Hi everyone! I’m Raven Eckman, book editor and author. My debut novel, entitled Shadowspeak, comes out February 23, 2021. I predominately write Dark Fantasy.
From Planning to Published
When did you start writing and why?
Author: I started writing after I read Twilight and wanted something more, something that reflected my thoughts on vampires and werewolves. Prior to that, I was just an avid reader. From that first ten page story, I began dabbling in fanfiction, took writing classes in high school, and continued to read whatever that grabbed my attention. College was when my writing really became a part of me.
How long did it take you to finish your first book?
Author: Shadowspeak was nurtured, deleted, re-written, and completely ignored for a five year span prior to finishing the first draft and the eight more that followed before being queried.
About Your Work
Have you always read in the genre you wanted to write in? Do you think that’s made it easier or harder to create new stories?
Author: I have yes. I always enjoyed fantasy and have stuck close to that genre. I believe it is easier, in some aspects, to write new stories because I know the popular trends occurring. On the flipside of that, it is harder to be unique when a lot of those first ideas have already been written and explored in some way.
What is your writing process, from idea to polished work? Pantster? Plotter? How long does that typically take you?
Author: Interestingly enough, my writing process has changed since finishing the very first draft of Shadowspeak till now with finishing the final proof. I tend to plot everything out, what I want, what the characters are named, snippets of conversation that are “musts” to include, and then I just write. And write. And write. As I prepare to start the prequel/companion to Shadowspeak, I find myself less planning the story out and just itching instead to write and see what happens.
Do you sprint-write like a starving cheetah, or are you a totally chill turtle writer? Somewhere in between?
Author: It really depends. Most days, especially with a deadline, I’m motivated to keep at it (revising, editing, writing) but some days I just can’t get anything done that I am happy with. Other days, the best days, I write and write and lose track of time.
What has been the hardest thing to overcome on your journey to authorship?
Author: This question really speaks to me. There has been a decent amount of roadblocks, some small as to delayed deadlines, and others more personal and more intimidating to handle. The hardest thing to overcome, and something I’m still apprehensive about, is the thought of sharing my work with the world. Shadowspeak has been my manuscript baby for years and now it is as ready as it can be and I have to make peace with that.
Are you a driven & self-advocating author, a gun-shy promoter, or a total marketing procrastinator?
Author: Can I be all three? I have a decent amount of promotional plans and one some days send out anywhere from 10 to 20 emails … Then FLOP and I’m all gun-shy about trying to contact anyone for interview opportunities or guest posts appearances, or collabs. A goal of mine for 2021 is to be more proactive each day for marketing.
What have you learned about yourself from the writing and/or authorship process?
Author: So much learning has occurred since I returned to my writing. From different methods that work, or don’t, to what motivates me to write, or not, I continue to explore my writing and what stories are just waiting for me to listen. When in school I had a professor tell me I was exploring different genres too much, that they didn’t seem to be me … and that hurt. Who was I as a writer? Why did I have to have only one genre of focus? By returning to my writing, and not holding back, I feel so much freer and ready to see what I’m made of. Just need to remember to ignore the imposter syndrome. Everyone grows at their own pace; everyone falls down at times.
Do you have a writing companion?
Author: My German Shepherd, Atlas, is usually close by when I sit down to write. He gets all the ranting and spoilers and has yet to complain, or spill secrets, so far!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Author: Don’t let the imposter win.