It’s October, which means many creative minds are starting to turn toward the spooky, fanged, clawed, and winged. To celebrate, a small coven of writers has emerged from the darkness to share their harrowing delights with you. Each week, we will tour each other’s blogs and answer questions about our favorite spooky shenanigans. Look for more harrowing fun at:

Pat Esden’s Mythmaker Blog,

Author RJ Theodore,

It’s All In My Head (Author Ken Schrader)

Ramblings of a Writer (Author Anne Raven),

Author Janet Walden-West.

But now, on with the show!

Thank you, Kirsten, for hosting me on your blog today for the fourth instalment of our “Two questions with… Halloween Edition” blog tour series. I’m Anne Raven, and I write romance, anything from suspense to paranormal.

*strokes the feathers of pet raven*

Never mind him, let’s quoth—I mean answer, those ghostly questions…

Q: What was the first book (who was the first Author) to frighten you in a story?

So, I’ve never read a really scary book. I know, gasp!

However, the first author I read that had the most creep-tastic creatures was Kelly Creagh with her YA novel Nevermore—inspired by Edgar Allan Poe. I think it’s classed as a YA fantasy/paranormal with hints of horror and romance. I loved the Goth elements and the subtle creep factor that grows and develops as the tale unfolds.

The crowning glory—for me—are the Nocs. They are humanoid type creatures, with feathers for hair, sharp fang-like teeth… and best of all, they’re made from something akin to porcelain. When they get injured, as they do, they shatter, leaving gaping, jagged holes in their torsos or faces. Or their hands and legs smash off, and they have to replace them with former Noc parts.

They are amazingly disturbing and perfectly fitted for Creagh’s eerie, Goth atmosphere.

Q: How do you handle frightening elements in your writing?

I don’t have many frightening elements in my writing. It’s usually more of an internal terror—tragic pasts that leave characters damaged. For example, in one of my romantic suspenses, my FMC witnesses the brutal murder of her mother as a child. This obviously has a ripple effect and causes a lot of issues for her later in life and sets off the main plot. In my current romantic suspense WIP, I’m giving both my MCs very tragic background / childhoods that will come back to haunt them in the present timeline.

Sensing a theme? I like working in past traumas that filter through over the years. It creates layers of damage that can really develop as the MC ages. I use these as a way to build suspense, though. Not exactly frightening, but its close enough.

Anne Raven was born and raised along the windy coast of South Africa, and can assure everyone there are no lions roaming the streets—unless you count the feral cat next door. When not reading or writing, you’ll find her being bossed around by her adorable niece, taking freshly baked goods from the oven, or drinking too much coffee. Her romantic suspense IN THE NAME OF THE MOTHER was showcased in Pitch Wars 2017. Anne is represented by Amanda Jain at BookEnds Literary Agency.