Barrington author shares tale of Krampus

Barrington resident Peter Johnson pens middle grade novel 'The Night Before Krampus'

Posted 12/20/18

Two quotes fill the first page of Peter Johnson's newest book.

The first quote is from Jacob Marley: "Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and …

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Barrington author shares tale of Krampus

Barrington resident Peter Johnson pens middle grade novel 'The Night Before Krampus'

Posted

Two quotes fill the first page of Peter Johnson's newest book.

The first quote is from Jacob Marley: "Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were all my business."

The second is from Stephen King: "Monsters are real, and ghosts are real, too. They live inside us, and sometimes they win."

Those two themes weave an entertaining tale in Mr. Johnson's novel "The Night Before Krampus." The story, set during Christmas time in a quiet snow-covered town in Rhode Island, follows a young boy named Christoph and his friends as they work to solve a mystery. It also features two scary Christmas monsters known as Krampuses.

"I've always been fascinated by the Krampus," said Mr. Johnson. "So I decided to write a book on Krampus for middle graders that was also for the whole family. I also wanted to make it a homage to Dickens's A Christmas Carol, sharing many of its themes and character types, the final message being that we must always work against evil and look out for each other. I've always thought that the Krampus is the physical manifestation of the monstrous vices we all have to check at the door."

Mr. Johnson said he enjoyed writing this book and creating its main character, Christoph.

"One reason I didn't go with a traditional publisher for this book was because I didn't want them to ruin it in revision, and some of them wanted to do that. I'm also glad that it's a family novel. It's horror, but I deliberately avoided the gore," he said. 

Mr. Johnson, who was nominated for an award for his novel "The Life and Times of Benny Alvarez," said he initially wanted to publish the "The Night Before Krampus" with his middle-grade publisher, Harper Collins, or possibly with another publishing house. 

"But they either wanted to change it too much, or they felt the book was 'too seasonal,' and so they would only push it for a year," he said. "I wanted it always available because, after all, Christmas comes every year, so I published it through Amazon and my literary agency in what Amazon calls their WhiteGlove program. This gave me more control over the book without having to pay anyone anything."

In addition, Mr. Johnson's agent is exploring film options for the book and someone involved in animation has also taken an interest in the book. 

"The Night Before Krampus" has also earned early praise in reviews, and an endorsement from Golden Kite Award Winner Kelly Easton and Newbery Honor Author Rodman Philbrick. 

For more information about Mr. Johnson, visit peterjohnsonauthor.com

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