Research For ‘The Council Of Twelve’ Series

When I got the idea to my ‘Council Of Twelve’ series, I considered doing some research, start with finding ‘experts.’ I talked to two people I considered experts: a nun and a monk.

Unfortunately, both were not as good as experts as I had hoped. The nun is an amazing, wonderful personality with a huge golden heart, selfless, helpful, pious – and an avid reader and a big fan of fantasy books. I could not ask even one of the many questions I had; she didn’t stop talking, telling me about all the fantastic books she already read. By listening to her, I had the impression, in her imagination, she actually wrote my entire series. It was an enjoyable, interesting afternoon, but I got home with nothing than a headache.

The priest was a different kind of expert. He answered most of my questions with quotes directly out of the bible, and he was not at all a fan of my idea for that series. He found, the fight Good versus Evil should be left to our Lord. I can only agree with that, but I had not planned to single-handedly fight Hades and the entire Underworld! I was only planning to write a book, for Heaven’s sake, and we’re not talking about a non-fiction reality report. We’re talking about a fantasy book series. Towards the end of that conversation, I had the impression if I ever wrote that ‘Council Of Twelve’ series, my ‘expert’ would do anything to get me excommunicated and not only that; I would be going directly to the Catholic ‘jail’ and my soul would be grilling in the inferno for all eternity.

I cured that headache too and decided to write the series anyway, even without Father Thomas’ blessing.

The wonderful thing about fantasy books, as compared to history books (or all non-fiction, of course) is, that the creation of worlds, characters, and magic does not need as much research as the book that entwines around existing facts. The Council Of Twelve series bases on values, the Christian values I grew up with, and a few of the characters that cement my beliefs.

Since I now got the few already existing characters, I started adding up with more figures and creatures on the good side…

However, the evil side needed more of my attention. In my book, it exists, but it’s not like I’m an expert on that side. Therefore I went on a research crusade. I needed demons… I needed to ‘build’ a picture of the evil side. And I had to build antagonists…. not one, but uncountable ones.

An inexhaustible source of information in my case was ‘Wikipedia’. I got quite a few lists from them. Theological Demons and their classification, Demonology, a list of fictional demons, and a list of legendary creatures. Occasionally these lists helped me while writing.

But what helped me the most was the List of Demons in the Ars Goetia.

It not only gives the name of the respective demon but also its look, what kind of demon it is, what command it’s under, and the legions of minions under its control. Now…

I know that the evil side exists, just as I know the good side exists. That is rooted in the beliefs I grew up with. But I’m writing fantasy books for young adults. I have to keep it simple. This list is not a fact list… I, therefore, permit myself the freedom to use the respective creature I need – and I don’t feel very guilty adjusting the demons a bit in order to be useful for my current scene.

With a little bit of my own spicy humor, I allowed myself to object the common existing demon-name-lists by leaving the fallen Archangel Lucifer’s name as it was and positioning him on the top of the seven thrones of Hell. Experts on that might kick my butt for that, but no matter how many ‘bad guys’ there are, in the series, I’m working on fighting them. I figure, one more isn’t that much of a drama.

Also, I did not forget that Evil tempts with softness, with the illusion of love and with beauty… Demons in my books rarely look like leathery wings carrying, flying, and walking horror creatures…

Lucifer is a beautiful as a personified sin… and so are his minions in the form we humans can understand… But when they are home… where they live… in their place and their environment… that’s different. Then the entire extent of the evilness they hold becomes obvious – and visible.



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16 thoughts on “Research For ‘The Council Of Twelve’ Series

  1. That is one of the great things about writing fantasy, in my humble opinion, the ability; when something is unknown to simply make it up.
    Anyway what I really wished to say is, you do not have to worry about Daemons being ugly, remember they were all angels before they were cast from heaven.
    I found a great resource for names (natures etc) were the Apocrypha, especially the book of Enoch.
    Many of the biblical angels have appeared in my books, in some form or another over the years. But do be careful not to follow them too closely.

    Many years ago I wrote a novel with Shemyaza, (the angel who was hung upside down for eternity from the middle star in Orions belt as punishment for having sex with a human woman) as the main character. One of my proof readers then told me to read a novel “Stalking tender prey” by “Storm Constantine” which I duly did and found the whole premise for the tale so similar (albeit very differently written) that I never released the book.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello Raymond. Thanks so very much for your extensive and very interesting and informative comment on this post! I really appreciate the time and efforts you took to help me.
      Of course, I had never planned on ‘following’ information sources on the dark side…
      Except one thing: I think, yes, the fallen Angel’s were beautiful… but I somehow think, in the meantime they were breeding… and evil and evil results in ugly. *sigh*
      Again, thanks so very much!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I hadn’t thought about that before I started the series, I admit. But maybe I should be more precise in saying that ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series takes place in an existing world and therefore might be called paranormal – however since we don’t personally know or experience Heaven – it’s more on the fantasy side – the genre might be quite interesting, don’t you think? LOL

      Liked by 1 person

  2. As I mainly write “horror” tales, the daemons (when I use them) tend to be frightening, or at least I hope they are, but I tend to use faerie tale creatures then and transplant them into the everyday world where they act as a metaphor for something ailing in humankind but I think that in a Young adult series such as yours this would be a mistake. I think that you are better continuing on your own route even if it is genre spanning.
    I do not think that there is anything wrong in that. Actually it makes it even more intriguing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post. Thanks for sharing your writing journey and the research you had to put into it. Some writers get bogged down with their research sometimes and wind up getting themselves stuck and unable to move forward. You’re putting things into perspective and moving forward was a brilliant move. Keep the books coming, you’re on a roll.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your wonderful comment, Allan. I very much appreciate it. See… I never expected I would ‘need’ research for a fantasy series. When I found myself doing research, I decided I used what I needed and leave the rest to my brain. There must be a reason why I write fantasy. 🙂


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