J. Marie Ravenshaw is my Woman In Horror today! J. Marie reads and writes horror for the visceral reactions. She wants the stomach dropping, chills running up and down your spine, and the hair standing on end. For her, this is what horror does more than other genre. Loving horror as she does, it is only natural that she wants to spread these feelings to her readers, and she does a great job of it.
J. Marie also writes erotica. I am seeing this more and more with horror authors, not only women, but men as well. I add erotica to some of my tales. It is a natural thing to do, I believe. J. Marie believes it is an excellent way to develop the skills of showing instead of telling when writing. Painting the picture as she says. As for the difference between erotica and porn, she believes porn is merely a way to get off, while erotica is for the brain as well as the body. Well spoken, J. Marie!
Her favorite part of writing is the release it gives her, a therapeutic feeling.
J. Marie's writing technique is a blend. For short stories, she starts with an idea and runs with it. With novels, she prefers to use an outline. I find that most interesting, since I'm a pantster with everything I write.
She believes marketable horror tends to be about shock value, but that well written stories are those that really stick with you. I have to agree with her thinking. I love to get scared to death while reading, but the psychological meanderings of terror stick with me the longest. It's as if I'm pulled into the stories and never quite escape.
Here's a little excerpt from the anthology Now I Lay Me Down To Reap where J. Marie has a delightful tale titled Gable's Leatherworks:
A shrill scream rang out across the pasture.
Abigail snapped her head up upon hearing the jarring sound. A brisk evening breeze filtered into the room, sending a chill up her spine. She glanced up at the fluttering curtains, pushed out her chair, and stood. As she walked over to the open window, she rubbed her arms trying to stave off the goose bumps.
With her palms resting on the window jambs, she gazed out over the pasture. There was nothing out there that she could see, but she had an unnerving feeling that she was being watched. She knitted her brow and allowed her eyes to scan the field one last time before closing the window and drawing the curtain. Like every other night, the scream had come from the direction of Mrs. Gable’s barn.
Her father, Joseph, blamed the wildcats in the area. However, deep down, Abigail knew those screams were the result of something far more sinister.
She walked back to the desk and plopped down in her chair. As she grabbed her pencil, she yelled out, “Hey Dad! Sounds like the wildcats are at it again!” She rolled her eyes and started to read through the notes that she’d taken in History class.
Her Father’s roughened voice echoed into the study from the hallway, getting ever closer, “Yep. I heard it Abby girl. Don’t concern yourself ‘bout that.” Joseph Daniels strode into the room, his brown eyes gleaming in the overhead light. With his hands buried deep in the pockets of his torn denims, he nodded toward the desktop and said, “You’ve got far more pressing things to worry about.”
A contagious smile that crinkled the skin around his eyes spread across his face. Abigail couldn’t help but smile back. He wrenched his hands out of his pockets, leaned over, resting his palms on the edge of the desk, and examined the papers in front of her. His eyes met hers. “You worry ‘bout getting that ‘A’ in history and we’ll go to town for the ice cream I promised, ‘kay?”
Abigail nodded and turned her attention back to the workbook spread out in front of her. As a small smile graced her mouth, she mumbled, “You know I’ll get it too.”
Joseph walked around the desk, leaned toward her, and gently brushed her flaxen hair away from her face. He kissed her forehead and whispered, “Of course you will, Abby girl.” He turned to walk out of the study.
Abigail glanced up from her work. “Dad?”
He stopped and turned around in the doorway, raising an eyebrow in question.
Abigail bit her lower lip, her eyes slowly rolled up to meet his as she asked, “Could we… um… do something other than ice cream? I mean, I am sixteen now…”
He sighed. “You’re right, Abby. You’re not a little girl anymore. What’d you want to do?”
She thought for a moment, then flared her eyes in excitement. “Can we go shopping?”
“Alright baby girl, that’s what we’ll do.” He started to turn away.
This should make you want to read more.
Another great excerpt from The Silver Comb from the anthology Twisted Realities: Of Myth and Monstrosity
The Silver Comb is an engaged re-imagining of the classic Banshee myth – with a twist! Read on for a longer look at J. Marie’s contribution to Twisted Realities: Of Myth and Monstrosity -
Aisling Grey maneuvered her car into the hidden driveway of the house she rented along with her best friend, Shayna O’Neill, and Shayna’s long-time boyfriend, Callum Connor. It was hard to see the entrance at night. As she turned the corner, she could just barely see the house through the trees. The porch lights were off.
They lived on two and a half acres in a little rental house nestled right in the midst of a thick wood. She knew that as soon as the headlights were off, she’d be plunged into darkness. She rolled her eyes and muttered, “God, you’d think they’d at least flip the fricken’ light on for me …”
Aisling pulled up close to the garage – knowing that both stalls would be in use – and turned off the car. She grabbed the groceries and her purse. Deciding to leave her books in the car -she didn’t need to crack them until Sunday anyway- she slid out and slammed the door behind her.
Aisling glanced toward the front door, mapping out the path she would take in the utter darkness. Out of the corner of her eye she saw a shadow flit by at the edge of the woods. She stopped dead in her tracks and turned toward the area. Narrowing her eyes, she yelled, “Who’s there?” No answer. Chills ran up her spine, making her shiver in response.
A thought crossed her mind, making her smile and immediately staving off her fear. She yelled again. “Cal? You messin’ with me again? ‘Cause if you are …” She shook her head and continued toward the front door.
As she stepped onto the bottom step, the porch light came on, illuminating the front yard and temporarily blinding her. She raised her arm to shield her face from the bright light. Her eyes widened as the front door opened to reveal Cal’s grinning face. “Hey! Aisling! What’re you bellowin’ about? You gonna stand out ‘ere all night? Spaghetti’s almost done!”
“Jesus, Cal! You gotta yell when I’m standing right here?”
Cal looked down toward her. “Sorry, didn’t see you there. The wine must be gettin’ to me.” He pushed his fingers through his raven hair, making it stand on end. “We’re on the third bottle already. You’re gonna be playin’ catch up.” He dropped his hand to his side, smiled, and held the door open for her.
She passed the groceries to him and set her purse and keys on the entryway table as she walked toward the kitchen. Shayna leaned around the corner with a bottle of red wine in her hand. She swished it back and forth. “You wanna glass? Or shall we pass the bottle about?”
Aisling wrapped her fingers around the neck of the bottle, snatching it from Shayna’s hands. “I think this one’s mine.” She brought the bottle to her lips, a mischievous smirk gracing her mouth as she tipped the bottle up and took a couple of healthy swigs. A thin trail of the red liquid ran down her chin as she lowered the bottle. She wiped her mouth with her shirt sleeve, shrugged, and said, “It’s only fair, right?”
Enough of my rambling words. You have had the opportunity to read some words from J. Marie. Now is your chance to read both of these great stories in their totality.
J. Marie Ravenshaw is a Woman In Horror!
J. Marie Ravenshaw is a mother of two hailing from the upper mid-west of the United States. She enjoys spending time with her family, at her job, and trolling the internet for riding crops. Sometimes, she writes.
You can find her at:
Twisted Realities: Of Myth and Monstrosity by Thomas James Brown, Amber Keller, Alexa Muir and Edward Lorn (May 24, 2012)