Fact & Fiction Part 1: Apophis
My absolute favourite part of being a fiction writer is that I get to put my over-active imagination to use on a regular basis. Whether it’s a short story, or a novel length piece, I love finding tidbits of information about something, and then adding my own special twist.
One of my favourite finds is Apophis, a demon that makes an appearance (and an impact) in Eve’s Return.
Before I go demon hunting, I always decide on a few characteristics that they must have. In this case, (and for various reasons) I knew I wanted a creature that was snake-like, or that had reptilian features. I did a Google search and found a few that I couldn’t use (again, for various reasons) but it didn’t take me long to find Apep, whose roots can be found in ancient Egypt.
Apep is actually a deity, who personifies chaos, which explains his official moniker: Lord of Chaos. His arch nemesis is Ra, God of the Sun who is arguably one of the most popular deities in Egyptian lore.
Poor Apep spends a lot of his time trying to take down Ra (the sun) every morning as he rises, and every evening as he heads back home. Apep rarely launches an attack during the day (solar eclipses anyone?), so if you want to find him, you’ll have to start your search below the horizon. In other words, head on down to the underworld.
There is a significant amount of information on the Lord of Chaos. So, after I found him, my next steps were to take what I needed and alter other bits and pieces to make him a better fit for the story.
The first time we see Apep, the sun has just slipped past the horizon, and he is pretty determined to create as much chaos as possible.
In addition, Apep, like most otherworldly creatures goes by many names. The most common substitute is, Apophis. I decided to go with the latter because I really liked the way the name sounded when I read or said it aloud. I also think it carries more weight, which is appropriate for what I wanted to convey.
Side note: It was also really, really temping to call him LORD OF CHAOS because: awesome.
The most significant changes I made were to Apep’s appearance.
Typical depictions of this demon are of a snake with many coils, to give the reader an impression of his great length.
While I wanted a physically imposing demon to test my heroine’s strength, I didn’t want her fighting a creature that looked like a really long snake. I found that couldn’t write the action scenes because they felt boring and cliched, so I came up with a vision for what my version of Apep looked like:
Jordan looked up, and gripped Owen’s hand. A long, sinewy body covered the length of the dented hood. Catlike eyes embedded in a narrow face swung toward them. Its neck stretched until a forked tongue almost brushed against her face. The creature stared down at them as it crouched low on four squat, muscular legs. Jordan tugged at Owen’s arm, a silent scream filling her open mouth.
There you have it! Fact & Fiction on Apophis. Join me again in two weeks, for the second instalment of the series where I’ll tell you all about another demon who you’ll get to meet in No Escape…
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