I grew up in San Sebastian, in the Basque Country on the coast of Spain. My family was very matriarchal, and still is. Quite close by there is an area in the Pyrenees on the border with France, part of Navarra and neighbouring the Basque Country. This territory is one of the places with the most magical tradition in Europe, where most of the processes against witchcraft were done during the Spanish Inquisition and people were burnt if they were thought to be witches.

Dolores Redondo / Photo Credit: Alfredo Tudela

Dolores Redondo / Photo Credit: Alfredo Tudela

The legends still have a lot of strength here, and the culture is utterly interesting. I believe in magic, so all the stories that are told in this area about the forest mythology feel very real. If you were to visit the forest alone and stay there for a few hours you would feel it too.

To me mythology can feel darker and more fearsome than other kind of stories, both in real life and in novels. As a writer, that was something I wanted to explore too. Why was I more scared by these forest creatures than a wolf or a zombie?

As a crime writer you can go deep and explore the darkest side of the souls. I remember when I was a young girl, when I was most scared it was always when I was alone in bed: we always fear most what we are unable to see. In that sense, mythology is a great source to build upon for a crime novel. Even though the crimes and the killers are real, the mythology provides that magical element of the unknown that helps build a more eerie setting and mood into the story – the perfect inspiration.

All This I Will Give To You by Dolores Redondo, translated by Michael Meigs, is published by Amazon Crossing on September 1.


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