Sunday, January 31, 2016

How the Devil Did You Do That? - Part 2

Last time around, I explained a little bit about the Heroes in Hell universe in which Daemon Grim exists. As you can imagine, Heroes in Hell gives me an excellent playground in which to set my characters free. But, how did I come up with the character of Grim specifically? 

Ah, that was quite easy.

First of all, I did my homework. 
Hell is a wondrous place, where all sorts of dastardly deeds and fiendish fun is allowed to spiral out of control. However, the HIH concept has certain rules – certain limits and boundaries. In devising a character, I didn’t want to create ‘just another someone’ – you know – another unhinged psychopath who creates mayhem wherever he or she goes. (Well I did, but I wanted them to bring a certain order and pedigree to the universe).
So I thought…what if my main character was someone close to Satan himself? Someone powerful and fiercely loyal? Someone who was the worst of them all and who stood out because he leads by the purity of his service and example he sets? And to add a certain fear factor, what if that character was cursed with the bane of never being able to lie? Someone who turns such a trait to his advantage to create a dread and chilling reputation. He’s bold, brash and confident, because he's perfectly capable of carrying out whatever assignment he’s given.

When I checked the lists, nobody had thought of using a character deeply interwoven into mythologies and fabric of multiple cultures around the world …The Grim Reaper.
THE Grim Reaper. Ding Dong!

I relished playing with a character like that because not only is he the ultimate killer, but such a persona would be great fun to build a personality profile around. The scope he presented would weave through all the storylines as if he’d always been part of it. 
This is the kind of guy who – if you appear on his list – you’re dead. Simple as that. You can’t buy, bribe, or wheedle your way out of it. And to make it even more unsettling, I’d give him one of the most outrageous sense of humors anyone could ever wish for, and a degree of loyalty toward his team that is almost paradoxical. But for all that, if Satan’s decrees it, he’d still snuff anyone out of existence without the slightest remorse.

This guy can go everywhere and anywhere. As such, not only will you be seeing him in his own adventures, but in subsequent Heroes in Hell anthologies too. After consultation with Janet Morris - the creator of the Heroes in Hell series - we thought it would be a great idea to have a character whose adventure leapfrogged from novel to anthology, anthology to novel, and so on and so forth..

Stay sharp…you’ll never know when he’s coming to a nightmare near you!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

How The Devil Did You Do That?

Fans of Daemon Grim might have wondered…

How did you devise the Reaper’s character and the world in which he was set?

The answer to that is twofold.
As many will know by now, Daemon Grim is Satan’s go-to guy in times of trouble, and the leader of two very special teams: The Hell Hounds, (Fiendish bounty hunters) and the Inquisitors, (A very select bunch of diabolical characters who form Satan’s elite interrogators).

The world in which they are set is perhaps easiest to answer first, because all stories take place within the Heroes in Hell Universe.

Heroes in Hell is a series of shared world fantasy books, within the genre Bangsian fantasy/horror, created and edited by Janet Morris and written by her, Chris Morris, C. J. Cherryh and others. The first 12 books in the series were published by Baen Books between 1986 and 1989, and stories from the series include both Hugo Award winners and Nebula nominees.
Janet continued the series through her own publishing company – Perseid Press – from 2011 onward with, Lawyers in Hell, followed by five more anthologies and a novel since then.

Basically, the shared world premise of Heroes in Hell (also called The Damned Saga) is that all the dead wind up together in Hell, where they can pick up where they left off when still alive, except that now, it’s a no-holds-barred, rollercoaster ride of violent, stab you in the back adventure. Anything goes – and often does...

So, there’s the answer to the second part of the question. I answered that part now, so you better understand the foundations I needed to lay out for the main character.

Next time, I’ll let you know how the character I devised became Daemon Grim. It’s more complex than you think.

See you then J

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

A Trip Round Hell - Part 3
Hi there.
Last time we took a look around the Reaper's hometown in the Juxtapose Level of Hell.
Today, we'll take a dip into some of the other circles mentioned in Hell Bound.
See if you can recognize them from the book:


Nowhere in hell offers the warm unwelcome of Hades. Thermo-fountains - rivers of molten lava - pyro-winds. And of course, nonstop seismic instability. You never know what's going to happen...other than its always toasty. Champ and Yamato also discovered other creatures like to play their cost.


Dark, brooding and gothic - the Perishian way of life is full of gall with absolutely no charm in sight. A mysterious and wondrous place where crime lords rule, and hellegal activities are rife under the auspices of the white market.

Pont Snuff:

One of the oldest bridges in Perish - this ethereal bridge spans the River Inseine where damned souls rot in its inky depths, eternally chained to their sins, and forever ready to lure unsuspecting denizens to share their doom...But other events transpire beneath its mirrored sheen. Dare you dip your toe into Hell Bound to find out?

The Spouting Pyramids of Geyser:

Dark Cairo, where the pyramids regularly erupt and fill the streets in molten lava, and where we find the secret repository - The Sphincter. (Only entrance at the rear - of course). A foul, repulsive and disruptive place, and scene of an infamous run-in between Grim and the Sibitti.

Bailey to the Black Tower:
The Isle of Cogs maximum security prison. An isolated dot in the middle of a storm enraged sea. Surrounded on all sides by impenetrable cliffs and cog beach (A ticking time bomb of a trap for any who dare to approach uninvited) Think about it...could you imagine having to negotiate a beach comprised upon millions upon millions of cogs, tines and gears - some big enough to crush a truck - and all just waiting to grind you to a pulp?

 Ha! THAT's what hell is all about. It'll either keep you on your toes, or rip them right off.

The prison sits atop the only bluff that overlooks the sea, and is home to a rather unusual guest. Who? Ah, for that you'll have to delve between the pages...
So there you go. This is just a little dip into some of the other places Daemon Grim has visited...But stay tuned. There's more...much more to come.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

A Trip Round Hell - Part 2
Welcome to Juxtapose - Olde London Town
Entrance to Jekyll & Hyde Park

For those of you who have read Hell Bound, you'll know the Juxtapose level of hell - centred around Olde London Town - is a topsy-turvy world of intermingled 'time bubbles'. You can be walking along the street in a modern-day setting one moment, only to cross the road and have to jump out of the way of a horse-drawn-carriage from the Victorian era the next. It really is that unstable; and keeps Daemon Grim on his toes.

Here are some scenes from around the Reaper's hometown.
Modern-day Era.
As you can appreciate - the upheaval caused by the loosening of the cosmic chains anchoring each circle in place can cause quite a lot of damage and disruption.
River Tombs Embankment

Here's a glimpse of what that area looked like before the upheaval.
Victorian Era
And of course, a little peek at where Dr. Thomas Cream - The Lambeth Poisoner - likes to hang out. You can just imagine him prowling the cobbled streets, eh?
Medieval Era

Some of the Hounds like it here. They love the opportunity to get down and dirty with the dross of the underworld where they'll literally hang offenders against injustice out to dry.
St Thomas' Hospital

The Grand entrance Grim and Nimrod passed through on their way to meet the Dread-Locks.

The Cloisters of Scourging
And here we have the home of the Grey Friars - guardians of the Key of Sighs - safe behind warded towers and the warping mists of the Knights Bridge - a temporal construct that draws on your deepest fears before testing you with them.
Do you feel like you're getting to know the underworld of the Reaper that little bit better?
Next time, we'll take a trip around the other circles of hell. See you then.