The Evolution of a Demon

A quiet day on the writing front – the demands of my remaining day-job occasionally mean there’ll still be days like this.

The illustrations below, both as ever by PS Brooks, show the evolution of a demon – my lead demon from Wonderful, my comic fantasy novel.

Hammersmith was human once, but that was a long time ago and he doesn’t like to talk about it.

For the last 1200 years, since winning the diabolic lottery, the former blacksmith to King Offa (yes, he of the Dyke) has been a demon, getting into trouble both in Hell and on Earth.

For once, the illustrations have been less about giving me inspiration to evolve and change the character than they have been about capturing what’s already full-formed in my mind.

On the left is the first visual of Hammersmith that Patrick drew for me. To be fair, the long hair was something that was in the manuscript, and about which I was certain – until I saw it. Hammersmith when the novel begins has been on Guardian Demon duty for 80 years, looking after a suicidal human in whom Hell has a vested interest. I felt he needed to look grumpier and more exhausted. On the right is an evolution of Hammersmith’s face – older squarer, more fundamentally miserable. and the coat he wears needed to be a lot less tasteful. Not to be a complete artistic pain in the neck, our emails crossed, and I told Patrick I’d found some images of people who could ‘play’ Hammersmith in the movie version – a game I think most authors play. The thing they all had in common was a boyish smirk. So Patrick’s working on a slightly tweaked face that as well as looking exhausted and miserable, is also smirkable, and capable of a childlike joy. You’ll get to see the finished Hammersmith next week, but for now, here he is in evolution.

The demon Hammersmith in a multi-coloured coat, and with shoulder length hair

Hammersmith as he started out – Hair by Anne Rice.

The demon Hammersmith with hair below the ears

Hammersmith – older, squarer, more exhausted. Much more like him.

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