Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Ravens—Fodder for Romance Novels

A powerful symbol and subject of mythology and folklore, the highly intelligent Common Raven, Corvus corax, is large at 24 inches in length with a 50-inch wingspan on average, and weighing in at about 2.6 pounds. They seem to live about 10 to 15 years in the wild, although some ravens are reported to have lifespans up to 40 years. The iridescent black bird's most common call is a low, drawn-out croak.

Apart from its greater size, the raven differs from its cousins, the crows, by having a larger and thicker black beak, shaggier throat feathers and nasal bristles extending onto the beak, and a wedge-shaped tail.

When young, ravens often travel in flocks, but later mate for life, which makes them, for me, fodder for romance novels. An added romance twist: instances of non-monogamy behavior have been observed with some ravens. On occasion, males visit a female's nest while her mate is away. Damn your cheating heart.

The midnight visit by a mysterious raven to the narrator of the poem, The Raven, by Edgar Allan Poe, caught my fascination as a young girl. No wonder when I crafted my characters for my vampire-shifter series, Crimson Storm, I created a female character who shifts from a vampire to a raven.

Marion MacLachlan, a.k.a. Raven, is a secondary character in Sea Panther, the first book of the series, and sister to the hero. She is turned into a vampire-shifter by an ancient vampire unleashed on the world when a voodoo curse goes very wrong.

Raven will star in the second book, just as soon as I find time to write her story.

I was really excited to photograph this raven during a recent camping trip to Shenandoah National Park.

Have you read books featuring ravens?

~Dawn Marie Hamilton


  1. Great minds think alike, Dawn. Birds must be on peoples' minds.

  2. I'll agree to that, Darcy. Thanks for dropping in.

  3. My hero Calisto in Night Walker can shape shift into his spirit animal. His spirit animal is a raven... :)

    I think they're very mysterious and strong animals.

    Great blog Dawn!!! :)


  4. Hey, Lisa. Very cool! Thanks for stopping by.

  5. I'm editing a series by Stephanie Thomas--the Raven Chronicles. I love her use of the raven as a symbol in the series.

    I used to have a framed photo of a raven in our downstairs bathroom. Just a black and white photo. I loved that pic...lol.

  6. Hi, Kerry! Like the series title. I'll have to check it out. Thanks for popping in.