A Girl in the Woods
by E.F. Schraeder
Occult activities. Abductions. Random acts of violence. Serial murderers. Coven meetings. The occasional werewolf rampage. A lot of terrifying stuff seems to happen to the folks populating horror stories when they head into the wilderness.
But I have a real fondness for forests. Getting to be outside, deep in the woods and surrounded by nature? That doesn’t scare me. Heck, one of my favorite destinations has always been the middle of nowhere. So put on some comfortable sneakers, because I’d like to invite you to take a walk through the places that inspired the setting for As Fast As She Can.
I was lucky enough as a kid to live along the edge of a nice sized patch of woods, and I spent a lot of my childhood wandering through a mix of deciduous and evergreen trees. Ever since, the soft squish of mud underfoot and the mossy scent of decaying leaves has always reminded me of home. But as an adult, I have mostly lived in cities. It didn’t take long for me to realize how much I missed the sounds and stillness of the forest. As a result, I turned into an avid camper and hiker, spending as much time as possible in a tent or wandering the trails. From the Allegheny Mountains, across state parks around Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Vermont— almost any time I could cobble together a little time off work, I headed out of realm of honking cars, highways, and city smog and back into the trees.
The fictional world readers visit in Fast imagines a combination of elements from real places I’ve explored and sometimes gotten lost. Large lakes surrounded by remote cabins that are out of earshot of one another. Places that are quiet, calm, and mostly serene… the kind of place where no one would hear what was happening until it was too late. Places that were safe enough, so long as no one like Ginger was there. When Ginger sets off in the woods, she’s running to get away from something that scares her, and like me, she sees the woods as a safe place to figure things out— even if it’s only safe for her and not those she encounters. The terrain of Fast, especially the location of Ginger’s cottage was inspired by many of the places I frequented over the years. Maybe the setting will remind you of some of the places you’ve enjoyed exploring too. But if you catch a glimpse of Ginger the next time you’re out there alone, don’t make eye contact.
As Fast as She Can, by E.F. Schraeder
Living in a quiet house on the outskirts of town, Ginger isn’t like the other girls.
When she wakes up and discovers the unthinkable about her adoptive parents, she runs away and goes on a rampage straight to the only friend she has. Can she control what they both become?
With a violent, growing hunger and more questions than answers, Ginger has nowhere to turn.
As Fast as She Can is currently available on:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR — The author of Liar: Memoir of a Haunting (Omnium Gatherum, 2021) and other works, E.F. Schraeder usually writes about not quite real worlds. Schraeder is also an avid gardener and hot pepper enthusiast who believes in ghosts, magic, and dogs. Say hello online at efschraeder.com.