'The Raven's Tale' Author Cat Winters Reveals Her 3 Favorite Edgar Allan Poe Short Stories — And The Cover Of Her New Book!

If you're a fan of Edgar Allan Poe, you probably already know that his real life was just as interesting as (though less eerie than) the stories he penned. (Spookily, however, his cause of death remains unknown.) In her forthcoming young adult novel, author Cat Winters turns her attention to the years before Eddy became Edgar Allan Poe. The Raven's Tale, out April 16, 2019, mixes fact and Gothic fantasy in its telling of the story of teenage Edgar Allan Poe.

When the novel begins, Poe is 17-years-old and counting down the days until he can leave behind his foster family, attend university, and marry his beloved Elmira Royster. But his plans are derailed when a dark Muse — a macabre creature designed to lead artists down a road of failure and contempt — emerges from the shadows and demands one thing of the budding horror writer: "Let them see me!"

Winters told Bustle she has been a fan of Poe's writing since she was 12 years old. "I vividly remember reading 'Annabel Lee' in middle school and feeling shocked yet intrigued by the poem’s ending, in which the narrator declares that he makes a habit of lying down next to his dead bride in her tomb every night," she said. "I’d never read anything like it before."

Bustle is proud to exclusively reveal the stunning, spooky cover for The Raven's Tale, designed by Hana Nakamura and illustrated by Shane Rebenschied:

The Raven's Tale by Cat Winters, $18, Amazon

Cat Winters also shared with Bustle her three most beloved Edgar Allan Poe stories — here are the creepy stories she ranked as her favorites:

“The Masque of the Red Death”

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"Poe shows off his mastery in creating atmosphere in this tale of a prince who tries to save his friends and himself from a deadly epidemic by hiding away in a castle," Winters says. "From the eerily lit rooms with distinctive colors to a foreboding clock with the power to halt the palace’s festivities with its chimes, Poe’s sinister setting takes on a life of its own and serves as the perfect backdrop to the tale’s grim ending."

“William Wilson”

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"Not as well-known as Poe’s iconic horror stories, William Wilson is a gripping psychological thriller about a student in England haunted by a young man who shares his name, birthdate, and physical appearance. Look for nods to this story in The Raven’s Tale," says Winters.

“The Tell-Tale Heart”

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"This one is pure, classic Poe with its vengeful narrator, a brutal murder, a hidden body, and a hearty serving of guilt and madness. If memory serves correctly, “The Tell-Tale Heart” was the first Poe story I ever read, and both my kids studied it in middle school in recent years," she explains. "The tale debuted back in 1843, but it continues to make a strong impression on readers to this day and inspires them to ask, 'What was going on in Edgar Allan Poe’s mind to make him write this stuff?'" That's the question Cat Winters explores in The Raven's Tale, out on April 16, 2019.