The premise behind my novel Lord Foulgrin’s Letters is simple: Given demons’ insights into reality and their plot to deceive and destroy us—this is one conspiracy theory that’s right on target—wouldn’t it be a major coup for us to place a wiretap in hell’s war room? What if we could plant a bugging device where we could overhear our enemies assessing our weaknesses and strategizing how next to attack us?
This book took me by surprise. I have long been a fan of C.S. Lewis and have read several times his classic Screwtape Letters. But I had no intention of writing such a book myself. Then, over a period of a month in my own Bible study I kept reading the words of God and asking myself, what do demons want us to believe instead of this? By creating this contrast of truth and deception, I was amazed at how much clarity it brought to what God was actually saying. The next thing I knew I was writing out letters from one demon to another, in Screwtape style, and the book started to form.
Originally I thought it would it would be letters only, like Screwtape, but the more I considered it, the more powerful I thought it would be if the book had a full-fledged story line, with characters, setting and a sense of immediacy that would hook the reader and get him more in touch with the reality of spiritual warfare.
Certainly I didn’t want Lord Foulgrin’s Letters to encourage any sort of unhealthy preoccupation or fascination with the kingdom of darkness. Rather, in the sense that Ephesians 5:11 speaks of, my goal was to expose the darkness by shining light on it in a creative literary fashion. I wanted this book to be an instrument that conveys truth and serves as a wake-up call that makes us aware of the devil’s cunning and his strategies to destroy us and derail us.
Lord Foulgrin’s Letters isn’t necessarily dark, though it is very sobering at points. I wanted people to be challenged and contemplative, but also be able to smile because they’ve seen things in a very new way. There’s a satisfaction that comes from knowing you’ve heard the opposing coach sketch out his plays for the second half and you know what to expect, how to fight back and win.
My novel The Ishbane Conspiracy, which I wrote with my daughters Karina and Angie, is a spin-off from Lord Foulgrin’s Letters focusing on four young people, aged 18-21, who face demonic strategies to take them down.
The summer of 2000, before my daughters both got married, I thought it would be great if they weren’t working jobs that pulled the family apart. The book idea seemed a good way to do it. I asked them if they wanted to spend a summer writing a book with their dad. They said yes, and I’ll always be glad they did.
I can’t think of two people I could have worked with who would have been more qualified and skilled, both spiritually and artistically. We read and discussed books on fiction writing, brainstormed characters and plots, stimulated one another’s thinking, prayed together, had lots of fun, and shared the frustrations and mind-numbing hard work of disciplined writing.
For instance, Karina’s interests and expertise fit perfectly with the parts of the story line that she wrote with great insight. Angie wrote everything in hospitals, because she was studying to be a nurse. She subsequently worked for 15 years in a hospital emergency room. I wrote the letters between demons, since I find it easy to think like the devil. (Well, I’m joking, but maybe there’s truth in it too!)
Angela and Karina are true coauthors, not token ones. This is their book as much as it’s mine, and they have my deepest respect.
Over the years, our ministry has received much positive feedback from readers of Ishbane. In particular, we’ve received a remarkable number of letters from young women who’ve read the translation of the book in German. Here are a few of those responses:
“Dear Alcorns! I want to thank you for your wonderful book The Ishbane Conspiracy! …I’m so encouraged of this book. I get really aware of that there’s a sacred battle and that it’s always the best to fight for God’s truth! …Thank you for all the different and important topics you talk about in the story. I would like to have such a good influence on my friends as Jillian and Rob.”
“I’m a German Woman, and I read these books. Your books are fantastic and tell us a lot of the battle between the Lord and Satan. It’s a danger and most people don’t believe it.”
“I’m from Germany and I’ve read your book Die Akte Jillian. I’m so impressed from your great book. …It shows the future- the future in heaven. Christ’s [people don’t have to] be concerned or hopeless, because God knows everything and he know a solution to any problem. He’s promised that we [won’t] die because Jesus died for us. This book is …so nice book for young and old people because it shows solutions for the biggest problems.”
“I’m 19 and live in Switzerland. When I read the book I was surprised, happy, sad, overwhelmed and confused at the same time. The structure is very well made with this story that continues with enough of good tense and those letters which appear in every chapter. Many of the statements of the Christianity weren’t new for me but…I’ve learned to see things with another perspective.”
“I'm 13 years old and I am in the 7th class. I read your book Die Akte Jillian. It's great! My mother wants to read it too.”
”I bought few months ago the book Die Akte Jillian. I am on page 169 now. And this book is so great! I am so happy that I found a book that I like. I searched a lot. I thank God. I believe in God since more than one year and it was good that I choose His way. I want to write stories about God and people, too. To help other people to be strong in believe. But I have to wait a little bit to know more about Jesus and God.”
“Hello Mr. Alcorn, I am a fifteen year old girl and I live in Bavaria (Germany). I’m really very thrilled by this book. And I thank you for it very much.”