Thursday, 5 June 2014


If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you probably know that in the next few months I'll have three short stories coming out. I won't spoil too much, but they involve some kind of demon. My Cursed trilogy revolves almost solely around demons. When I write a villain, most of the time I make them act like a demon. Why? Well, it's simple: Demons are interesting.

See? Who wouldn't be scared of that?
Don't get me wrong– I don't worship them or anything like that. I just find demons and their stories to be incredibly fascinating. There isn't a lot I can think of that's more terrifying than demonic possession, if you believe in that sort of thing. I'm more drawn to the stories than their implications on real life. I can't really say if I have a favorite demonic story, but whenever one of them comes around, consider me intrigued. There were a few stories in John Skipp's anthology: Demons: Encounters with the Devil and His Minions, Fallen Angels, and the Possessed that have stuck with me to this day. Every culture has their own interpretation of demons, from the Sumerian Asag, who was so ugly that fish boiled alive in rivers/lakes at the sight of him, who would tear the living organs out of men (and no guys, that isn't the worst thing they could do to you), to the Indonesian Pontianak to the Christian Berith, a Duke of Hell who commands twenty-six legions of demons. Yes, Hell has a structure. Knights, Dukes, Princes, Barons, Kings... Could you imagine the political rallies?

Another artist's take on a demon.
Maybe I'm so inspired by them because they can be anything– animal, vegetable, mineral. There's nothing a demon can't possess, no boundaries as far as physical appearance. Everyone has general ideas about what Satan looks like: A half-man half-goat thing, but if you ask an artist to draw the Devil, no one will draw him the same. Same with writers. When I need to create a demon for Constance and Dro to face, I think about something that would terrify me. Something horrible that I would never want to see. Something strong, powerful, razor sharp, decaying, fast, and ruthless. Something that could take me over, get inside my head and read my thoughts, use supernatural powers I can only have nightmares about. Something I think I understand, only to have it turn on me and show me that I really have no idea what I'm dealing with. When it comes to demons, there are endless creative options, and that's probably one of the reasons demons are so widely seen in entertainment today. 

Hellhounds... These always freak me out.
While Cursed may be the only series I ever do with legitimate demons in it (though I make no promises), aspects of them will come through in other stories I write. I'm currently planning a series with mutants in it, and the worst of those will look and act like demons. To see what I mean, you can take a look at the series' Pintrest board. Some of those characters might end up being inspired by classic demon stories, since demons are the masters of torture, and not just the physical kind. In closing, what I'm trying to say is that yes, demons are scary, but there's no denying that they're compelling. Whenever I want to read a good horror story, demons are the first thing I look for. By the time I finish it, I can only say: "Wow, I hope I never meet one of those," and if that isn't an effect you want in horror, then I'm not sure what is.


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