Beneath Raven's Wing
Believing stories help us learn from the past, embrace the complexities of the present, and prepare for the future, I write lots of stories. Believing myths, legends, folklore, and fairy tales are important in understanding people and their fears, familiar network, societal structure, and core values, I use them as inspiration. This is the beginning place for all of my fiction.
Beneath Raven's Wing is my third collection of short stories. As I reviewed my stories, both published and unpublished, I noticed ravens appearing in many tales as either an intrical part of the narrative or as a watchful presence. After deciding to build my collection around ravens, I thought back to my poem, "Raven," include in my Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award-winning collection, River of Stars. I begin Beneath Raven's Wing with an excerpt from "Raven," and draw my title from its lines:
"Raven holds the secrets of night
beneath her wings,
guards that knowledge
with claws and blood."
Once the stories I wanted to use were selected, I revised each one in an attempt to eliminate any repetative phrases, similes, or metaphors. As I edited, I realized I have a few similes I favor! I was surprised, and did some rewriting to vary the imagery. I also wrote an extra story to help with the ordering. Ordering in a story collection is important. You need to think of the book as one narrative made up of a series of smaller narratives. I tried to start with a strong story, then build to a satisfying concluding tale. The first story and the last act as "bookends" supporting the rest of the collection. They are, in some ways, reflections of each other.
Upon hearing of a publisher looking for a story collection from an author they'd published in one of their previous anthologies, I queried them, and when invited to do so, sent Fae Corps Publishing the manuscript for Beneath Raven's Wing. They offered me a contract, and we began the journey to publication.
While the editors at Fae Corps Publishing reviewed and edited the manuscript and designed a cover, I sent the manuscript to several writers I respect for cover comments. Awaiting the cover comments, I wrote the back cover blurb, acknowledgements, and author biography for Beneath Raven's Wing. My blurb was not used, but I'm using it for publicity.
It's been an exciting journey, and I'm delighted the book will release in late January 2021 -- just after Edgar Allan Poe's birthday and the January date of the first appearance of his poem, "The Raven." But the Poe connection is more than release date. The stories included in Beneath Raven's Wing are dark with a pinch of horror, though still maintaining a Young Adult friendly vibe. Also, one of the stories, "An Unkindness," is rich with Poe references, set in old Baltimore, and takes place in several of Baltimore's long-standing cemeteries, warehouses, and Victorian homes. I used Edgar Allan Poe and his work as beginning places for other stories in the collection as well.
Here are the original back cover blurb and cover comments:
In Beneath Raven's Wing, mystery, magic, and miracles weave through 16 reaven-filled stories. Whether set in Edgar Allan Poe's Baltimore, the forests of Scandinavia, a long ago battlefield, the mountains of Appalachia, or a suburban neighborhood, these tales take readers on a dark-winged journey. But be warned, more than an unkindness of ravens haunts these stories.
"top-notch story telling" -- Richard Chizmar, New York Times Bestselling Author
"spooky and fantastic" -- Claire Davon, USA Today Bestselling Author
"an epic journey spanning time and tide" -- H. R. Boldwood, author of the Corpse Whisperer series and 2019 Imadjinn Award Finalist
"dark, intelligent, and sinister" -- Gustavo Bondoni, author of Off the Beaten Path, Ice Station Death, Siege, Outside, Love & Death, and other books.
Many of the stories in Beneath Raven's Wing have been previously published. I've include the covers of some of these anthologies so readers can see the wide array of venues where my short fiction can be found.