Interview with Elias Raven

When did you first start writing?
I really started writing in my early 20's. That was when I really caught the writing bug. I started writing and publishing poetry and short stories on America Online and also designed and hosted my first poetry web site there called "Apaixonada" which is Portuguese for Passionate.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I got involved with NaNoWriMo in 2012 and wrote my first complete fantasy novel that year. It was going to be a four book series, and after I finished book one and started on the second book, was when I realized how hard "if not next to impossible" it is to break into the more traditional publishing houses like Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, etc... As I started the process of locating an editor to help me get my manuscripts ready, and then wait for the rejection letters to come back, she kindly explained to me just how difficult it is as a new writer to get there attention. She recommended the Indie route as a viable alternative to helping me realize my aspirations. As I've become more integrated into the online writing community, via Facebook, Twitter, Smashwords, Amazon, etc.. I have found that the indie route is a smarter way to go when your a new writer trying to break into an already saturated market.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love being a storyteller! It goes back to my poetry and prose writing and how I observe the world around me. I love pulling the reader into what I'm seeing and feeling. I love to envelop the person reading my book into a sensory wonderland as the words stimulate the senses and thought processes and totally pull them into my story and the world I am painting so broadly before them.
What do your fans mean to you?
The fans are everything to me. They drive me to be even more creative! There insight, feedback, the give and take are all what I live for. I am very people oriented and totally outgoing so I love interacting with the people reading my work.
What are you working on next?
I'm currently working on an Adult/Erotic/BDSM book called "Cain" - "Sins Of The Father" (which is the working title at present).
The book is about thirty five percent completed and is a fusion of the traditional bible story with a wicked twist that I've come up with that allows the story to be brought forward to the present day. I'm also working on a small book of poetry since my fans have been clamoring for me to put one together! So, i've actually taken them up on the offer and started to compile and build my first book of poetry. Release date to be determined.
Who are your favorite authors?
Depends on the Genre:

Stephen R. Donaldson, Micheal Moorcock, Patricia McKillip for Fantasy.
Gina Whitney, Scott Hildreth, R.K.Lilley & Mia Sheridan for Adult Erotic/Romance/BDSM

Just to name a few.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Researching online, listening to music (I love music), playing games, hanging out with the kids or going out and doing stuf! Concerts, dinner, sightseeing, a day at the beach or in the mountains, just doing something adventurous!
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Through recommendations from friends on Facebook and from all the publishing sites I belong too! Sometimes, it's through Amazon Kindle recommendations or what I find on Apple IBooks that catches my eyes. I also still read paper books though :)
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Yes my father had given me a copy of "The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The first story is a study in scarlet. I loved the story so much I devoured every Sherlock Holmes book I could find and I dare say many of the other books that Sir Arthur wrote as well including "Sir Nigel" and "The White Company."
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Amazon Kindle Fire at present.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the South Bay originally. I was a beach rat from a very early age and spent many summers down at the beach with my father. Our house bordered a large field that was surrounded by Horse Stables and a few micro farms. During the winter the fields behind my house would flood and we would build rafts and floating fortresses out of scrap doors and lumber and we would pretend we were Huck Finn or Tom Sawyer! Sometimes during the summer I would sit out in the fields during the day into the evening observing the animals and plants, or I would walk over to the farm to talk to the cows and sheep and other animals the farmers had. It was before the whole town became industrialized, things were a little simpler then. It made me see and appreciate nature and wildlife more.
What's the story behind your latest book?
It's a secret! You'll have to wait until the first teaser comes out which is soon! I'll keep everyone posted!
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I'm a new member but I can tell just from my initial experience that we are going to have a long and wonderful collaboration!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My family, my kids, no matter how tired I get or run down I always manage to find the strength to face the day. Faith plays a big part in that as well!
What is your writing process?
Lots of notes as the book idea comes to me, then sitting down at a computer and I just start writing, making adjustments along the way as I send the story out for review and editing.
Published 2014-11-05.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.