Thursday, November 14, 2013

5 Demons - The Beginning!

The idea for The Five Demons You Meet In Hell came about because my then-publisher wasn't happy with a trend they saw in my work. I'd just submitted a manuscript to them that I was quite pleased with (aren't I always?) called Young Nostradamus, and they turned it down in fairly short order. "You always write about the bullied kid rising up and beating the odds," my editor told me. "We like to see our authors grow and try new things."

I still have plenty to say about the bullied kid, but I saw the merit in my editor's point of view. What if I mixed things up a little, and wrote from the POV of the bully?

With that thought, Boston Lefebvre was born. Don't ask me where I got the name from - it just popped into my head fully-formed and seemed right. It's certainly memorable. Boston was my bully, around which my new story would wrap.

But if anyone had the notion I was going to sympathize with the plight of the high school bully, well... they have another think bloody well coming! I'll write about a bully, all right... getting what he so richly deserves.

With that in mind, and given my fascination for the metaphysical coupled with my love for demons, it seemed only natural to send my bully Boston Lefebvre to Hell. The title was another inspired bit of brilliance - I just love a good spoof title! Harvard Lampoon has Bored of the Rings, Robert Rankin has Raiders of the Lost Car Park, The Sprouts of Wrath and The Toyminator, and I have a take-off of Mitch Albom's classic. If you meet five people in Heaven, it seemed likely to me you'd get five demons in the other place!

Also, I originally titled the book The 25 Demons You Meet in Hell, because I wasn't sure if five demons would cut it. I needn't have worried; five demons were more than enough to get the job done. Good thing, too - my spoof title works much better as-is!

The story came to me as I wrote it, and it was a joy to put on paper. I'd tell you more, but as one of my favourite fictional characters is fond of saying: "Spoilers!" Go check it out right now, with this link here.

PS: I just found out this very second that I'm not alone in spoofing Mitch Albom's title. There is a book on Amazon called The Five People You Meet In Hell by Rich Pablum! Guess he was faster on the draw. I have not read this work, but I am confident my novel and his are very different. It seems we had more-or-less the same idea on tag lines, however; both of us use the "This is not that book" gag. No worries. There's plenty of room on the Internet for both of us.

PPS: There's also a book called The Five Jerks You Meet On Earth by Ray Zardetto. I'm starting to not feel so special about my title now... :(

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