…the ancient witch goddess sentenced to imprisonment here until she lifts the curse she lay on humankind over ten thousand years ago. You may know her by many names, but here in EverTwixt she is Baba Yaga, who can gift a maiden with her heart’s desire — or roast her for dinner and pick her teeth with maiden bones.
History Buried in the Research
About ten years ago I was looking for a fairytale baddie to star in a new YA series I wanted to write. I wanted to find an obscure fairytale and move away from the old favorites that Disney had already turned into movies.
I started looking into old fairytales, the older the better.
My search took me to Baba Yaga, and I knew she was the perfect antagonist for my trilogy (which then was to be called Maiden True, Maiden Bold, Maiden Fair).
From the start, Baba Yaga intrigued me, with her iron jaw, tendency to fly around in a mortar using a pestle to steer. Most importantly, Baba Yaga can do good, or she can do harm. Our modern day tendency is to put mythic characters into the good column or the bad column. Baba Yaga defies that kind of categorization.
Baba Yaga’s good can bring a heroine her greatest desire.
Baba Yaga’s bad…well, we all know the story of Hansel and Gretel, and I don’t think any of us want to be the gristle between Baba Yaga’s iron teeth.
Baba Yaga led my simple little YA trilogy to grow into a monster of a saga — one that will require a cycle of 7 serials to complete it. Baba Yaga led me to invent a reason for the near erasure of women from history, and gave birth to EverTwixt.
I owe her — and as thanks I’m going to share a lot of what I’ve learned in my research. Maybe it’s time to bring her out of obscurity to take her place in the pantheon of fairytale characters (at the top, in case you were wondering).
You can get a quick update on Baba Yaga here, if you’re curious to know more about this fairytale character who shows up in many ways in the more familiar fairytales (Cinderella’s fairy godmother, for example).
But there’s a second reason I chose Baba Yaga, way back when I was thinking of writing a trilogy. I started reading articles about ancient mother goddess statues that were being dug up in archaeological sites around the world. You can read a quick write up about it here.
I’ll be writing more about the nuggets of real, and fairytale, history I’ve uncovered in my research for the EverTwixt saga.