The Girl in Red
It’s not safe for anyone alone in the woods. There are predators that come out at night: critters and coyotes, snakes and wolves. But the woman in the red jacket has no choice. Not since the Crisis came, decimated the population, and sent those who survived fleeing into quarantine camps that serve as breeding grounds for death, destruction, and disease. She is just a woman trying not to get killed in a world that doesn’t look anything like the one she grew up in, the one that was perfectly sane and normal and boring until three months ago.
There are worse threats in the woods than the things that stalk their prey at night. Sometimes, there are men. Men with dark desires, weak wills, and evil intents. Men in uniform with classified information, deadly secrets, and unforgiving orders. And sometimes, just sometimes, there’s something worse than all of the horrible people and vicious beasts combined.
Red doesn’t like to think of herself as a killer, but she isn’t about to let herself get eaten up just because she is a woman alone in the woods….
Interview with Christina Henry
You’ve written a few re-imaginings, Alice and Wonderland, Peter Pan, and now Red Riding Hood. Can you talk about the difference in writing process in re-imaginings versus your other books?
My process is the same for every book – I start from the beginning and I keep writing until I get to the end. I don’t think of re-imaginings as different because I’m still writing an original story. Every story has been influenced by other stories, even if those influences aren’t obvious. Storytellers are always building on what came before them.
For those reading The Girl in Red, how have you interacted with the original story all while adding your own twist? Can you talk about the inspiration for this project?
I had an image in my head of a woman in a red hoodie holding a bloody axe. I wanted to know who she was and how she got there. The basic structure of Little Red Riding Hood –girl alone in the woods dealing with terrors – was a great set of bones to hang the story on.
What do you hope that readers take away from The Girl in Red?
I wanted to write a story about a person who wasn’t the Chosen One, who isn’t going to magically solve every problem in the book. She’s just trying to survive and stay sane in an insane world. I do hope that readers fall in love with Red –who’s stubborn and prickly and difficult and not perfect – as much I did.
In many ways, there’s a darkness within the original stories that you expertly bring out in the books, can you talk about what drew you to these stories? Whether it be a lost girl in a world of red and black, a trapped mermaid, a boy with a hook, or now, a post-apocalyptic Red Riding Hood.
I don’t necessarily set out to find the darkness in stories, but it does seem like I dig it up anyway! Most of my stories start with an image or a question. In the case of THE GIRL IN RED, it was that image of the woman with the bloody axe. For LOST BOY I wanted to know why Captain Hook hated Peter Pan so much. It’s usually a little thing that leads me into the larger story.
Are there other stories you’d like to re-imagine?
Right now, no. I’m moving toward more suspense/horror writing with less fantasy elements.