Inside Demonslayer: Character Joshua Thompson, AKA Demonslayer

On the baseball diamond behind the high school, a middle schooler wields a knife in front of the older bully who’s tormented him for weeks. He’s no longer alone in his thoughts - a stranger’s voice tries to talk him out of it, picking through the boy’s personal memories. He still won’t drop the knife.

“Are you going to back off or what?” the stranger asks.
“What happens if I don’t?”
“I dig deeper. All the way to birth if I have to. I’m not letting you stab this kid.”

Joshua Thompson, AKA Demonslayer, is one of the most complicated characters I’ve ever created. He has to be a strong, capable hero but also carry a lot of his own heavy past along with him. Even though he’s likeable and sturdy enough to support the Demonslayer series as its main character, he still gives the sense he could become an antihero at any moment.

Sam Witwer would make a great Joshua. (Image by Art Streiber/Syfy)

Joshua has a lot riding on him in serial #1, Every Hero Has Demons. He works as a middle school counselor by day. The students look up to him. His boss depends on him. His coworkers like him - in some cases, a little too much for comfort.

But on nights and weekends, Joshua hardens up a little and dons his calm, confident alter ego, Demonslayer.

I’ve been fascinated with psychic abilities since I was a kid. The library had this incredibly thick, heavy book for kids about all kinds of interesting stuff. It had quizzes to answer like what 2 super powers you’d choose, and what those choices said about you. I read a lot about different kinds of abilities, and for a while, I even wished I had ESP. I thought it’d be cool. (It never happened.)

For the Demonslayer series, though, I didn’t choose conventional psychic powers. I made up new ones particular to each character who has one. Why they have the powers they do will get answered in a future serial coming out later this spring.

Demonslayer’s power connects him with someone else’s mind and lets him talk to them. He can also, as in the case of the middle schooler, search their memories himself if he’s not getting the responses he wants.

It’s this sense of purpose beyond helping people in a wholly gentle, selfless way that makes Joshua such an intriguing character. We’re not meeting him in his prime, at his most patient or forgiving. He’s tired and jaded. But a conflicted character makes a great place to start a series.

If you still need to check out serial #1, visit the Demonslayer page and grab it for FREE where you most like to download books. (To join the effort to make it free on Amazon, click here with my gratitude.) Already acquainted with the series? Tell me what you like or don't like about how Joshua handles life.

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