Category Archives: Paul Hawkins

What happens next?

So Christmas is over and one presumes “Bad Santas…” sales will tail off for the next few months.  The promotion and so forth was all great but obviously I don’t want to be that guy who had a book out once so I’m now starting to plan what comes next.  And, if all comes together, it’ll hopefully be an exciting list.


For a start there’s this blog.  The Diary of a First-Time Author articles will continue (or more specifically, restart again!) soon and I’ll try to share more useful advice and information for aspiring authors.  I’m working on two writing projects (more on those later), two music projects (the Awkward Silences and the Count of Chateau Noir, who made the Festive Fifty of 2013 with our song After the Carnival) and possibly a couple of theatrical/performance art projects too.


It’s probably going to be a week or so until things settle down in January and the blog posts start appearing regularly again but I will be back soon…

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“Bad Santas…” Advent Calendar – Day 15 – The Gävle Yule Goat


In 1966 a business association in the Swedish town of Gävle started a tradition of building a gigantic Yule Goat and displaying it in the town to promote tourism. Unfortunately for them, that same year some local residents started a tradition of setting fire to the gigantic Yule Goat at the earliest possible opportunity!

Now every year a cat-and-mouse game is played between the constructors and local youths where the builders of the goat try technique after technique to keep it standing and local youths find ways to destroy it – Yule Goats now appear elsewhere in Sweden too and often meet similar fates. In Gävle the goat goes up at the beginning of December and usually it is burned down around Lucy’s Night, Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve. In 1999 it was burned down within two hours of construction. It does not always get burned down though – it has also been run over, stolen and thrown in a river. Perhaps the best story is the year that security guards were hired to give the goat 24-hour protection. All went well until one night it was freezing cold and the guards nipped into a nearby restaurant to momentarily warm themselves with a shot of a spirit. They walked in and ordered their drinks. No sooner had they walked to the window and raised the glass to their lips when they glanced outside and saw the goat was already ablaze . . .


Bad Santas and Other Creepy Christmas Characters by Paul Hawkins is published by Simon & Schuster and available now..  The image is taken from here.

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The Sunday Express and other media

I’m pleased to say my article about Christmas folklore is on 34 of today’s Sunday Express.  You can also read it here:

There’s also a write-up of the book in today’s Sunday Herald:

and the book was recommended in Thursday’s Metro:

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“Bad Santas and Other Creepy Christmas Characters” lecture tour.

In December I will be doing a series of lectures in libraries around London to talk about “Bad Santas…”.  Each lecture will be about 45 minutes long and will essentially be a  (hopefully!) amusing and engaging history of how violent, bloody European folk tales of monsters that stalked the winter nights became santised and universalised in the form of Father Christmas.

The dates booked so far are here.   More dates may yet be confirmed.

Friday 6th December – 7pm, Camberwell Library, 17-21 Camberwell Church St, London SE5 8TR

Saturday 7th December – 2pm, Muswell Hill Library, Queens Avenue,
Muswell Hill, 
London, N10 3PE

Monday 9th December – 6:30pm, Maida Vale Library, Sutherland Avenue, London, W9 2QT

Tuesday 10th December – 6pm, Marylebone Library, 109-117 Marylebone Road, London, NW1 5PS

Thursday 12th December – 7pm Canada Water Library, 21 Surrey Quays Rd, London SE16 7AR

Saturday 14th December – afternoon but time tbc, Stroud Green & Harringay Library, Quernmore Road, London, N4 4QR

Monday 16th December – 6.30pm, John Harvard Library, 211 Borough High St, London SE1 1JA

If you’d like to come along then contact the libraries for admission detail.

I’ll also be guesting at the Comedy Club For Kids’ Santa Claus Science Experiment on the 15th and 22nd of December at the Bloomsbury Theatre (tickets available at the above link).  The show also features Darren Hayman, Robin Ince, Tiernan Douieb, Nick Doody and a host of other performers.  Tickets are available from the link above.

If you’d like to contact me about a lecture at an event near you, contact me on paulalexanderhawkins <at>

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