Interview with Raven ShadowHawk

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in London, which I don't think had any influence at all. I don't really write about the people or places from that time of my life. I started in Tottenham, then moved to Enfield at about 11 years old, for my next school. I think what influenced me more than that were the people that WEREN'T around me. The people I desperately wanted to meet. Then again, I was quite young then, and also a bit of a romantic, so, in truth, most of the influences for all the dirty stuff that pops out now have cropped up since moving to Leicester.
Did you know the kink scene in Leicester is huge. Like . . . HUGE!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Making shit up.
I know that's a kinda clichéd answer, but I really (really) love making up stories. Thinking about what motivates this character or another and the best way to get into their pants/boxers. Frankly, just seeing the glee in other people's faces when I tell them about my latest story is also quite fun, too.
I find people to be so uptight and rigid about sex (hur hur hur), I think folk should just loosen up and enjoy it. That's what I try to encourage when I write.
Describe your desk
Wow. Urk . . . ! My desk is a freakin' mess!
Let's see . . . My watch, a single earring, an (empty) pint glass and an empty package for the stewed apples I scoffed last week. Two mobile phones (one of them isn't even mine!) and my glasses (hopefully) in the case on my right hand side.

There is work stuff here too though; my laptop, as the desk is set up as a workstation with cordless keyboard and mouse. I also have the speaks and subwoofer for them (who works without music?! I can't!). On the life I also have a stack of shelves which hold all the short stories in various stages of editing (the to be edited pile is raaaaaaaaaaaather large).

For some reason I also have three boxes of polyhedral dice and a bottle of nail varnish. o.O Not sure why the dice are out: I haven't played any tabletop RPGs for a good few months now.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Eeeeeeeerm. Not writing?
Hmm.
That doesn't happen much.
Okay, if I'm not writing (or all the things that come along with it, like editing/cover design/marketing/blogging) I with my family. If not with them I'm hanging out with other writerly types and chatting shop.

If I want a break from all things writing, then I go LARPing. That's Live Action Role Playing for the civilians among you. That, though exhausting (physically and mentally) is a great way to recharge and just step out of the writing head for a bit.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything. It's a crazy thing to say perhaps - surely money means more, right? - but the idea that someone is a 'fan' of my work gives me a thrill that goes straight through me. That someone enjoys my words enough to call themselves 'a fan'?
Yes, I write for my own pleasure - very much for my own pleasure! - but it's equally important that I reach those people who enjoy what I have to say. Yes, my stories are quite reality based, but they are still escapism. And if I can offer that to a person then I feel I've done my job. And if those same people come back time and time again, then we're building a relationship together that is beautiful and unparalleled by anything else in my life. That's very important to me.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Mostly through recommendations. But sometimes I just skip onto Amazon and just trawl through until I find a cover that interests me. Yes, yes, I know . . . that's naughty. But unless I know an author or have had them pointed out to me, I must admit I look at cover, then blurb, then reviews. From that I make my choice.
How do you approach cover design?
Carefully. Haha!
I'll be looking into options to produce covers myself now, but with my current releases I commissioned the lot. For some I even paid for photoshoots to provide the imagery that features on the cover. The artwork on a book is so very important and the fact is the true for indies and traditionally published authors. It's particularly true of stories releasing just as ebooks, since there's nothing for a consumer to hold. They make the purchase on the grounds of what they see (though in some cases you can flick through and get a taster). But you have to get their attention first, right?
What is your e-reading device of choice?
*snerk*
Yeah, sorry, Smashwords, I have a Kindle. *shrugs*
I was a Christmas present years and years ago and because it's that much simple to upload a book from the Amazon website, I do tend to read on it a lot if I don't have a paper/hardback. Saying that, though, I'm starting to do more reading on my phone, since I always have that on me, even if I forget to pack the Kindle. And it links up nicely too and updates my reading within a few minutes so long as I'm online. That's convenience for ya!
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Impatience.
There. I said it. -_-
The traditional route is all well and good, but I hate waiting. I also hate the fact that so much of the process would be out of my control. I'd have minimal input on the cover, no control over the price . . . I'm just that anal that I wanted to retain that control.
That aside, with the schedule I have planned for next year, there's no way a traditional publisher (big or small) would be able to keep up. Nor would they want to put out the stories I'm releasing as the length doesn't suit them.

Thinking about it that way, this was the only way to go.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My children.
Yes, yes, cheesey as sin, but what can I say? They don't just motivate me, they drag me out with their screeching and shrieking and thumping and giggling. Who can sleep through that sort of noise?!
Published 2015-07-22.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Smexxy Snippets: A Surprise Over Dinner
Series: Smexxy Snippets. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,030. Language: English. Published: September 28, 2018 by Little Vamp Press. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Gay Erotica, Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay
Max can’t wait to get home. He longs for nothing more than to curl up in Jamie’s arms and forget about the day in his arms. Imagine then, his surprise when he arrives home to tantalising smells and a round, perfectly naked backside peeping out from beneath the door of the fridge. Not only has Jamie decided to cook, but he has chosen to do so utterly naked.
Smexxy Snippets: In The Back Row Of The Cinema
Series: Smexxy Snippets, Book 5. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,000. Language: English. Published: January 31, 2017 by Little Vamp Press. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Women's Erotica, Fiction » Erotica » Lesbian Erotica
A trip to the cinema: classic date material and the shine has yet to wear off for Sally and her girlfriend Jane. Ten minutes in, with her arm around Jane’s shoulders, Sally’s boredom with the inane action on screen moves her to prompt a little action of her own. She slides her hand into Jane's bar to feel for the treasures within.
Smexxy Snippets: Shh, The Kids Are Sleeping!
Series: Smexxy Snippets, Book 4. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,940. Language: English. Published: March 22, 2016 by Little Vamp Press. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Couples Erotica, Fiction » Romance » Erotic
Getting little babies Jenna and Grace to sleep during the day is a task Charlotte is determined to master. Not only will she able to deal with the stack of washing-up that refuses to go down, despite her best efforts but she may also be able—finally— to have a long, hot bath. Seems a perfect plan, except her husband Tom returns early from work with fantastic news, and he wants to celebrate.
Smexxy Snippets: The Back Seat of My Sister's Car
Series: Smexxy Snippets, Book 3. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,940. Language: English. Published: February 22, 2016 by Little Vamp Press. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Menage/Multiple Partners, Fiction » Erotica » Women's Erotica
One woman. Two men. One car. One naughty fantasy When Pamela uses her sister’s car to collect her boyfriend and his friends from basketball practise, their sweaty bodies and stinky clothes lead her to put them in the back seat. Conscious of her sister’s near obsessive desire for cleanliness, she also decides to visit the local valet before returning home. Mark and Bobby have other ideas.
Smexxy Snippets: A Domme At The Club
Series: Smexxy Snippets, Book 2. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,850. Language: British English. Published: January 22, 2016 by Little Vamp Press. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » BDSM, Fiction » Erotica » Women's Erotica
The pet must serve his mistress. Her pleasure is all. For some, the idea of sexual servitude is a source of confusion and derision. For others, it is the absolute peak of their sexual desires. The act of submission brings pleasure and fulfilment to both the dominant and the submissive in a way few others can.
Smexxy Snippets: In The Stationery Cupboard
Series: Smexxy Snippets, Book 1. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,960. Language: English. Published: December 22, 2015 by Little Vamp Press. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Women's Erotica, Fiction » Erotica » Comedy/Humor
Sally loves the thought of getting off at work. Wearing sexy underwear and teasing her colleagues is one of the highlights of her day in the drab, dreary office. When she decides to take matters a step further and heat things up with one of her colleagues, where else can they go but the company stationery cupboard to act on their desire for passion?
Meeting Each Other: The Full Story
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 42,200. Language: English. Published: March 1, 2015 by Little Vamp Press. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Erotica Anthologies, Fiction » Erotica » BDSM
Six lives, six couples, six passionate encounters. For the first time, enjoy the full story six different couples enjoying their first or the most significant sexual encounters with their loved ones. This sizzling collection includes all six stories in the series and a bonus story unavailable anywhere else.
Malcolm
Series: Meeting Each Other, Book 6. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 8,480. Language: English. Published: February 5, 2015 by Little Vamp Press. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » BDSM, Fiction » Erotica » Women's Erotica
Malcolm didn’t want to dump his girlfriend Vicki. Not really. But the relationship didn’t suit either of them and a visit to a local fetish club on serves to highlight that fact. Malcolm needs more. Much more.
Simone & Mr Bradford
Series: Meeting Each Other, Book 5. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 9,670. Language: English. Published: December 22, 2014 by Little Vamp Press. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Contemporary, Fiction » Erotica » Comedy/Humor
Previously unsuccessful in her attempts to find a quick hook-up, Simone looks closer to home for a little sexual gratification. Comfort in the form of Mr Amos Bradford, MD of a prestigious financial company and her boss.
Eric & Morgan
Series: Meeting Each Other, Book 4. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 7,860. Language: British English. Published: October 10, 2014 by Little Vamp Press. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay, Fiction » Erotica » Gay Erotica
A party spent ducking unwanted advances is one most people will likely want to forget. Eric is no exception, returning from Vicki's birthday party still trying to shake off the feel of unwanted hands. When he confides in Morgan, he finds warm, sympathetic and full of exciting ways to take his mind of it. Including a late night desert of strawberries and cream.
Bill
Series: Meeting Each Other, Book 3. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,910. Language: English. Published: March 28, 2014 by Little Vamp Press. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Comedy/Humor, Fiction » Erotica » Contemporary
Bored and frustrated at the close of his sister’s party, Bill turns on his laptop to find some online ‘relief’. Unimpressed by the poor selection of porn, he begins a webcam conversation with his ex, Hiral, who has plenty of ideas on how best to spend their time.
Carol, Niall & Lin
Series: Meeting Each Other, Book 2. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 8,890. Language: English. Published: January 25, 2014 by Little Vamp Press. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Menage/Multiple Partners, Fiction » Erotica » Women's Erotica
(5.00 from 1 review)
The party closes, leaving Carol and Niall downstairs with tiny soft-spoken Lin. Having spent the night getting to know each other, Niall wants to move on to ‘step two’ of the meeting; the sex. Carol, despite suggesting the threesome, has never touched a girl before and is unsure of what to do, or even if she really wants to.
Vicki & Lara
Series: Meeting Each Other, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 7,850. Language: English. Published: October 20, 2013 by Little Vamp Press. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Lesbian Erotica, Fiction » Romance » Erotic
At the close of her birthday party, Vicki sees her best friend Lara in a whole new light. Never before did she consider that her friend might be more than that, but her recent breakup leads her to dwell on it perhaps more than she should.