Seth Skorkowsky, author of the new book Dämoren (which is very high on my To Read list, I might add), has kindly agreed to drop by and do a guest post regarding said novel, and the origins of the idea.
Dämoren: It Started With a Gun and an Idea
The first half of Dämoren came about when I was imagining a new twist to classic folklore monsters. Every culture has their own beasties, and two of the most popular in the Western World are, of course, vampires and werewolves. Modern Folklore (primarily TV and movies) has redefined these creatures as disease carriers. If a werewolf bites you, it infects you with a werewolf germ and now you’re a monster. Killing a werewolf is simply loading your trusty gun with a silver bullet and taking it down (usually after delivering a clever pun).
The idea that I had was, “What if the monster wasn’t a virus, but a demon?” People that become vampires or wendigos aren’t “infected,” they’re “possessed”. Demons, of course, are immune to mortal weapons, so shooting a werewolf with a silver bullet or staking a vampire wouldn’t kill it. It would only kill the host body. The demonic spirit could then hop over to the next victim it had marked through a bite, and go about causing havoc. The only way to kill the demonic spirit would be with a holy weapon.
The second concept that I had was the idea of a magical revolver. This might come as a huge surprise to some, but I play a lot of Roleplaying Games. Magic swords and axes are common in RPGs, and using them against creatures that require a magical weapon to damage them is easy to understand. You physically hit the monster with the magic blade (usually after delivering a clever pun). Ranged weapons are a different matter. The magical weapon never touches the target, but its projectile (arrow, bullet, tomahawk missile, etc.) does. How would firing a normal bullet with a magical gun work? Obviously the gun would need to somehow imbue its enchantment into the bullet.
I decided that a holy pistol would have a blessing inscribed along the inside of barrel. As the bullet flies down the barrel, it gains this blessing. The word “Amen,” is inscribed onto the bullet, and seals the blessing into the slug. I wanted the gun to be old, and made back when most firearms were still hand-crafted by gunsmiths. Since the bullets needed to have a word written on it, I decided that the entire loading process should be ceremonial. Silver bullets cast from a special mold, and set into blessed, graven shells.
A friend of mine suggested the idea that Dämoren should be single-action, where the shooter has to cock the hammer before each shot, and that the shells should be loaded one at a time through a little slot called a Loading Gate. This would make loading and shooting much slower when compared to other firearms.
Finally, I came up with the idea that Dämoren was once a holy sword that was broken in battle. The owner took the shattered pieces to a master gunsmith and had them turned into a revolver (which at the time was cutting-edge technology). Surprisingly, Dämoren’s easily recognizable under-barrel blade wasn’t part of this. The gun received her sinister blade several years after I had come up with all this, just a week or so before I began writing the novel.
The two ideas of “Monsters Are Demons”, and “Super- Sweet Holy Revolver” came about around the same time, but one was a story idea and the other a gaming idea. Eventually, some part of my brain said, “Hey, check it out. Those totally work together.” And that was the beginning. I had a rough concept of a modern world where demons can mark victims’ souls and possess them at will, transforming them into old-world monsters, and an archaic holy revolver that could kill them.
When not writing, Seth loves going on walks to clear his head and daydream. He enjoys traveling. His favorite city is Florence. Table-top role-playing is still an enormous part of his life. He love shooting, going to Renaissance faires, and watching movies with friends. Damoren can be purchased from Amazon.com or Ragnarok Publications. He can also be found on Twitter.