From the creative mind of the award-winning poet, Damian C. King, comes a heart-warming holiday story like no other. The Christmas Monster is now available for pre-order through Pegasus Publishers at the following link: https://pegasuspublishers.com/…/the-christmas-monster.
Inspired by a lovable kitten Damian took in years ago, The Christmas Monster, poetically tells the tale of an outside kitten who was taken into a loving home by two “giants”. Now he must learn a thing or two from the older cats like, what the litter box is for and what this “Christmas” thing is all about! Once he understands, he is sent on an important hunt to find the purrfect present to give the giants on Christmas, with very little time to spare!
Coming from Damian’s own tradition of reading Christmas-themed stories with his family on Christmas Eve, this classic tale will surely provide joy for all future holiday seasons to come, as it mirrors the classic style of Christmas book we all enjoyed as kids, just like what Momma used to read to us.
While Damian’s poems have been published in multiple platforms, he is thrilled to move into other forms of media. Damian couldn’t be happier to publish his first children’s poem about his very real love of his pets. While his next major focus is on fantasy novels, his imagination often leads him to many different creations of whimsy. He hopes this dalliance into children’s book writing will help to ignite the creativity of young minds.
We were lucky enough to sit down with Damian to discuss his new book and the direction his career is headed next.
Damian, you’ve been writing poetry since high school. What initially inspired you to begin writing poetry? Can you describe that moment when you put that first poem onto the page?
So, the first thing that drew me to poetry was something rather dark inside myself that needed expression. Fear. Specifically, my fear of the unknown, which plagued me at that time. For me, poetry is like energy that gets pent up inside and begs to be released, which is exactly how my first poem came to be. From there, I showed it to a few friends and posted it online and was surprised at the interaction it received. This motivated me forward, and now I write whenever inspiration strikes.
Now, your poetry is generally more existential or philosophical in theme. What event led to you writing a children’s poem?
Yes, you are absolutely correct. I spend a large deal of my free time pondering the things I cannot understand and seeking to comprehend them. Philosophy is a topic I am always excited about, and I find myself collecting quotes and reading further on subjects that later have me turning out poetry in the aftermath. However, something entirely different drew me to writing The Christmas Monster, which I’m afraid is as easy as the title.
My mother is heavy into our family’s Christmas traditions, and every year, we get together to read from the same books we have read since I was a child; stories like “The Tin Soldier”, “The Littlest Elf” or “The Little Match Girl.” In recent years, we started reading newer stories, so, one year, I decided to try my hand at writing one of my own. We had recently adopted a little black kitten from the feral colony of cats which resided in our neighborhood, and he turned the act of putting up Christmas decorations into a Catastrophe. Pardon the pun. He bit through cords, knocked down decorative porcelain mice, scratched on blankets, and even climbed the tree to it’s peak, pulling it down and destroying the bulk of our cheaper ornaments.
Putting two and two together, I turned it into a whimsical children’s poem for my family. After, my wife and I had the idea to seek publication and were pleased by Pegasus Publishing’s interest.
Can you describe The Christmas Monster and tell us a little about the tale?
The Christmas Monster follows a black kitten by the name of “Monster” (whose real name is Strahd) as he explores what it means to be an inside cat during Christmas. He stares in wonder at the decorations and the tree as the other cats inform him that Christmas is about showing each other you care through gifts. Frantic to show gratitude to the “Giants” who took him in, he goes on a hunt for the purrfect gift.
What makes The Christmas Monster stand out in comparison to other children’s books?
The Christmas Monster follows the traditional art, whimsical rhyme, and pace of older children’s books. For parents reading it, I hope to invoke a similar feeling that they felt when their parents read them stories. It is also a very real tale that I hope will inspire others to adopt and love pets, even though they may cause damage to the home. “Monster” is a very beloved member of our family, but it did take patience when we first brought him home. I think this book lovingly looks at the situation for any true pet lover.
You consider yourself more of a ‘storyteller’ than just a writer. Can you tell me about the other ways in which you use your creativity to tell stories?
Well, if you ask my mother, she’d tell you I’ve been telling “Tall Tales” since I could talk. The truth of that isn’t far off. I found that entertaining others was my calling from a young age. Whether it was singing, writing, or recounting fun memories, pulling on the emotional strings of others’ minds has always been of interest to me.
That is why my first way forward was as a film actor. From there, I transcended into a producer and director, creating Fantasy Forge Films as an avenue to make all my work become a reality. I have told stories through the mediums of short films, features, web series, poetry, novels, songs, music videos and even a few board games and tabletop game mastering- a story for another time.
What’s next for you after The Christmas Monster? What other stories are you currently looking to tell?
Recently, I have been publishing more of my poetry, but my main focus is writing a fantasy novel. I am currently working on a trilogy called With Sword and Avarice, a standalone called The Curse of Tel Tavel, and a fantasy epic called Displaced: The Paladin of Time. I hope for at least one to see the light of day by the end of this year, but I have a ton on my plate, so we’ll see where the dice land. I also have a few more stories from the legacy of “Monster” at the ready if the book is well received.
You sometimes go by the pen name “Vicious Avarice”. Why is that?
Actually, it’s a funny story. Well, not a funny story, but a fun one. I am a huge Dungeons and Dragons fan, and Vicious Avarice was a really fun character I played who hated the idea of stagnation. As an author, I like to write all sorts of different things and challenge myself to do something new. So, I thought it was a good idea to name my pen name for my fantasy and poetry works after my beloved dorky character. I know it doesn’t sound too appropriate for a children’s book, which is why I put my own name on The Christmas Monster.
Where can people follow your upcoming work?
My film work can be found at Fantasyforgefilms.com. My Writing can be found at Viciousavarice.com, and I do some writing for Maloriesadventures.com. I am bad at social media, but @Viciousavarice on Instagram does see some love from time to time.