Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Demons: why are they so hard to define?

The Book of Whispers is about a young knight who has to defeat demons and save the world so I had to spend a lot of research time not only brushing up on my historical knowledge of the Crusades but also on researching what demons are.

Not an easy subject! so here's my first demon list:

Reasons it's hard to write about what demons are: 

Firstly, they are tricksters, always trying to lead a  too easily distracted writer astray.

Secondly, as it become clear to me, demons are different things to different people. We're all tempted by and scared by different things.

Personally, nothing has ever frightened me more than the Japanese film Ringu, inspiration for the American The Ring series  (featuring a demonic video tape). 

Thirdly, and this is the big issue I had to work out in drafting The Book of Whispers: are they real or are they metaphoric?

In other words, do demons physically exist, or do they represent something psychological and maybe even scarier?
Bahai  Gardens 

·       The metaphoric is hard to resist. Freud connects demons to the recently dead, to what I would call ghosts. The Baha’i faith, that I first learned about while travelling through Israel researching this book, sees demons in a metaphorical way. They represent evil characteristics a person can display when tempted. Plato says a daemon of a different type inspired Socrates. This is a different kind of demon to the fallen angels who were my first concept. 

So how did I decide what Luca’s demons in The Book of Whispers would be like? The answer to that in another post. . . 

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Fantasy Worlds at the Brisbane Writers Festival

This will be exciting! Appearance at the Brisbane Writers Festival  with Garth Nix, Amie Kaufman and Jay Ktistoff!