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Zachery Richardson My Demons: How I Summoned Them, And How I Changed Them

Monday, August 8, 2011
When I say the word demon, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Most often when I ask this question, the person I ask thinks of an evil spirit who delights in causing pain and suffering. In movies like Paranormal Activity and The Exorcist, they take over the bodies of a human to do their dirty work. Sometimes, they are depicted as having human intelligence and dark, magical powers. Rarely though are they portrayed as legitimate physical threats, with tangible physical bodies.

So in planning Chronicles of the Apocalypse, my apocalyptic urban fantasy series, I knew I wanted to take that rare, physical depiction and then raise it to a whole new level! I drew inspiration from a variety of sources, and the end result is an amalgam of various elements from my favorite shows, movies, and video games. All tweaked, twisted, and mixed together to create a depiction of demons that I couldn’t wait to share with the world!

One of my earliest and biggest influences was Star Wars. In the endless debate between Trekkies and Jedi, I was very much a Jedi. When I began thinking of how to do demons differently, I remembered a line from The Empire Strikes Back when Yoda says that while the Dark Side is not more powerful than the Light Side it is “quicker, easier, more seductive.” I thought to myself, what if it wasn’t just seductive? What if it was downright infectious? What if the more you were exposed to it, the more like a demon you actually became? This of course raised another important question: just what were you being exposed to? This is where my more Japanese influences came into play. I’d long been a fan of anime such as Dragonball Z and Yu Yu Hakusho, and the powers the heroes used in those two shows formed the basis of my own demonic energy system.

In Chronicles of the Apocalypse, every demon from the smallest to the greatest derives their power from a dark, supernatural energy. The more of this energy they possess, the stronger the demon. And the most powerful demons have the ability to project this energy outward into devastating blasts akin to Godzilla’s laser breath. And this demonic energy has an effect on humans similar to that of radiation. The more they are exposed to, the more it changes them. In low doses, it increases strength, speed, and durability. In high doses however, it will turn humans into “half-breeds”; people who are half human and half demon. Not only do they have exponentially greater physical abilities than pure humans, but they also have the ability to take on a fully demonic form that allows them to utilize the fullness of their power.

These “half-breeds” are critical to the plot of Chronicles of the Apocalypse, in which a small group of them must band together and spearhead humanity’s fight to survive when our world is invaded by the forces of Hell. To find out how it all starts, pick up your copy of Chronicles of the Apocalypse: Revenge, Everything is Nothing via my website,, and as an e-book on Amazon’s Kindle Store. Enjoy the read. J

When you sacrifice the lives of your wife and children to prevent the world's most powerful clan of assassins from unleashing the Apocalypse, what does that make you? And what do you do when you learn that it was all in vain? For Jin Sakai, that sacrifice turned him into a mere shell of a man, filled only with guilt and hatred. When he learns that it was a sacrifice made in vain, he instantly sets out on a violent one-man war to tear the assassins' clan down around their ears. After all, who better to destroy them than the man who brought them together?

Things soon turn down a darker path as Jin uncovers the disturbing truth behind his family's sacrifice; a truth he was never meant to learn. Undone by the revelation, Jin is consumed by doubt and confusion and very nearly loses his life. It is only later when he meets Leah Lawson, a woman who overcame her own dark past, that his doubt and confusion vanish and he begins to see a path that will not only lead him to his revenge, but to his redemption.

Unfortunately, there is far more going on behind the scenes than Jin realizes. Forces are at play that have been manipulating the course of his life ever since he was born. By setting out on his quest for vengeance, Jin unknowingly cements his destiny as one of the key warriors in the apocalyptic war that’s brewing just beneath the surface.
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