Raven J. Demers writes sci-fi, fantasy, mythpunk, horror, and poetry. Xe is author of The Corvid and the Calico, Perdition, and co-author of the Amakai series. Xe earned a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Washington and is a member of the Northwest Independent Writers Association. Xyr next book, Rumors of Merzai, will be the 18+ companion to third book in the Amakai series, launching in September 2023. Raven lives in a forest near Seattle, WA with xyr multi-species family and believes the answer to xyr farming obsession might be ducks.
Raven J. Demers was born in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle on a futon at dawn. Two years later, xe left with xyr mother for the first of what would be many journeys. Raven grew up traveling across the United States and parts of Europe and Central America, attending private schools or homeschoooled, and never staying more than a year or two in any one place. Xe learned to speak—and eventually forgot—French, Italian, Spanish, and Latin, and parts of Urdu, Russian, and German.
Xe is the fifth generation* of writers, on xyr mother’s side, and grew up among those who loved language and the arts. Science fiction, fantasy, and myth were on the majority of bookshelves in each home Raven’s family moved to, next to medical journals, atlases, and encyclopedias. Xyr mother introduced xyr to The Twilight Zone, Star Trek, Issac Asimov’s short stories, and Xanth novels.
Raven started xyr first story at the age of five while bored in an airport terminal, it was a science fiction story xe never completed. Xyr first published work was “White Flag,” a poem submitted in fifth grade for a contest held by the Alliance Theatre of Atlanta. It was used in a series of skits performed by the theater inspired by each accepted poem. Raven went on to publish several poems and a handful of essays to small publications across the U.S., including “Empty Canvas” and “Magnetism.”
Raven was an honor student and won the Senior Dance Award in high school, while also attending Edmonds Community College. Xe graduated in 1996 with college credits, but chose to take a break from higher education soon after. Instead, xe spent much of xyr free time outside work writing short stories and collaborating with xyr then-partner, Robin, who would one do be xyr co-author of the Amakai series. In 2001, xe published xyr first poetry collection, My Name Was Indigo, a year after the birth of xyr first child. When xe returned to college in 2002, xe took creative writing courses, read extensively about the craft, and found the following most helpful: On Writing by Stephen King, On Writers & Writing by Margaret Atwood, and Touch Magic by Jane Yolen.
While attending the University of Washington, xe reconnected with Robin, and together, they wrote the first drafts of the first three books in the Amakai series across five months. After graduating in 2010 with a B.A. in Anthropology, Raven took on freelance work from Demand Studios, writing web content, while continuing xyr short stories, novels, and poetry.
In 2013, one year after xyr mother died, Raven published Journey Through the Hinterland, a poetry collection embodying xyr grief over the death of xyr mother mixed with the joy of the birth of xyr son. Raven achieved a minor life goal, having “Yama on Ice” accepted by King County Metro’s Poetry on Buses project in 2016. Then, in 2017, xe checked off another goal on xyr list and published xyr debut novel, Perdition, a vampire novel about Daisy, a 76 year old woman who died and rose from the grave, and left with the decision of whether to feed upon the young girl left for her, or find a better life for her. That same year, xe published a third poetry collection, Aranya: Lessons from the Heart of the Forest, and the first Amakai novel, The Grasp of Time, co-authored with Robin Wood.
Since then, xe has published the sequel, Seal Breaker (2019), and will soon publish the third Amakai book, Chains of Merzai, and the sequel to Perdition in the Daisy After Life trilogy, Purgatory. Raven joined the Northwest Independent Writers Association in 2019.
Raven lives in a forest near Seattle with xyr partner, children, cats, and a pair of demons in the shape of flop-eared bunnies.
*Five Generations of Writers: A Brief Family History
Raven’s mother’s family was filled with writers. Xyr mother, Betsy, wrote for magazines in the 1970s, co-authored a book on astrology, and wrote an episode for the original Battlestar Galactica that was optioned, but never aired due to cancellation. Betsy went on to be one of the top chess players in the U.S. in the mid-1980s and an award-winning photographer. Betsy was the daughter of Vincent “Vin” Bogert, who started out in radio with shows like Duffy’s Tavern, and went on to be the head writer of The Garry Moore Show and also wrote for Phil Silvers, Lucille Ball, and All in the Family. Betsy’s mother, Marie Cowan, was an English teacher, and later a copywriter for Macy’s.
Marie’s father was Joe Cowan, a journalist who worked for William Randolph Hearst. Joe was so well known by criminal organizations in NYC, he once had his gold pocket watch stolen. He visited a bar where he knew the culprit most likely would be, and said, “I’m Joe Cowan. Some son-of-a-bitch stole my gold watch. I want it back.” The next day, it was left by the front door of his apartment with an anonymous letter of apology. And while not as noteworthy a name, Marie’s maternal grandfather, Christian Friedrich Becher, was a journalist from Württemberg who retired to a farm in Buffalo, NY with his wife, Anna née Theiss.