Monday, October 24, 2011

Guest Post & Giveaway: Underutilized goblins, demons, spirits by Carolyn Crane

Welcome Carolyn Crane, my guinea pig guest post author on the blog. So if something goes wrong, we know who to blame! Kidding, kidding...

Author of the much praised The Disillusionists Trilogy, Carolyn Crane is simply a wonderful person and one of the funnest people I've seen around. Mihir has enjoyed the first two installments in the series, Mind Games and Double Cross, so please take the time to give the series a try. Head Rush, third book in the trilogy, is due to be released soon so keep an eye out for it.

Let's get on with it and see what Carolyn has to say about goblins, demons, and spirits; and don't forget giveaway at the end of post:

Goblins, Demons & Spirits for your beautiful modern life

Hey Bastard and Mihir! Thanks so much for having me over to your awesome blog. And happy Halloween people!

So, I’m in this sort of fun period where I’m developing new writing projects. One of them requires a fair bit of research, which I have never really done, something anyone who has read my books can probably guess. I’d rather invent a thing that suits—it’s so much easier.  Which is why you get mutants and Disillusionists in my trilogy, instead of, like, demons, which, let’s be honest, you have to know a bit about demons if you’re going to have them in a story.

So, I’m working on one series now where I actually need to know about some obscure spirits and fairies and so forth. It’s a minor element, but still. Anyway, some years ago I got this awesome encyclopedia - Spirits, Fairies, Leprechauns, and Goblins by Carol Rose. I am learning so much!

For one thing, in the old days, people blamed spirits for a lot of what went wrong.

It makes me sad we don’t have any spirits to blame stuff on. So, I’m proposing some contemporary adaptations. Because, these are perfectly good goblin and spirit-types I’m reading about here. Why are we letting them go to waste in the dusty annals of history???

One of my favorite demons is the German demon, BRUDER RAUSCH (Brother Intoxication), who enters monasteries posing as a monk, and tempts the other monks away from lives of piety and sobriety into drunkenness and wanton revelry. 

Possible contemporary usage for Bruder Rausch:
I can think of lots of uses for Bruder Rausch, can’t you?

Sample modern sentence:
“I didn’t mean to stay out at happy hour so long with my girlfriends last week…how did that happen? Who kept ordering more wine? One of those girls must have been Bruder Rausch!”

This is a spirit from Chinese folklore, a shifter that can take the shape of a member of the family, mostly to create confusion.

Possible contemporary usage for HSIEN:
Like many people, I’ll say things I regret during arguments with significant others, or make commitments I can’t fulfill - or don’t want to fulfill, or forget I said this or that.…but then again, was that me? Or was is the HSIEN? I feel that the HSIEN can translate onto the Web too. When a Hsien pretends to be you online, you can wake up to a whole world of trouble.

Used in a sentence: “Carolyn Crane would never make such a stupid and asinine blog comment (forum comment, tweet)…it must have been a HSIEN, pretending to be her!”

From the folklore of Albania, the Perit, often a lovely sprite in white, punishes people who waste bread by giving them a hunchback.

Possible contemporary usage for PERIT:
I think the modern Perit would give something less extreme for wasting bread — maybe something that alters your appearance in a less dramatic way…like, bad hair. I think the Perit is an awesome bad hair day or bad outfit excuse spirit. It would also be a face-saving way to alert your friend or wife to a bad look.

“Have you thrown out any bread lately, honey? Because your hair usually looks so perfect, but today…I think a Perit may have been here.”

From the folklore of Belgium, the Kludde appears in various forms, but one of the things it does is to jump on the back of a person outside, and the more they run and try to get it off, the heavier it becomes.

Possible contemporary usage for KLUDDE:
Hello! Exercise excuse.

“I went out for my run today, but a Kludde was on my back the whole time, so I had to come home.”

From Malaysia. A spirit that incites mayhem and discord. The Badi originally came from Adam’s blood.

Possible contemporary usage for BADI:
The Badi is a natural road rage spirit. Don’t you think we need one? I guess you could blame it on the Hsien, too, but the Badi seems more natural…it was you behind the wheel, but the Badi was in the passenger seat, sewing mayhem and discord.

“I know it was wrong to flip that guy off, and take my gun out of the glove compartment and wave it around…er…I can’t explain it! I’m pretty sure a Badi was been riding in the car with me!

This is also one of my favorites. The Mannikin are wee people who live in abandoned ruins—castles, churches. They will sometimes go to a farmhouse and steal food, but then, as payment, they will do some chore, like doing the threshing, or sweeping the place up.

Possible contemporary usage for Mannikin:
Does this behavior sound familiar to anyone? Somebody eats the entire bag of cookies or the entire wedge of cheese or the last piece of cake, and then wipes off the counter and throws out the wrappers? 

Sample exchange:
Mr. Crane: Where is the cake we were going to bring to the party?
Ms. Crane: * confused look * It’s gone?”
Mr. Crane: Yes!
Carolyn Crane: * narrows eyes * wait—was the counter all cleaned up? And the plate washed?
Mr. Crane: Yeah.
Carolyn Crane: * Shaking Mr. Crane by the shoulders* Don’t you see? That’s the sign of the Mannikin! OMG the Mannikin were in here!

It is kind of funny, in this book, how many spirits there are that lead people astray at night. Every culture seems to have several. The Keltemas comes from the Cheremis/Mari peoples of the former Soviet Republic. It preys on people walking in the dark, confusing them and getting them lost, so that, even though they may leave a place on time… the next thing they know, they are in the middle of a forest, miles away from home!

Possible contemporary usage for Keltemas:
Well, who doesn’t need a good excuse for finding themselves somewhere crazy at night?

Sample sentence:
“I didn’t intend to stay out at happy hour so long with my girlfriends last week…how did that happen? After Bruder Rausch kept ordering all that wine, I’m sure I left at a decent hour, but the next thing I knew, I was downtown dancing! Maybe the Keltemas brought me there!


Anyway, I hope this gives you some useful ideas, and helps to make things easier for you. I know my new knowledge will totally be making things easier for me!

Happy Halloween!

Bastard Giveaway: Mind Games and Double Cross by Carolyn Crane

Thanks Carolyn! That was great, and thanks for stopping by. Make sure to visit her website and her blog for more fun and information on her books.

Now for the good stuff that I know many of you are here for, the giveaway. Carolyn has been generous enough to provide one signed copy of Mind Games and Double Cross to one lucky winner, so here's your perfect opportunity to catch up on the series!

Participants have to be 18 years of age or older to participate. Void where prohibited by law. Giveaway rules are subject to change. 

The giveaway is open to anyone with a mailing address (world wide), and it will run from October 24, 2011 until 11:59pm ET on November 4, 2011.

How to participate:
  • To enter the giveaway, just place a comment in this post
  • One entry per person, or face disqualification.
  • Make sure to provide an email address to which I can contact you.
  • Winner will be chosen by random sorting entries, and then using a random number generator.
  • There will be one winner, who will get both prizes.
  • Will have to confirm email to be considered a winner within a week after November 4, 2011.

 Additional entries may be had by doing the following:
  • 3 additional entries if you suggest something you would need a goblin, demon, or spirit excuse for; ex., "I need a demon who I can blame for why my refrigerator stinks today!"
  • 2 additional entries if you share with us your plans for Halloween costume; what are you dressing up as?
  • Follow me on my blog publicly so that you appear on Google Friend Connect.
  • Follow me on twitter, @BastardBooks. Make sure to provide your twitter username in your entry.
If you do the steps above, and only by doing those steps, you'd end up with the possibility of 8 total entries:
+1 Comment Entry
+3 Suggest Excuse
+2 Halloween Costume
+1 Google Friend Connect (Mention your GFC username)
+1 Twitter Follower (Mention your twitter username)

For those who have trouble with posting comments, feel free to email me at bastardgiveaway @ gmail with all the information depicted above, and I'll manually make your comment entry for you personally.

Thanks, and good luck! And you got my permission to eat as much candy as you want.


  1. Thank you once again Carolyn!

    I have a dog who's potty training is a bit lacking. As such, I always have my bathroom door closed. From time to time, I find the door open with a few doggie presents in the bathroom, and no one in my household has claimed responsibility for leaving the door open. So obviously, this is the work of some demon or spirit!

    As for Halloween, it's been a while since I dressed up as anything. Don't think I'll dress up this year, last time I did anything I dressed up as a beard lady. And I got to say, dresses are quite confy... lot's of fresh air.

    Happy Halloween everyone!

  2. lol! I think there are a few of these around my house as well. And the Hsien is one that seems to be attached at my hip these days...or maybe for many years now? ;) And the Mannikin are around too! But sometimes they forget to do the chore! lol.

    No need to enter me I've already got and read these books. I loved them! And can't wait for the third. :)

    Thank you! And as for halloween... I'm not dressing up. We really don't do much for that holiday. We are just boring people.

  3. Hey, thanks Melissa - and, your Mannikin forget the chore? LOL.

    So fun to be here, Bastard - thanks for having me. Beard lady sounds lovely.

  4. Thanks for great giveaway! The idea in this books is so fresh and unusual. I've never read something like that before.
    +1 Comment Entry
    +1 GFC follower as Sofija Kapranova
    +1 Twitter Follower as @soni_sonik

  5. Hi Carolyn

    Thanks a bunch for giving us this wonderfully funny post. So who do you think Justine might blame for some of her worries ;)


  6. Not entering the contest - I just stopped by to find out the various excuses I'll hear you using now. ;p

  7. I would love to win these books - had my eye on them for a while :) This Halloween I'll be doing what I do every Halloween: sitting in the dark, ignoring the trick or treaters, eating all the sweets myself. Possibly whilst dressed as a witch.

  8. That is one of the funniest posts I've read in ages! And I love your pictures Carolyn. :)

    I could use a spirit to blame for when the bin bags break when I'm taking them out...or when I keep drinking coffee even though I know it's too hot and I burn my tongue. Seriously, I don't think I've been able to taste anything in weeks! :)

    I'm a follower as - GFC name - Mel S

  9. Great post, Carolyn. (Loved the cartoons, too!)

    The demon I need to know the name of is the one who runs around my house leaving the lights on. I mean, my nephew & nieces SWEAR it wasn't them, so I'm pretty sure they'd like to know who to blame, too. As a plus, if you know how to banish/appease that light-leaving-on demon, I'd really appreciate that knowledge. (I promise I'd use this knowledge for good - the good of my wallet, that is!)

    So, Halloween... Since I already have most of the costume, I'm gonna be a witch. Bonus is, I get to wear it to work. (And morning commute in rush hour traffic may be more fun than a normal Monday drive!)

    Thanks for the giveaway chance!

    (+8: comment, excuse demon, costume, GFC follower, twitterer, free book fan...)

  10. *runs screaming into the room - the horror the madness the insanity!* I will not succumb oh no no no

    *clutches at bleeding nose I need a demon because only their ear wax can stop this nasal madness!*

    *slithers over to your book pile and frantically starts snatching at books to staunch the flow of blood - you didn't want these did you?*

    Who what ...HalloweeN? what makes you think I need a costume aye Sonny? Taint I ugly enough to scare away all the kiddies??? But take your pick I have a closet full of them maybe witch, zombie hunter, zombie, serving wench, high born lady (ain't that the furthest from the truth) whatever strike me darn fancy the day of.

    And of COURSE I already follow you everywhere you bastard!!! gives me all the books ahem I mean entries - I demands them! that be 8 alright

    PS - Happy early Halloween *evil grin*
    Pabkins @ Mission to Read

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. Oh wow!! Thank you for this interesting giveaway! I love your Disillusionists series! Can't wait for book 3!

    Here's my spirit excuse:

    Sometimes when I happen to find myself taking an afternoon nap, I would have a hard time waking up. It's as if something was just constantly lulling me back to sleep and preventing me from waking up and I'd have to fight my way awake by using a huge dose of forceful willpower. It's a good thing that I always forced myself to wake up whenever that happened to me. Because you never know, it might have been a Batibat..

    A Batibat is a demon in the form of an old fat lady who sits on the sleeping person's chest or face until the person suffocates and dies in his/her sleep. Bangungot is the term used to refer to the fatal nightmare. It's all found in Filipino folklore.

    I don't usually go to costume parties, but if had the chance to go to a halloween party, I'd want to dress up as Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter. Happy Halloween!

  13. well i would love to have a demon take responsibility for my lacking ability in household chores - i am just too lazy XD so if my mom takes a look into my apartment and starts ranting about hygiene a demon would be quite handy.

    regarding halloween: well i am not going to have a costume, because i won't go out, but stay at home and probably spook myself with horror movies.

    GFC: Yto
    Twitter: Yto77

    witchvela at web dot de

  14. Hey, these comments are hilarious! Well, I can see some major demon/gobliny needs and Halloween craziness is happening here.
    Thanks so much everyone for stopping by!

  15. This is a great post! Lots of fun.

    I'd like a demon to blame for me hitting the snooze button in the morning. Really, when it happens, I don't remember pressing it, so it probably wasn't me at all, right?

    +1 comment entru
    +3 for the demon made me late
    +1 for GFC as Jackie
    +1 for following as @seolmara on Twitter


  16. Hi there,

    very nice post. I would like to recommend two books for "further researches" about "demons, faes and other similar stuff". I am using them as inspiration sources for my rpg sessions.

    - A field guide to demons by Carol Mack & Dinah Mack
    - Changeling the Lost from White Wolf (Roleplaying Game but quite good)

    and this website:

    As I had a real bad day yesterday - I knocked on everything with my head, stumbled over nealry all things you can't stumble over, thrown down everything that couldn't be thrown down. Additionally I woke up at five in the morning (on an sunday...) - it surely had to do with a small sprite, that had great delight in messing up my day!

    So my Halloween dress. Maybe I would dress up like a banker. Atm they are the most terrifying (maybe terrified ;-) )people around.

    You can reach me at:


  17. Oooh, great tip on that pantheon!!! Thanks!

  18. There is a BADI in my car! I knew it dammit!!!
    That ole bitch has caused all colors of chaos!
    Thank you for showing me where the blame really belongs!!!

  19. I really like these modern adaptions, I think my favorites are Hsien and Mannikin...^^

    eveningreen AT gmail DOT com

  20. Thanks for having this giveaway! ^^

    [+1 Comment Entry]

    [+3 Suggest Excuse]
    I need a spirit who I can blame for why I always break curfews at night (nope, definitely wasn't because I was hanging out with friends)!

    [+1 Google Friend Connect]
    GFC name: chingz

  21. thanks for the giveaway, the books sounds interesting..
    +1 Google Friend Connect (blackwolf
    +1 Twitter Follower (@PandoraSWolf)

  22. I can't wait to read the new book, and this post was amusing! :)

    I would like a spirit to blame my distraction on. I didn't study enough because this spirit/demon kept making distracting me from my math assignment!

    Email: (That's an zero in "operated."

    I didn't see this contest until after Halloween, but I dressed up as a Sugar Skull. Then I took my young cousins out Trick or Treating.

    Twitter: @coin0peratedgrl

  23. This is definitely more interesting than entering a simple giveaway contest..

    There were 4 Mars bars on my desk this morning. All thats left of it are the wrappers...I sure didnt eat them and since there was nobody around, it must surely have been a demon..

    I would have loved to dress up as "Ravana" (10 headed refer Mihir's post on "18 days" above) if I were ever to celebrate Haloween (hope that this one counts)

    twitter @nayan999
    GFC Nayan
    Email: nayan.p83(at)gmail(dot)com

    I think this makes it +8. Loved writing this post!! Thanks Carolyn for this opportunity.

  24. 1+ Thank you so much for the giveaway and for international entries! Super cool!
    +2 I was going to dress like Katniss from Hunger Games but I gave my sister my costume >:( she went to grab candies because my bad lucky left me with a cold 1 day before Halloween! Damn!
    +3 I need a spirit so I can scary my little cousin because she is such a brat!
    +1 GFC: Gisele Alvarado
    +1 Twitter Follower: @Gisselle_Alv


  25. Count me in dude! :)

    You know how to contact me in case I am the lucky winner but I'll comply with the rules and give it anyway:


  26. +1 Comment Entry: Thanks very much for the write-up and contest!

    +3 Suggest Excuse: I need a demon or spirit excuse to explain why my recent orders from various online book retailers have been almost all arriving damaged. Water damage, heavily banged on the corners, etc. It should be a crime to treat books this way.

    +2 Halloween Costume: I put on pants. This may not seem a big deal, but I didn't want to scare any kids *that* badly.

  27. Another awesome giveaway on this blog! Thank you!

    Ok, here it is: I need a goblin to bury my credit card in the back yard and prevent me from buying all these books.

    We don't actually do Halloween in Croatia, but if we did, I'd put some real effort in a dragon costume. I've always wanted to be a dragon.

    I follow the blog as Maja using GFC and your twitter account as @glavauoblacima.


    Happy reading, everybody!

  28. Just a quick reminder:

    "For those who have trouble with posting comments, feel free to email me at bastardgiveaway @ gmail with all the information depicted above, and I'll manually make your comment entry for you personally."


  29. Thanks for the great giveaway.

    Email: lnorgord AT gmail DOT com

  30. Hey Laura.

    Sorry, but you're a bit late. It ended last Friday. Giveaway is over, and winner already picked.

    Thanks, and sorry! Hopefully you'll be around for other giveaways I may have.


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