666 Mark of the Beast - Inspiration Board


How the story starts… 

I had to do a lot of research on how blowing up six cities all at the same time worked, and creating the most devastation I could ever imagine. 

Sometimes, as I was doing my research, I imagined hearing helicopters in the sky with bright, flashing lights and I thought, ‘OMG! this isn’t something I am ever really wanting to do. Don’t arrest me! I just want to tell a story and I need a good reason why people will be willing to accept getting a barcode tattooed on their bodies…’ 

Do you think it is believable? Could something like that really happen? 

The image below is where Lydia lives. 

It’s a small town called East Linton, East Lothian, Scotland. 

Full disclosure: I have never been here but it is amazing what you can learn from a place by doing a walk through with Google Maps, and searching Google Images. 

I do hope to someday go here for real, and see if it is like I imagine it to be. 

Besides, I’m not suddenly going to become a tour guide and describe every little detail, or take you from street to street and show you all the tourist attractions. That’s not the way I tell stories. Sometimes you have to use your own imagination to fill the gaps. 


I chose this place specifically when I saw all these images. Look at all those amazing places a person can hide in - that is (of course) if someone did not want a barcode and there is an army of people looking for dissident individuals. 

The image below is how I see Lydia’s mum (Cynthia) and dad (Bill). They say write what you know, and I do write what I know at least 60% of the time. 

When it comes to emotions and feelings, though, they are 100% me. 

So, *laughing out loud*, this is a photo of me and my husband. I don’t really have perfect eyebrows, but a girl can pretend. 

Just an FYI here. I seem to like the name Cynthia… I noticed I have another side character with the same name in another story, but it’s too late now to change it. Lydia’s mum will always be Cynthia to me - it’s in my head now. If I change it, I’ll keep getting it wrong. 

Below is how I see Jodie in my head. Now, this is not a love story by any means, and although Lydia has a crush on Jodie, it is never reciprocated… or is it? Jodie is Liam’s older brother. 

And this is what Liam looks like. A little edgy, and a little introverted. Spoiler alert! He does have a crush on Lydia. That beard does look very lush for a seventeen-year old but I looked it up and boys can have full beards from the age of fifteen. This was something new I had learned. 

Lydia looks like she does on the cover. 

The cover was designed and created by the amazing Sinead Ferreira who does commissions, and also does animation and character design. 
See those sad, green eyes. Yeah, I’d be sad too if I was her. (No more spoilers!) 

A recap of what the story is about: 

Disobedience means starvation. 

When six bombs shake six continents, six minutes apart killing millions of people, many believe it is the beginning of the end of the world. 

They are mistaken. 

World leaders decide the only way to keep the citizens of the world safe, is for everyone to have a bar code permanently imprinted on their foreheads. 

For many, bar coding means forsaking God and not being able to get into Heaven one day when the time comes, but disobedience means starvation. 

For seventeen-year-old Lydia, alone in this new world, a life worth living demands free will. 

  • YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Dystopian 

In case you missed it. Here is the teaser video: 


I’ve been fretting about 666 Mark of the Beast taking place in the real world, and that these young people are on their way to blow up a government building. The whole time as I am writing word after word, the thought stuck in the back of my head is: Do I really want to be seen as someone promoting extremism? 

So, I’ve decided to move the story off world, to a fictional universe. 

The story will remain unchanged, but the names of places will change. 

I will do a find and replace in my manuscript and then just like magic, the story will move from real life to a fictional place which will remain very much the same as Earth… but be different because the places will now all have weird names. 

You’ll be amused to know that I took all the real place names and fed them through an anagram site, so if you mix the letters around, you’ll find you’re still in the real life place. That’s quite deep, now that I think about it. 

666 Mark of The Beast is available now in eBook, Paperback and Hard Cover. Audio book coming soon. All the links you need are at 666 Mark of The Beast - Stephen Simpson


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