When the submission call came out for Gothic Blue Book, Volume VI: A Krampus Carol, a Krampus and winter legend themed anthology from Burial Day Books, my horror writing community went wild. The Gothic Blue Books are always filled with gorgeous stories and poetry.
Krampus on a Winter Beach
I immediately researched local winter lore. I wanted to portray a coastal winter, something different than the classic stories with cold, snowy settings. But Florida’s legends hide in warm swamps and steamy fields, and the ghosts of the oldest city don’t care much about the seasons.
Krampus, the main character of the anthology, kept haunting me. I imagined him in a seaside town on Krampusnacht, dragging chains rusted in the salt air, ready to stuff the wicked into his sack of woven reeds. I thought of the Krampusnacht festival there, where revelers ran from costumed Krampuses and ignored the danger of that night, and the judgement that might befall them. Some people there felt justified to make their own dark judgements.
The Gift of Critique Partners
My story, “After Krampusnacht,” took several months to form. I got feedback from several, insightful critique partners, and one of the best memories of writing it was that feeling of mutual support. Those of us submitting cheered each other on, swapped stories to provide feedback, and waited anxiously together for the Table of Contents announcement. Burial Day Books strengthened the writing community even more with their celebration of the contributing authors.
It’s especially exciting that three of us at The Midnight Society have stories appearing in A Krampus Carol. I hope you read and enjoy my Krampus dancing on the beach. There’s a brewery and a little blood. And I know you’ll love reading Mary and Kathleen’s dark, wintry tales.
And if you ever get the chance, walk on a Florida beach in winter. No light comes from the ocean. The wind fills your ears. And the sand blows and shifts like snow drifts, muffling the footsteps of the creatures that walk there.
Gothic Blue Book, Volume VI: A Krampus Carol is available in paperback and eBook formats: