The Big Idea: J. L. Worrad

What is an urban legend without people to tell their tale, and spread fear into the hearts of others? Luckily, author J. L. Worrad is here with a new novel to keep the legend of his hometown monster alive. Read on to see how he utilizes this boogeyman in The Keep Within.


Have you ever heard of Black Annis? On the internet she’s something of a niche folk-monster. Nowhere near the level of Slenderman, granted, but certainly the recipient of much gruesome fan art and fiction. The hipster’s choice of bogeywoman.

Black Annis hails from my home city of Leicester, England, and so I’m perversely fond of her as I am my local and ever-struggling soccer team. Everyone’s heard of Black Annis around Leicester and, secretly, they hope she hasn’t heard of them.

Of late there has been attempts to rehabilitate mythical witches, with authors reclaiming the likes of Circe or Morgan LaFaye as feminist symbols. Not Black Annis. Black Annis is just fucking creepy. Vast talons foul with human flesh, there grew in place of hands, says one Georgian ode to her, whilst her obscene waist/ warm skins of human victims close embraced. She drains the blood of victims, preferably children, and hangs their tanned hides from an ancient oak outside her cave. Leicester cottages had tiny windows, it is alleged, because people feared her getting in…

The Keep Within: Amazon|Barnes & Noble|IndieBound|Bookshop

Visit J.L. Worrad’s website. Follow him on Twitter.

Read on at: The Big Idea: J. L. Worrad

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