22 December, 2013

Das Krampusjahr

Source: http://www.krampus-certi.cz/historie.html#
I don't know what's caused it, but Krampus has been a popular subject this December.

If you've never heard of him before, Krampus is a folkloric character out of Europe who carries birch branches that he uses to beat naughty children when he visits them on Krampusnacht (December 5th), which is the night before the Feast of St. Nicholas. He is synonymous with Zwarte Piet (Black Peter), who is also a partner to St. Nicholas in other regions.

As of late, Krampus has been making appearances in news article after news article, several television shows, and in a video game. There're even Krampusnacht events taking place in the United States and according to this article his celebrations have been "[popping] up in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, Portland and Albuquerque" for the past few years.

Why I'm excited by Krampus's sudden popularity

I've been working on Uncertain Heirs since November 2012, and to see a well-timed spike in the general masses' interest tells me that people are starting to look elsewhere for their entertainment. Since my goal is to publish Uncertain Heirs in 2014, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it'll hit the market right when the public interest is peaking.

How my Krampus differs from Real World Krampus

Those of you who've been following my progress know that Uncertain Heirs is seeded with European mythology. I heavily rely on Celto-Germanic paganism, but I've modified it, tweaked it, tailored it to create a world inspired by, yet different than, our own.

Right now, Krampus has a place in my Earth Dog notes, and though he may not make an appearance or have a mention in Uncertain Heirs, he is part of the mythos.

For instance, Krampus is one of the many sons of Hulda, the Mother form of the Goddess, and he is charged with disciplining not just naughty children, but naughty adults, too. His other charge is to vet the souls of those who would become riders in the Wild Hunt -- since it is an honour bestowed only upon worthy warriors, Krampus must ensure that their good deeds far outweigh their bad, judging whether the warrior had noble or greedy intentions behind their actions.

On rare occasions, Krampus acts as a harbinger for his father, Wodan, the Horned Consort, and on other occasions he appears as the narrator of events for several morality tales in my novel's religious history, one of which being Fox Goes Fishing (I'll have more about this tale at a later time).

When Krampus will make his appearance

It's impossible to answer that question right now, but that's only because I have so much yet to write down as far as the Earth Dog world is concerned. Structuring my world so it has laws and rules and consistency takes time, and I have to make sure I have a firm foundation before even Uncertain Heirs can go to print.

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Ash Litton

Ash Litton is a writer and lover of sci-fi, fantasy, and all things fictional. She is the author of Thoroughbred, Evening Hallow, Comeuppance, and Cabover Cabaret, and works on other Appalachian Dream Tales between her ongoing novel projects. She's also written No Diet, No Surgery, No Sweat, an ebook chronicling her weight-loss journey.

When she's not writing, she's drawing, and when she's not doing either of those, she's dreaming up new projects to work on. Born and raised in rural West Virginia, Ash has always wondered what things lay hidden in the hills around her. She attended West Virginia University, where she studied the English language before returning home to her family in rural West Virginia.