Title: Into the Forest: The Tales of Baba Yaga
Author: Lindy Ryan
Publishing Date: 08.11.2022
A collection of new and exclusive short stories inspired by the Baba Yaga. Featuring Gwendolyn Kiste, Stephanie M. Wytovich, Mercedes M. Yardley, Monique Snyman, Donna Lynch, Lisa Quigley, and R. J. Joseph, with an introduction by Christina Henry.
Deep in the dark forest, in a cottage that spins on birds’ legs behind a fence topped with human skulls, lives the Baba Yaga. A guardian of the water of life, she lives with her sisters and takes to the skies in a giant mortar and pestle, creating tempests as she goes. Those who come across the Baba Baga may find help, or hinderance, or horror. She is wild, she is woman, she is witch– and these are her tales.
Edited by Lindy Ryan, this collection brings together some of today’s leading voices of women-in-horror as they pay tribute to the Baba Yaga, and go Into the Forest.
OMG! I love when authors gather around and make an amazing book. Especially when the stories are horror. Perfect for Halloween (or any time of the year), Into the Forest is an interesting book with short stories about Baba Yaga. Every story is different and captivating and I like how there aren’t two same stories. In one story she is young, in the other old, in one she is the hero and the other the villain. I love these points of view, how every author sees Baba Yaga different.
If you haven’t read Into the Forest then what are you waiting for? Thank you Black Crow for the opportunity to read this amazing book!
Here is the interview with Alexandrea Weis:
1. Your take on Baba Yaga looks at the idea of retribution, what did you want people to feel when reading this story?
Baba Yaga is considered to have associations with forest wildlife and is either a protector or villain, depending on the folklore read. I wanted people to see Baba Yaga as someone fed up with the atrocities against animals. It was something I could relate to as a wildlife rehabber who has cared for creatures injured because of humanity’s disregard. Baba Yaga’s fury reflects how I feel when trying to save an injured squirrel, skunk, deer, or possum. The story warns those who are cruel and unjust against the innocents in the woods. One day Baba Yaga or a mad wildlife rehabber will find you and exact their revenge, so beware.
2. You get a feeling of a type of New Orleans culture, and you’ve previously described it as a ‘state of mind’ but can you tell us about your connection to the city?
I was born and raised in the French Quarter of New Orleans. I grew up helping my father on motion picture sets. That gave me access to homes in the city that are historically famous across the world and also very haunted. Ghosts, jazz, Cajun food, and Hurricanes (the drinks and the storms) left a lasting impression, and I’m constantly trying to recreate the essence of my city in my writing. The easygoing, quirky, bohemian, and effervescent state of mind that permeates our little bastion several feet below sea level makes its way into my characters and books every chance I get.
3. The story feels very cinematic, is that an intentional part of your writing process?
Working in the motion picture business taught me how important it is to set the scene. Every element helps immerse the reader, and describing a house, swamp, or the vibrancy of the sky matters. Once you have a world, then you have a place to bring your character’s emotions and motivations to life.
4. Do you find it different when crafting a short story over a longer novel?
Not really. A story is a story; the only difference is that you have to plot succinctly with a short story. Carefully crafting how you get your point across is a priority.
5. What do you think makes a good short story?
Creating a character’s voice quickly and drawing the reader in as soon as possible is vital. I also think you need a story that lends itself to a quick telling. Trying to cram in too much detail or plot points can frustrate a reader.
6. If you could explore the world of any fairy or folklore tale which would it be?
My mother was from Northern Ireland, and I grew up listening to the folklore of the area where she lived. The Pooka, Banshees, Macha, leprechauns, fairy mounds, The Hawthorn Tree, the Legend of the Bloody Hand of Ulster. The list goes on.
7. What book recommends do you have for the spooky season?
I would have to recommend Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, The Witching Hour by Anne Rice, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, and any of the works by Edgar Allen Poe.
Into the Forest, out 8th Nov 22 is edited by Lindy Ryan and with a foreword by Christina Henry, features twenty-three new and exclusive stories inspired by the Baba Yaga—the witch of Slavic folklore—written by some of today’s leading women-in-horror and is published by Black Spot Books.