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Guest Blog and Giveaway: Evil Dark by Justin Gustainis

Submitted by on May 2, 2012 – 4:00 am13 Comments

Personal Demons

In my latest novel, Evil Dark, some Very Bad People are conjuring demons and using them to make “snuff films.” The resulting DVDs show two people bound to chairs with a large pentagram drawn on the floor. Off camera, the voice of a wizard can be heard conducting a ritual that will summon a demon into the pentagram. Once the demon arrives, the wizard controlling it orders the creature to “possess” one of the prisoners. Once this is accomplished, the possessed person is freed from his bonds. The demon is confined within the pentagram, and so the only person on whom it can direct its fury is the other prisoner. To this end, the Very Bad People have provided an assortment of implements, including knives, clubs, pliers and a blowtorch.

What follows can best be described by my protagonist, Sergeant Stan Markowski of the Scranton Police Department’s Occult Crimes Unit, who was forced to watch one of these atrocities as part of his investigation: “What happened next went from zero to unspeakable in less than thirty seconds. Then it quickly went beyond unspeakable, to a lever of horror that there are no words to describe.”

I’ve made use of demons quite often in my fiction. My first novel, The Hades Project, concerns a scientific team that accidently and briefly opens an entrance to Hell. The gate is ajar just long enough for one demon to cross over from the infernal plane to the temporal one. Bad things ensue. Demons also figure prominently in my “Morris and Chastain Investigations” series, especially in the second and third books. In Evil Ways, a crazed billionaire hopes to use black magic to summon the Prince of Darkness himself. Sympathy for the Devil concerns a presidential candidate who is secretly possessed by a demon, part of Hell’s plan to destroy humanity. By the way, any resemblance to actual presidential candidates, living or dead, is purely coincidental and unintended. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

Why demons? Apart from the fact that I was raised Catholic, and that The Exorcist (book and film) scared me profoundly, I’d have to say that demons make great villains because they’re so easy. One of the problems that most genre writers struggle with is creating bad guys who are realistic and complex – meaning they’re not completely bad. But demons are evil incarnate. I don’t have to give a demon a drug habit or abusive childhood to explain why it would want to harm humans. That’s what demons do.

The Bible doesn’t actually say a lot about either Satan or his damned fellow angels. But a lot of literary blanks were filled in by John Milton’s epic poem “Paradise Lost,” and many of the popular conventions about demons have their origins there.

So the popular myth (in Christian cultures, anyway) is that Satan was an angel of high rank who rebelled against God because of His creation of humans and giving them souls. The addition of immortal souls put humans on a par with angels, spiritually, and did Satan (who in those days was apparently called Lucifer) get his halo in a twist over that. So Satan and a number of angels rebelled, and there was a great war in Heaven with Michael the Archangel leading God’s forces. To the surprise of nobody (except maybe Satan), the rebels lost and were kicked out, to reside forever in a dark place “where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” Ever since, the story goes, the demons of Hell have been devoted to humanity’s destruction, since they hold us responsible for their downfall. How human of them – looking for someone else to blame for their problems.

Fallen angels dedicated to the destruction of humanity – who could want better villains than that? From the writer’s perspective, they’re just … perfect. Perfectly evil, that is. I love ‘em.

Justin Gustainis was born in Northeast Pennsylvania in 1951. He attended college at the University of Scranton, a Jesuit university that figures prominently in several of his writings.

After earning both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, he was commissioned a Lieutenant in the U. S. Army.

Find Justin: Website |


My name’s Markowski. I carry a badge. Also, a crucifix, some wooden stakes, a big vial of holy water, and a 9mm Beretta loaded with silver bullets.

A series of seemingly motiveless murders of supernatural creatures points to a vigilante targeting the supe community. Markowski wouldn’t normally have much of a problem with that, but his daughter may be next on the killer’s list…

File Under: Urban Fantasy [ Unnatural Law | Thicker Than Water | The Bite Stuff | Duty Calls ]



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway provided by Justin Gustainis. By entering this giveaway, you are agreeing to the rules set by our Giveaway Policy. Ends 05/05 Int.

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  • Jen W. says:

    I’m always looking for more urban fantasy series!

    Reply to this comment »
  • says:

    I agree that demons should be evil incarnate. What do you think about PNRs where demons fall in love and have redeeming qualities? Do you think that is plausible? or should authors let demons be demons?

    Reply to this comment »
  • Barbara Elness says:

    Sergeant Markowski sounds like a great character and I’m looking forward to starting this series.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Stephanie says:

    I stumbled onto this, but I love the concept and will have to look up the earlier book mentioned.

    Reply to this comment »
  • sienny says:

    Hi justin! It’s quite a scary book for me, bloody anf spooky. i hope i’ll found the ‘courage’ to read your book

    Reply to this comment »
  • erinf1 says:

    Thanks for a fantastic post! I just got your first book in this series for my kindle and I can’t wait to read it :)I’ve been looking for a good “scary” book and this looks like it fits the bill.

    Reply to this comment »
  • says:

    Thanks for the blogpost, I enjoyed reading it. And of course you are right, demons are evil, which makes them the perfect bad guys. Unless ofcourse you read Kim Harrison, and then they can surprise you.

    auriansbooks at gmail dot com

    Reply to this comment »
  • Victoria Zumbrum says:

    Thanks for the giveaway. Please enter me. I would love to read this book. It sounds very good.

    Reply to this comment »
  • rissatoo says:

    I enjoyed Hard Spell, and look forward to reading more of Stan’s “adventures” in the Occult Crime Unit. :)

    Reply to this comment »
  • Doll Day says:

    Justin, Thank you so much for the Guest blog! Just started Evil Dark and am enjoying it!

    Reply to this comment »
  • Bethany C. says:

    I actually have Hard Spell but haven’t started it yet- I know, shame on me, right? If you come watch my kid I promise I’ll start it immediately.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Mary Preston says:

    I’m looking forward to reading EVIL DARK. It looks amazing.

    Reply to this comment »
  • [...] – Wicked Little Pixie, All Things Urban Fantasy,Justin Gustainis, author of Evil Dark – Paperback DollsKate Cross, author of Heart of Brass – Dark Faerie TalesNK Jemisin, author of The Killing Moon [...]

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