Interview with Lindy Ryan (THROW ME TO THE WOLVES)
Lindy Miller Ryan is an award-winning author/editor, short film director, and professor at Rutgers University. Prior to her career in academia, Ryan was the co-founder of Radiant Advisors, where she led the company’s research and data enablement practice for clients that included 21st Century Fox Films, Warner Bros., and Disney. She is the founder of Black Spot Books, a small press with a mission to amplify voices of women-in-horror as well as a dedicated book review at Rue Morgue. Ryan previously served on the Board of Directors for IBPA, and is currently co-chair of the Horror Writers Association Publishers Council. She is an active member of the HWA and ITW, and was named one of Publishers Weekly’s Star Watch Honorees 2020. She has published numerous academic texts as well as writes clean romance novels under the name Lindy Miller, which are being adapted for screen.
Welcome to the Hive, Lindy. We’re so pleased to have you join our Women in SFF feature. You have an impressive variety of hats, professionally speaking, but let’s focus on your writing first.
Hello, and thank you for having me!
Your latest release, Throw Me to the Wolves, has been described as an urban fantasy with werewolves and was released just last month. What can you tell us about it?
Throw Me to the Wolves is certainly a genre blend. It has some of the hallmarks of urban fantasy, but it’s equally supernatural/occult thriller, noir, and horror. There is murder, black magic, occult ritualism, witches, and yes—of course—werewolves! Still, even with all the dark themes in the book, it’s a survivor story at heart—and a reminder to embrace your inner monster, rather than hide from it. There is power in overcoming tragedy and trauma.
How was it working with Christopher Brooks? Tell us about your writing process!
Chris and I have worked together on numerous projects, including several forthcoming projects, but Wolves was our first “co-write.” He actually joined me in this project after the draft had been completed—I knew Britta’s story wasn’t quite where I wanted it to be, and I knew Chris was the right person to step in and push it over the finish line. He was able to build onto the framework that was already there, make some necessary changes along the way, and we are both very happy with how things turned out.
You’re something of the specialist when it comes to horror and dark fantasy, but was there a particular spark that inspired this story?
This story was sparked over a decade ago, building off a childhood experience from my own life when my parents up-and-moved to a dilapidated colonial home in Louisiana. I was—and to this day, remain—convinced that creepy old house was haunted, and some of my memories there inspired what eventually became Wolves. Sure, there weren’t any werewolves or witches (of which I’m aware), but there was a secret room hidden behind a fireplace and doors that led to nowhere. The home was once a working plantation with a dark past, and whatever spirits still linger there are not the cheerful kind. I actually passed by the house on a cross-country trip last year. It still stands, and it’s been recently repainted, but it’s just as eerie as ever.
Back in March you were involved with the Horror Writers Association’s Women in Horror Month, and you recently released an anthology of poetry by women in horror. Firstly, tell us about Under Her Skin.
Under Her Skin is the first in a women-in-horror poetry showcase series from Black Spot Books, which I had the pleasure of editing alongside my long-term friend, Toni Miller. Our goal with the first showcase (and with each of the coming showcases) is to amplify the voices of women in horror (including cis and trans women and non-binary femmes) and provide a raw, visceral, powerful venue for women to speak about issues we feel most affect the female experience. Under Her Skin was themed on body horror and spoke to the many, many issues and experiences women have with their bodies, both internally and through society’s lens. The next showcase, Under Her Eye, will be co-edited by Bram Stoker Award® winner Lee Murray, themed on domestic horror, and development in partnership with The Pixel Project, an international non-profit that works to end violence against women worldwide.
What led you to put this anthology together?
I try to do as much as possible for women in horror (you noted that I wrote the introduction for and curated HWA’s Women in Horror Month series in March 2022). Under Her Skin, and the upcoming anthology I’ve edited, Into the Forest, are the latest endeavours to amplify women’s voices in the genre.
Are there any female creators in fantasy or horror who were significant influences for your career?
I grew up on Anne Rice and Frankenstein, so both Anne and Mary Shelley are certainly foundational in my love for female creators in fantasy and horror. But, over the past several years I have discovered some truly incredible women in horror today—Gwendolyn Kiste, Catriona Ward, Kristi Demeester, Cynthia Pelayo, Hailey Piper, Lee Murray, and on and on. All have influenced and inspired me, and I encourage everyone to check out their work. It will haunt you, and you will be better for it.
One of our favourite questions here on the Fantasy Hive: which fantastical creature would you ride into battle and why?
Hell hound, hands down. Have you seen a hell hound? (Also, I love dogs.)
Hell hounds have a special place in Welsh mythology! <3
Can you tell us anything about any upcoming projects?
I’ve recently sold a new horror series into a top publisher and look forward to sharing more on that as soon as I’m able. Until then, I’d love for readers to keep an eye on Into the Forest, a new women-in-horror anthology releasing November 2023 from Black Spot Books and featuring tales of the Baba Yaga written by women from around the world, including an introduction by Christina Henry. It’s a collection to die for, seriously.
Finally, what is the one piece of advice you would give to female authors searching to be published in the fantasy or horror genre?
Women in horror is a sisterhood. There are so many amazing women in the industry today—publishers, editors, reviewers, librarians, authors, and so on. Meet those women. Join our coven. We welcome you.
Thank you so much for joining us today!
Into the Forest is due for release from Black Spot Books and is available for pre-order from: