J.D. Belcher’s novel, “The Inescapable Consequence” (Yorkshire Publishing), immediately scores a spot in the paranormal universe, so favored by the likes of author Stephen King.
Scheduled for release Apr. 23, it has an array of intriguing characters and a mind-blowing series of events.
Its main characters, Cashe and Kia, deal with everything from eerie visions to mind-altering moments with the antagonist Azazel.
We spoke to the book’s author J. D. Belcher about his work.
NYI: Tell us a bit about your background and what led to the creation of “The Inescapable Consequence?“
Belcher: I usually don’t jump on the quote bandwagon, but the late Toni Morrison said, “If there is a book you want to read, but it hasn’t been written, you must be the one to write it.”
It so applies to the developmental stages of “The Inescapable Consequence.” Great stories, in my opinion, are about normal people placed in extraordinary circumstances. That’s what I attempted to do with Cashe, the protagonist of the novel.
I had four main ideas which I wanted to work into the novel: race and ethnicity—the notion of a “heroic mulatto,”—marriage and divorce, and the main character having a spiritual awakening experience, which segues into both the antagonist “Azazel” and mass shootings in our contemporary society.
The idea of creating a heroic mulatto as opposed to a tragic mulatto as a literary trope was not easy to do. Historically speaking, the United States is a hodgepodge of people from different nations and cultures, but it’s built upon the foundation of a white and black system.
Recently, we have had an influx of migrants that aren’t just from European or Asian countries, but due to war and economic conditions, lots of people from Central and South America, the Middle East, India and even North Africa have been arriving.
That along with the uptick in interracial marriages has metamorphized into a generation of people who don’t necessarily fit into that system. Every ten years, the census seems to redefine the criteria going back to when it was first implemented.
So, I wanted to tell the story of a character who deals with that confusion at its truest form, which in my opinion is the American mulatto. How I chose to do that was through a marriage relationship with a character who basically wakes up one morning, looks in the mirror and realizes that he doesn’t necessarily look like a Nordic Viking, nor does he look like a Zulu warrior, and then asks himself, ‘What is this all about?'”
I’ve been married and divorced twice. They both left. I had a really difficult time understanding why they chose to do that, when in my mind I hadn’t done anything wrong. I grew up in the church, understood the Atonement, had memorized New Testament verses, but never really read the entire bible.
I wanted to find out if this had ever happened to people in the scriptures, you know, if anyone’s wife had just gotten up and left. Suddenly, I realized that it had happened before, and even mentioned who was responsible.
That led to the antagonist of the novel—Azazel, one of the Grigori, a group of angels who left their rightful place in heaven, according to the Book of Enoch, came to earth and slept with women who gave birth to a race of giants.
I also wanted to address the idea of the spiritual awakening in the novel, which I define as when “An individual suddenly and unexpectedly becomes aware of the spiritual activity which surrounds them.”
Lastly, I desired to focus on the phenomenon in America that we call the mass shooting, something which not only occurred in my generation, but surprisingly to a magnified degree, in the generation after me. I remember when President Barrack Obama basically said that nowhere else in the world does it happen on the scale and frequency as it does here, and that really stuck with me. So, as I began to consider that, I wondered what could be behind it?
I could never see myself doing something like that, but what, I thought, would have to happen for me personally to flip out like and start killing people?
I wanted to put it into the novel by creating a character who experienced that transformation. Hopefully, it starts a deeper dialog about the phenomenon because to this day it’s still so taboo to talk about.
NYI: The characters are so richly drawn; are they based on real-life people?
Belcher: Some of the characters are inspired by real-life people. Like most writers, in my younger days, I spent a lot of time and late nights in coffee shops writing. But when I wasn’t making enough money to support my starving artist lifestyle, I worked in pizza shops in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Washington DC and Cleveland.
I got the chance to meet some great folks, both American and people and families from all over the world—Greece, Russia, Turkey, South America. I crafted a lot of what I learned during that time into novel.
NYI: The paranormal aspects of the book are just sensational; Stephen King will love this book. What drew you to this genre?
Belcher: Before I ever thought about writing, I had a love of reading. My mother bought this Encyclopedia Britannica set for me and my brothers when I was younger, and I read every one of them. I liked to read Encyclopedia Brown mystery books, choose your own story books, the Hardy boys, all that stuff.
But my love of paranormal stories first came from my grandmother, who gave me these supernatural Christian novels, stuff like C.S. Lewis’ “The Screwtape Letters” and “He Came to Set the Captives Free” by Dr. Rebecca Brown, that talked about spiritual warfare, demonic activity, witches and things of similar nature.
I remember she also gave me a book called “Mysteries of the Unknown,” it was like a little encyclopedia that talked about UFOs, Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster. But what really was a turning point as far as paranormal literature is concerned, is when my father gave me a book. It was the first and last time he ever gave me one.
He said, “You’ve got to read this. This, is a really good book.” It was Stephen King’s The Talisman. To this day, he’s been my favorite novelist. I’ve learned a lot by studying his craft of presenting the supernatural.
FYI: “Hades’ Melody” was your last book; give us a look at that book?
Belcher: “Hades’ Melody” is my first novel, a memoir. It’s a coming-of-age story about the summer of 2001, just before the 911 attacks when I had my own personal “spiritual awakening” experience. That summer was beyond odd for me and when it was over, I knew I had my first book. It was probably the hardest and longest project I’ve ever worked on in my entire life.
NYI: “The Inescapable Consequence” looks destined to be a movie; who should direct it?
Belcher: I’ve thought about that a lot. Honestly, it would be a toss-up between James Wan, the director of the “Insidious” films, or M. Night Shyamalan, who directed “The Visit” and “The Village.” I think they’re both pretty awesome.
NYI: The book I out on April 23 via Yorkshire Publishing, how did you hook up with them?
Belcher: There were a lot of bizarre things surrounding “Hades’ Melody,” I mean epic events were happening during the early stages and during the publication process. It was like the gods were against that book coming out.
My first wife left and around the same time, my publisher (RoseDog Books) abruptly ended the contract. When it was republished by Tate Publishing in Oklahoma City, there was like one of the worst tornado outbreaks in history to ever come to that city.
I think it hit downtown and some of the people who worked at Tate lost their homes. Then, also close to that time, Jovan Belcher, (my name is Jovon Belcher) a linebacker from KC Chiefs committed suicide in front of his coach in the parking lot of the stadium, which was scary.
Just crazy stuff—I think a meteor landed in Russia around that time. After that, Tate Publishing went out of business six months into my contract, they arrested the CEO’s for corruption or something, and again, I was no longer a published author.
When that fiasco was over with, Tate started matching up their former authors with other publishers, and that’s how I hooked up with Yorkshire. They republished “Hades’ Melody” and released “The Inescapable Consequence.”
I’ve been having a great experience with them. Yorkshire Publishing is based out of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Right after I signed with them, the entire city experienced unprecedented flooding, and I said to myself, “Oh my God, here we go again.” Thankfully, they weren’t affected, but it was a very close call.