Friday, October 21, 2011

The Very Scary Validity of Demons with Guest Blogger: H.K. Hillman

Welcome to Day #12 of
the Dark Days of Demons Blog Event
here at the Book Boost!

Win a copy of Jessica's Trap and meet author H.K. Hillman from across the pond! Today is the third of FIVE review days for the month. They'll occur each Friday and then the final review on Halloween Day. These are books I've selected that will undergo my 5 point review system.

Today we have Jessica's Trap by paranormal fiction author H.K. Hillman. My review will follow his post and here's what he had to share...

The Real. The Fake. The Scary.

What’s scary?

The made-up demon or the creature you can look up in the real world? If it’s real, then that part of the story could happen to you and that’s scary. If it’s clearly made-up, you can sleep easily at night knowing there’s not going to be one under your bed or in your closet.

That’s why I don’t invent my own demons these days. I have, in the past, but the most effective tales of terror were always those that just hinted at unnamed demons or which used real, actual demons.

I know what you’re thinking. “Oh come on. Demons aren’t real.” Oh yes. Yes, they are. Real enough for you to find if you look for them, anyway. They are described in books, very old books, some of which aren’t just made-up books within stories but which exist in the real world.

H.P. Lovecraft wrote about the Necronomicon, a book of evil magic written by an ancient Arab. It doesn’t exist and never has, but that book has had so many books written about it that it must surely be the most-quoted book never written. What it contains has become secondary to whether it exists, and it has become so popular that many now believe it really does exist.

I hope that happens to the pair of books I invented as story props. Maybe one day. In the stories with those books there are also real-life books. Books such as Goetia, Clavicula Salomonis (The Key of Solomon) and The Grimoire of Armadel, among others. These are actual, existing books. I have copies here.

Well, okay, I have translations. I could never afford to own the originals. Those are locked away in secure libraries and if you manage to get in to see them you won’t even be allowed to turn the pages. Someone wearing white gloves will do that for you. The books are too old and valuable to be touched. They’re also written in Latin or Greek and often in code so a translation isn’t just cheaper, it’s also much easier to deal with.

When one of my stories refers to Shax, Foras, Paimon, any of the seventy-two mostly unheard-of demons in Goetia or the evil races of demons in Clavicula Salomonis, readers can’t just shrug it off as some made-up monster because if they search for those names, they’ll find them. They’ll find a description and the means to conjure them. I don’t recommend trying that. It probably won’t work but just in case, best leave them alone. I hear some of them can get quite annoyed at being disturbed. When they get annoyed... well, let’s just say the next resident of your house is going to spend ages trying to get the stains out.

Having that little connection to the real world gives a story credibility but the books, like characters, have to be kept under control. Look at what happened with Lovecraft’s Necronomicon. The book was supposed to be a prop but it, along with the Chthulu mythology, escaped and overshadowed his stories. Now there seem to be more books about the Necronomicon than there are stories containing it!

The Necronomicon crossed the shadow world from fiction to reality but there are many books that can reach from reality into the world of fiction. When you read about a demonic book, then find it’s not only real but available in paperback, then the line between make-believe and real life blurs just a little.

When that tale of terror touches reality, even just a little bit, then it becomes properly scary. It’s not just a story any more. One part of it is true, so what about the rest? Is that Gamaliel really shopping in your local high street? That big spider you saw dash past at the corner of your vision – did it really wink at you?

The really scary stuff is the stuff that touches reality. There’s plenty of scary reality out there and a lot of it is far more terrifying than any horror story.

Halloween, for example. Also known as Samheim to Pagans, and long before that as a Celtic new year festival. Throughout its various names and incarnations, throughout passing trends like toffee apples and costumes, one thing has remained constant. It’s the time when the veil between our reality and the world of the dead and the demons is at its thinnest. The Celts would light bonfires and leap through them to cleanse themselves of the evil spirits following. Long before pumpkins and candles and trick-or-treat, this time of year was frightening.

If you’re looking for scary stories this Halloween, look for the ones that could be true. The ones that have a link to real life.

It doesn’t have to be a strong link. Just enough to be convincing. Then you’re into terror territory for sure.


The Book Boost's Five Point Review

1. What is it about?

Here's a blurb:

In a corner of the English Civil War, a demonic battle is stirring.

An inexperienced young witch calls on demonic help to capture an ancient creature, an evil as old as Time and which inhabits the one known as ‘Witchfinder-General’.

Inexperience is no match for the wiles of demons and Jessica soon loses control. The demons will build the trap she wants but…

She is to be the bait.

2. What did I think of it (using only 5 words)?

Demon filled action packed ride!

3. Would I recommend it?

In a word....YES! The short, crisp chapters kept me turning the pages long into the night. I love action and this book packs a punch in a short but heavy on the drama package. Seventeenth century, historical accuracies and setting are crucial elements in making this one unique and a true stand-out amongst the heavily weighted paranormal marketplace currently found in today's literature.

4. Who should buy it?

Well now, I'll admit to being an authentic southern belle who hears the words "Civil War" and am immediately drawn toward a book. Can't help that my brain accidentally hears "The War of Northern Aggression" any time the words (Civil War) are sounded. But this book is in reference to the English Civil War (circa 1642 to 1651) so American readers should definitely be aware of that. Having issued that disclaimer, this book would be well received by fans of horror, paranormal, historicals, and even young adult romance!

5. Would I read more from this author?

Can't wait to see more from this author and honestly he had me at this line (taken from his author bio): "Fame beckons, although fortune remains sadly elusive." I'm right there with you, my friend.

Want More H.K.?

Visit his website here:

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Pick up your copy of his book today! Click here.

Contest Time:

Leave a question or comment to be entered tow in a copy of Jessica’s Trap.

**Winners for Book Boost prizes are drawn the first week of the following month and posted in the Recent Winners box in the right hand side of the blog. Check back to see if you are a winner and to claim your prize! Please leave your contact information in your blog post!**


Debby said...

Good Evening. The book sounds wonderful. I often wonder if authors had imaginary friends as children.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Dr. Dume said...

Some people get therapy for imaginary friends. Authors write them down.

southernwriter said...

I am a big fan of the author and have all of his books, including his newest, "Dark Thoughts and Demons." Warning: don't read Hillman in bed at night before you try to go to sleep.