Mother Christmas is a Locus Finalist!

I’m honored to share that Mother Christmas, Volume 1: The Muse is a finalist for the Locus Award for Illustrated and Art Book along with the nine other books listed below!

THANK YOU so much to everyone who voted in this year’s Locus Poll, and congratulations to all of this year’s finalists!!

Speaking of Mother Christmas, for anyone who attended Worldcon in Chicago (Chicon8) last year or has a membership to the Chengdu Worldcon (purchased before Feb. 1), TONIGHT is when nominations close for the Hugo Award nominations. Mother Christmas is eligible to be nominated in the category of Best Graphic Story or Comic.

If you have/had a membership, you can nominate the stories, magazines, authors, editors, and artists from 2022 that you love on the Chengdu Worldcon website:

Thank you!

A Haunting Question on Krampusnacht

What are you afraid of?

In the world of Mother Christmas, creatures called the kobaloi feed off fear. So they seek out places where fear is in abundance: battlefields, prisons, and those spaces where people are persecuted and tortured.

The oldest and most clever of the kobaloi will choose a particularly fearful human to attach to and will remain with the human in a parasitic relationship, encouraging them to cultivate more fear around them.

Because they want to amplify the message of fear, they look for human beings in positions of power. It is in this way, they try to steer humanity down self-destructive and fear-inspired paths.

Muses, as agents of inspiration and change, are taught from a young age to avoid the kobaloi. The following two pages are from a Mousai children’s book, warning them about the appetites of the kobaloi:

The kobaloi get in the way of the work of the Muses, who are trying to inspire human beings toward fulfilling their best destinies—creating a more beautiful, thoughtful, and more just future.

Tonight is Krampusnacht. We’re nearly at the winter solstice, longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. We may have electricity and technology, but our world is still covered in darkness.

The dark can be cozy and also uncomfortable. Like anything mysterious, it exists in a place of paradox, it is possible for both to exist at the same time. A mystery can be scary and exciting.

Just like being brave and afraid. You can be both at the same time.

A friend mentioned recently that Christmastime has always had a haunting atmosphere. I think that’s one of the things Dickens’s A Christmas Carol captures so well, as well as other ancient yuletide stories and characters, from Krampus to the Mari Lwyd to the Tomten. They are among many manifestations of the complex nature of winter, darkness, and all great unknowns.

We see different things when we look into the depths of a great Mystery. So much of it depends on perspective: where exactly are we standing and how have our experiences shaped what we see?

Looked at from that perspective, our fears reflect back to us a snapshot of who we are in a given moment. Which makes  me wonder, tonight on Krampusnacht 2022, what fears are we grappling with?

What do our fears say about who we are, right now?



Share the Magic of Mother Christmas

Thank you to everyone for your support and enthusiasm about Mother Christmas!

The cover image for Mother Christmas features a woman wearing a warm blue cloak, lined with fur at the collar. We see her only from behind. She is carrying a sack of presents filled with old fashioned toys over her right shoulder, In her left hand, she is holding a frame drum decorated with an image of the sun. She is standing in a snow filled forest, and she has glowing horns and long flowing black hair. A few people have reached out to ask how they can help spread the word about the book. Thank you so much for those offers. I really appreciate them. One of the reasons that my first book The Silence of Trees became an Amazon bestseller when it was first published was because people talked about it.

Here are a few ways you can help to share the Mother Christmas magic:

  • Share a review on  Amazon or Goodreads. Even just a sentence is a great help in making it easier for readers to discover the book. (You should be able to log in to Goodreads using your Amazon account.) 
  • Request that your local library order Mother Christmas for its collection.
  • Post a link or pictures on social media! Personal recommendations and word-of-mouth are the best publicity !
  • Share the Who’s Your Muse quiz. Hopefully it will get people curious about the graphic novel.
Image of a young woman in flowing dress and headscarf sitting on the steps of a temple reading.

(Thanks for this helpful list to my talented friend Stephanie Feldman, whose second novel, Saturnalia, was just released last month — and with whom I’ll be doing an online Winter Ghost Story event next month!)

I hope to have information about signings and events this week, so you can come and get your copy of Mother Christmas signed or pick up a copy.

If you have other suggestions about how to increase visibility for Mother Christmas, or if you have a bookstore or comic shop that would like to plan an event, you can contact me here.

If you’re new to Mother Christmas and want to learn more, you can read my blog post, “Why Mother Christmas?

Thank you and blessings of the Muses to you. ?