Tag Archives: Mark Rapacz

Corvidae Contributor Interview: Mark Rapacz

CORVIDAE blog tour banner

Over the coming weeks I’d like to share interviews that I (and Magnus) conducted with the contributors to Corvidae and Scarecrow. This week we’ll talk with Mark Rapacz whose story, Bazyli Conjures a Blackbird which Magnus described as, “A brand new Russian fairytale! Like a stolen chapter out of War and Peace!”. Having not read War and Peace I could be wrong, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Mark’s story is much more magical 🙂

Interview with Mark Rapacz

Please share a short excerpt from your story/stories:

So some of the soldiers thought he’d make himself disappear on one side of the stage and reappear on the other. Some thought he would shoot  lightning  straight  out  of  his  hands.  Others  just  assumed  he would fly. Still, some said they knew for certain that he would raise the dead. One dead soldier every night and for this reason we would never lose the war. Some said he could read the mind of God! Others said the Devil! Others said the generals of our enemy and for this we  would never lose the war! They were always thinking of reasons why we would never  lose the war. Me? I already knew we had lost. They said these things because these were the tricks they had seen before. These were what they expected to see. What they wanted to see. Most people don’t want to see what they haven’t seen before. This is what makes war so bad. You see many things you haven’t seen before and it’s best that you never see them again, but you do, you do. In here. And in here. But not here,  Kuba. Not in your stomach. Your stomach stays free and hungry and only loves your Babushka’s cooking.

What is it about corvids that inspired you to write about them? Corvids have shown up in my work now and again.  They show up in a lot of writer’s work, actually.  Symbolism of death or something.  Writers seem to like that.  I do, of course.  I’m not even sure where the symbolism comes from.  Perhaps Norse mythology of Huginn and Muninn, but I feel like no matter one’s cultural background folks are drawn to these birds.  They show up so often, too.  It might be their scavenger nature and we draw the connection that with these birds comes some kind of end.  I don’t know really.  If I catch a gander of them on some electrical wires or in the trees, I always pay attention to them.  Who doesn’t?  They appear and you hear them caw and you just sort of scratch your head wondering why they decided to flock to your doorstep and you feel each individual one as they just set there cackling among themselves.  They always leave you with this unsettling feeling, but once they fly away, you always wish they would come back.

Was there one corvid characteristic you wanted to highlight more than others? Definitely their furtive movement.  It’s hard to capture how a bird moves in writing.  It’s so odd and unpredictable.  Nothing quite like it.  They’re so visual, so when you do what you can with the blunt tools of letter on page, you’re always left a little unsatisfied.  Probably why they return in my stories again and again.  There to remind me I’m never getting them quite right.

Do you think you were successful? Eh.  I think my corvid ended up monstrous because the movement of a monster is easier to capture than that of a bird … or anything real for that matter.  Monsters live better on the page.  Corvids live better everywhere else.

If you were a covid, what would you build your nest out of? The very last twig in existence.  Then I’d take a rest.

What’s your favourite ‘shiny’ thing? Hollywood.

Mark Rapacz’s stories have appeared in a number of publications, including Plots With Guns, Revolver, Dark Corners, The BookedAnthology, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2012. His novel City Kaiju was just released in 2014, while his second novel, Foreigners, is forthcoming from New Pulp Press in 2015.  He and his wife currently live in the Bay Area where he continues to write stories.

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Cover for CORVIDAE. Design by Eileen Wiedbrauk

Available Direct from the Publisher:
World Weaver Press

Or Find it Online:


Corvidae Cover Reveal

Cover for CORVIDAE. Design by Eileen Wiedbrauk

I mean, I could have started this post with some text, maybe an explanation about what you were going to see but seriously? Were you going to notice? No. Because as soon as you looked at this page this cover would have captured your attention and once you’ve seen it, what additional explanation is needed? Still, there is protocol to follow… 😉

This is the cover for my latest anthology, coming out July 7th!


Associated with life and death, disease and luck, corvids have long captured mankind’s attention, showing up in mythology as the companions or manifestations of deities, and starring in stories from Aesop to Poe and beyond.

In Corvidae birds are born of blood and pain, trickster ravens live up to their names, magpies take human form, blue jays battle evil forces, and choughs become prisoners of war. These stories will take you to the Great War, research facilities, frozen mountaintops, steam-powered worlds, remote forest homes, and deep into fairy tales. One thing is for certain, after reading this anthology, you’ll never look the same way at the corvid outside your window.

Featuring works by Jane Yolen, Mike Allen, C.S.E. Cooney, M.L.D. Curelas, Tim Deal, Megan Engelhardt, Megan Fennell, Adria Laycraft, Kat Otis, Michael S. Pack, Sara Puls, Michael M. Rader, Mark Rapacz, Angela Slatter, Laura VanArendonk Baugh, and Leslie Van Zwol.


“A creepy, crazy kaleidoscope of corvids, Corvidae is what happens when you bring together ingenious writers and sagacious subjects. It’s nothing short of a thrill ride when this anthology takes flight.”

— Susan G. Friedman, Ph. D., Utah State University; behaviorworks.org.

Pre-orders available now (within the United States) from World Weaver Press or add it to your shelves at Goodreads!


Corvidae Table of Contents

Proposed Table of Contents for CORVIDAE

A Murder of Crows
by Jane Yolen
Whistles and Trills by Kat Otis
The Valravn by Megan Fennell
A Mischief of Seven by Leslie Van Zwol
Visiting Hours by Michael S. Pack
The Rookery of Sainte-Mere Eglise by Tim Deal
The Cruelest Team Will Win by Mike Allen
What Is Owed by C.S.E. Cooney
Raven No More by Adria Laycraft
The Tell-Tale Heart of Existence by Michael M. Rader
Sanctuary by Laura VanArendonk Baugh
Knife Collection, Blood Museum, Birds (Scarecrow Remix) by Sara Puls
Flying the Coop by M. L. D. Curelas
Postcards from the Abyss by Jane Yolen
Bazyli Conjures a Blackbird by Mark Rapacz
Seven for a Secret by Megan Engelhardt
Flight by Angela Slatter


You are going to love this book.

(Titles and such are subject to change right up until the day of publication of course)