinyurl.com/qend9so Amazon UK: http://tinyurl.com/p5yxf4n Amazon CA: http://tinyurl.com/nh7xetf Amazon AU: http://tinyurl.com/oxzje7n