Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Introducing Raven

With the release of my book “The Forsaken” on the horizon, I'd like to take a moment to introduce you all to one of my characters: Raven, aka Adam Matthews. Although the series centers on Gwenevere, Raven does play a significant part in the books. Found lost and wandering in the woods Gwenevere is put into St. Paul's Catholic Orphanage.There she meets a kindred spirit, Adam, who she promptly renames Raven. Both misunderstood they bond together and find out that they are not like the other children; there is something supernatural about them. When Gwen finds she can no longer stay at St. Paul’s, Raven embarks on a journey with her to find their kind. A lot of this story was inspired from my own childhood. I am not an orphan and did not grow up in a place like St. Paul's. However, I, too, was misunderstood and was befriended by a boy; his name was Jonathan. In a lot of ways Raven was based off of him and our friendship. Below is an excerpt from “The Forsaken” featuring Raven just to give you a taste of his character and my writing style. I hope you enjoy the read.
“What’s going on, Raven?” Gwen asks, perplexed. Then, a stream of images invades her mind as she senses the thoughts and feelings of the driver. The things he’s thinking of Raven appall her. Apparently, the man thinks her best friend--the nicest, kindest boy in the world--is some kind of child molester. Gwen is just about to try and calm the driver down when she notices something strange happening with Raven.
            “We’re not going back there!” Raven shouts. The twelve year old boy shakes all over, almost as if he’s having a seizure. His muscles are tensed; he seems to be fighting his own body for control. Gwen gasps in horror as Raven’s features began to change, his very form mutating before her eyes.
            Hair begins to sprout out of his flesh as if by magic, covering him in a black-silvery fur. His fingernails grow, his hands becoming like massive claws. His golden eyes become animal-like as his nose and mouth becomes a muzzle, his ears becoming pointed and furry. All the while, Raven screams in agony, as every bone in his body seems to realign itself, disjointing from its natural human form into that of a ferocious animal. Behind the wall of his pain, he is vaguely aware of Gwen’s little voice screaming his name, her little hands tugging at his left arm, even as it distorts and reshapes itself. He can’t comprehend anything else happening around him, the excruciating pain swallowing him whole into a cocoon of thoughts, feelings, and emotions that are not his own. He feels the feral animal instinct taking over his will. Raven’s human consciousness is being suppressed by the animal’s need to hunt.
            Gwen tries in vain to get Raven to respond to her, to look at her. However, he has transformed almost completely, to the point that he no longer resembles a boy, but a wolf of some kind. All her attention is focused on trying to touch Raven’s mind, completely forgetting about the man driving the truck.
            She catches a sudden gleam of metal in her peripheral vision and turns barely in time to see Rex--whose face is distorted in panic and fear--pull out a handgun and aim it at Raven. With a speed that even surprises her, Gwen grabs Rex’s hand and yanks the weapon upward, the gun going off suddenly, shooting a hole in the roof of the truck.
            Rex gives out a yell of surprise, the truck swerving all over the road. He tries to regain control of the wheel with his left hand as he struggles with Gwen for the gun with his right. Suddenly, the truck veers off the road into the forest, jostling the vehicle as it goes over dirt and rock. Gwen lurches forward, and Rex hits the windshield with a loud crack when the truck rams straight into a tree, causing the vehicle to come to an abrupt stop.
            Gwen rocks backward and hits her head on the back wall of the cab, her vision blurs and the world begins to spin around her. Gwen tries to regain control of her senses when she hears a low growling sound from Raven. She pears over the seat and sees a large, silver and black wolf sitting in the passenger seat; a cold, gold-eyed stare directed at Rex. The man, barely recovering from the impact of the crash, turns and looks disbelieving at the animal only two feet away from him. The black wolf bares his teeth at Rex, his growl intensifying. In a panic, Rex, with a hand to his bleeding forehead, opens the driver side door and stumbles out into the forest, desperately trying to flee from the creature. No sooner does Rex escape then the wolf pounces, leaping out of the truck through the open door and into the night after his prey.

Well, there you have it. Coming soon more tidbits and insights into the book “The Forsaken” coming out in May 2013. If it peeked your curiosity, go forth and share, comment, and like on Facebook and Twitter.

R.J. Craddock