Ravens Gathering by Graeme Cumming | Blog Tour Guest Post | @GraemeCumming63 #LoveBooksGroupTours

 

Available in ebook and paperback

484 pages



My thanks to Kelly of Love Books Group Tours for the blog tour invitation and to Graeme for providing the guest post.

 

|   About the Book   |

 

As she let her gaze drift around her, she saw that there were more birds. Perhaps a dozen or so, perched among the trees that stood on the edge of the clearing. And yet more were arriving, swooping down through the gap overhead and landing on branches that overlooked them. The birds weren’t threatening, yet the sight of them all coming together in this dark and isolated spot was unnerving. Tanya reached a hand out towards Martin, and was relieved to feel him take it. She felt him move in behind her. After the uncertainty she’d experienced with him in a similar position only a few moments ago, she recognised the irony of her reaction. His closeness offered security.

“You know what they are, don’t you?”

A stranger’s arrival in a small village coincides with a tragic accident. For the Gates family in particular it’s more than a coincidence, but unease increases following a brutal attack. As tensions rise, a dark past returns to haunt them and others, while newcomers to the village are drawn into a mystery with terrifying consequences.

And only a select few know why the ravens are gathering.

 

Guest Post

by Graeme Cumming

 

My question to Graeme was:

“Folklore has long associated Ravens with death; were you always going to include the birds or did the idea to include them come to you much later during the writing process?”

When I read a book, particularly one that follows an unusual path, I often wonder about the starting point for the writer, and why certain elements have been included. Clearly, I’m not alone in that. And the premise of the question has made me ask myself about the assumptions I make. Because the question asks whether I was always going to include them or if the idea came much later, and the reality is that the title came first. Which was unusual. Normally, I’ll get an idea and build it into a story, then try to come up with a short and snappy title that fits. Not this time.

Let me take you back to 1989. I’d been visiting relatives and was heading home when I joined the A1. Just as I came off the slip road, I noticed a group of large black birds on the hard shoulder ahead of me. They were pecking at something, presumably an animal that had been hit by a passing car. As I drew closer, some more arrived and I said to my partner: “Did you see those ravens gathering?”

There was something about the phrase that struck me immediately. I’d been writing for years, so novels and their titles were a constant presence in my mind anyway. And that combination of words just had a certain ring to it. There was a title there and I had to make use of it.

So ravens were always going to form part of the narrative but, at that point, I had no idea how – or even why!

What I did know was that the title suggested something creepy and probably supernatural. Which didn’t automatically sit well with me. I was happy reading stuff by Stephen King, James Herbert and Graham Masterton, but it wasn’t subject matter I felt inclined to write.

Fortunately, the title kick-started my brain and images began to flow through my mind. Old houses; drawers opening and closing themselves (poltergeists?); a clearing in the woods where nasty things happen. Those features have remained, although not exactly as I envisaged them. Still, taking those strands, I gradually began to pull them together to make a story that isn’t truly horror, but does have a certain creepiness to it.

Looking back on it, the folklore surrounding ravens didn’t occur to me at a conscious level. But the fact that I felt I needed to take the story in the direction I did suggests something about ravens did influence my thinking. Which begs another question: Is it possible to include ravens without there being connotations of death?

 

 

|   Author Bio   |

Graeme Cumming lives in Robin Hood country. He has wide and varied tastes when it comes to fiction so he’s conscious that his thrillers can cross into territories including horror, fantasy and science fiction as well as more traditional arenas.
When not writing, Graeme is an enthusiastic sailor (and, by default, swimmer), and enjoys off-road cycling and walking. He is currently Education Director at Sheffield Speakers Club. Oh yes, and he reads (a lot) and loves the cinema.

 

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6 Comments

  1. Kelly
    19th September 2018 / 11:22 am

    Thank you for your support of the tour. Kelly x

    • Karen
      Author
      19th September 2018 / 11:57 am

      My pleasure Kelly x

  2. 19th September 2018 / 3:41 pm

    So much for arriving shortly! Thank you so much, Karen, for participating in this blog tour. It is appreciated. I did like your question, and found it really interesting to respond to, even if my response probably didn’t go in any direction you might have expected. Then again, I think that’s true for the book!

    On the subject of the book, I notice this week (and it isn’t planned, just a happy coincidence), Amazon have discounted the cost of the paperback. The amount of the discount seems to have varied a bit over the last couple of days, but it’s currently priced at £6.70, over £2.00 less than the list price. For anyone wanting a copy, it’s a bargain – if I do say so myself!

    • Karen
      Author
      19th September 2018 / 4:48 pm

      I’m very pleased to host you on the blog Graeme and thank you for such an interesting post. Good luck with the book, perhaps Amazon have seen all the blog posts this week!!!! 😉

  3. Adele Marie Park
    30th September 2018 / 5:16 pm

    I have read this book and loved it. It remains one of my favourites. The atmosphere is always spooky and the growing mystery is masterfully written.

    • Karen
      Author
      1st October 2018 / 12:29 pm

      Thanks for stopping by Adele. I’m all for atmosphere and after reading all the blog tour stops I want to read it

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