I wrote Marching Krampus back in 2012 as part of a short story challenge with my friend August. She'd found a post on a social media site with a bunch of creepy old photos from the early 1900s and we were giving all fifty of the images appropriately creepy stories. One of them especially stuck in my mind, and I was lucky enough to write the tale to go with it. As soon as I saw it, it screamed KRAMPUS!
I'd first heard of the Krampus some time ago in college, during one of those wonderful, meandering 3am conversations that you can really only have in college. But it then lay largely forgotten in my memory. Until I saw that image. And so a story began to form in my mind, one of a naughty boy and his pesky little sister.
Since many years had passed, any details about the Krampus had long since vanished. Which meant I got to do one of my favorite thing: research. I am occasionally teased for my love of all things research (you know who you are!), but I love diving in, mostly because you never know what you might uncover. As I read more about the Krampus myth, I selected the bits and pieces that fit my vision. I wanted it to be scary, but not gory. I wanted to honor the original myth, yet still feel like it had my personal touch.
Aaaand then it sat around in a digital folder for a while. At the time, was more focused on finishing a novel, so I wasn't trying to get any of my short fiction published. It was while I was taking a break from that novel when I started the task of sending my short fiction into the world. I stumbled upon World Weaver Press's request for Krampus stories by happy accident, and was beyond excited when it was accepted.
It's been a fascinating – and fun – learning experience working with an editor and a publisher on this level. I can't encourage other writers enough to get your work out there. You don't know until you try. And sometimes you have to try. And try. And try. I got lucky with Marching Krampus. But I recently had a short story published on the seventh time I sent it out. So don't take a rejection sitting down. Give yourself an hour, a day, whatever you need. And then send it out again. I hope to read something of yours one of these days.
If anyone is interested, you can find me on Facebook and on twitter.
Thanks again to fangtastic.com for this opportunity. It's been fun.
For bad children, a lump of coal from Santa is positively light punishment when Krampus is ready and waiting to beat them with a stick, wrap them in chains, and drag them down to hell—all with St. Nick's encouragement and approval.
Krampusnacht holds within its pages twelve tales of Krampus triumphant, usurped, befriended, and much more. From evil children (and adults) who get their due, to those who pull one over on the ancient "Christmas Devil." From historic Europe, to the North Pole, to present day American suburbia, these all new stories embark on a revitalization of the Krampus tradition.
Whether you choose to read Krampusnacht over twelve dark and scary nights or devour it in one nacht of joy and terror, these stories are sure to add chills and magic to any winter's reading.
Featuring stories by Cheresse Burke, Guy Burtenshaw, Jill Corddry, Elise Forier Edie, Patrick Evans, Scott Farrell, Caren Gussoff, Mark Mills, Jeff Provine, Colleen H. Robbins, Lissa Sloan, and Elizabeth Twist.