And five tough guys stepped out of the alley ahead of me, blocking the way.

“You da Raven?” the lead guy said.

“You talking to me or the pooch?” I asked. Beelzie flipped his growl switch into the “on” position again. At least this time the teeth were bared for the benefit of the muscle-bound barricade.

“He don’t look like his picture,” one of the muscles behind the point man said. Incredibly the dude had a book in his hand. A paperback, well-thumbed. He didn’t look like a reader to me.

“That you?” the head honcho asked, gesturing to the cover.

“That’s an artist’s rendition of a fictional character. Do I look fictional to you?”

“It’s him,” a third guy announced. “I read the book and he’s the guy.”

His friends were startled enough to forget Beelzebub and my unworthy self. They stared at the man. “You read the book?”

The Mensa candidate frowned at them. “How the hell else were we going to get a decent description of him?”

“Yeah,” I agreed. Let’s face it, I’m used to being the center of attention. I’m the hero in the series, if you recall. “What’s it say? So handsome women melt at this Raven guy’s feet?”

“Naw. It says you got black hair, weird green eyes –”

I doubted Calie ever bracketed the word weird to the color when describing them. “There are hundreds shades of green. Would that be a tequila lime, Douglas fir, clover, peppermint leaf or another shade?” Paint chips do come in handy.

“Shut up, smart ass,” the lead guy snapped.

“More olive green, I guess,” the reader said. He took the paperback away from his compadre and leafed through it. “It also says you got a lean athlete’s body –”

“I hope he’s a good sport and doesn’t mind me borrowing it then,” I said.

“—a square jaw, long pointy nose, and that if you stand up straight you’re close to six-two.”

I immediately stooped to appear shorter.

“Yeah, it’s him, Ham,” the reader said. “The smart mouth gives him away.”

Who’da thought?

 Excerpt from RAVEN’S MOON

Okay, you’re probably wondering why I dropped in this bit from the book that details my first days on this side of the seam stitched binding. Mostly because, I really have nothing else to go on in regard to what I look like. Curse of the fictional character, which I am…at least I think I still am.

Name’s Bram Farrell and I’m a PI who uses magic – when it wants to cooperate with me – to take down things that might pass for human, though many don’t even try, but aren’t human and are misbehaving. Really misbehaving.

But every time I look in a mirror, it’s nothing but words that I see. Hence the conundrum.

It seems to be shared by my creative team which includes J.B. Dane and the folks at Burns and Lea Books. They have the same thing to work with in sorting out my appearance as I do.

This is probably why I’ve had three different guys representing me on covers so far.

When J.B. Dane began working on covers for the prequel tales, she sorted through a lot of photos of guys she thought I might look like to use on the cover. She found the guy shown above on the left, the one in the suit with the gun in his waistband, as what she thought I looked like. Didn’t mind that. He didn’t dress like I did in the stories at that point – more of a jeans and black t-shirt dude really – yet I thought, “yeah, that’s me.”

Only it wasn’t.

Or at least what graphics J.B. found didn’t suit what she needed when the covers got changed to reflect the cover on MOON. I only get to show up on one of the prequel covers now – that’s the guy in the middle – and he’s styling his hair more than I do. I don’t own a comb, so fingers are sufficing as grooming instruments. No product either. This guy is groomed. But he looks just as clueless as I probably look, and the story did have me tracking down a guy who was posing as me in MOCK RAVEN.

Now we come to the dude Burns and Lea stumbled across to use on the cover of RAVEN’S MOON. Why he is wearing sunglasses at night, I’ve no idea. He probably doesn’t know why either.

Which brings us to the here and now. The 2nd Raven Tales novel arrives this year and I’m curious to know if I’ll look like any of these guys when the cover goes into production. The only thing I’ve heard is that the color red is likely to be prominent considering RAVEN HEART opens on the most dangerous day of the year – Valentine’s Day – and it’s raining females. Well, not literally. You’ll have to wait to find out what’s in store.

So, stay tuned!

In the meantime, if you haven’t met me on the page yet as some Otherworlder butt gets kicked in Detroit, isn’t it about time you did so?

Bram, aka The Raven

(And, no, I’ve no idea how I got that moniker. Another thing that would keep me awake nights if I ever figure out what sleep feels like!)

FYI: Prequel Novellas

RAVEN FOR A SONG getbook.at/RavSongEbk



RAVEN’S MOON (novel- Raven Tales Book #1)

Amazon https://amzn.to/2IIqRhS

BarnesAndNoble http://bit.ly/321Xcan

Published by daneanddarnell

JB Dane and Nied Darnell are fantasy mystery comedy adventure authors. JB writes urban fantasy with comedy and mystery and sometimes fantasy with comedy and mystery that isn't urban fantasy at all! Nied Darnell likes the past but also fantasy comedy adventure and mystery, so it's a given that she's drawn to Weird West Steampunk (has a BA in American History with a minor in British Modern under her "real" name) and Dieselpunk. Both of them have written under a variety of other names...and answer to an entirely different name at the bank and to the tax man, though it's the same name as they are in fact are housed in just one human form), and have a publishing career that is 30 novels strong and growing. Following either of them is possible on Twitter: @JBDaneWriter and @NiedDarnell and on Facebook via http://bit.ly/2GJtejL for JB and http://bit.ly/2tquccW for Nied.

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