“Angels That Dare to Be Different”
The various interpretations of angels in fiction have been extremely fun to read. In fact, I was one of the readers most excited when the ‘winged ones’ came along and gave the ‘fanged ones’ a run for their money. Although I’m a fan of the ‘fallen’ in the YA world, I always wanted my angels to be different – something new and special that hadn’t been seen before. Enter, Emily & Matt.
Knowing that this ‘appearance’ on this fantastic site is the conclusion of the blog tour, I’m filled with everything from honor to humility to excitement for all the amazing bloggers and readers who accepted the angel/warrior team into their lives. So when I was asked to talk about how this particular ‘angelic interpretation’ came along, I wanted to make sure that I absolutely summed up The Angel Chronicles as best I could. (Before I come along to bother you all with Book II J)
Angels are one of the most difficult paranormal characters to write – simply because of what agents and publishers refer to as, “religious overtones.” For quite a long time angels were frowned upon, because the literary world believed that readers wouldn’t accept anything that had to do with divinity. I was younger when I wrote this book so that particular view upset me, for the simple fact that Emily and Matt are not about religion.
My angel/warrior team came from a dream (I know, it sounds hokey but it’s true). I ‘found them’ at a time when I thought that all of that stuff – ‘up there’ – was a load of bunk. I was thirteen, I had had enough, and my grandfather had been taken away from me. Matt, a teenager who came from an extraordinary place, appeared in my world, and it had nothing to do with ‘who’ he believed in or ‘where’ he came from; in fact, I always met Matt in a library that looked like the NYPL…only a little sunnier.
Matt was a boy who really wanted a chance to live, love, fight, and have fun with it all. And when I decided to write his lives, I really didn’t want to place him in the ‘accepted’ place in literature; I wanted him to be like any other teen who does have a home with a family who loves him. Yes, the home has more cool magical stuff in it, but it’s still home.
I even thought that the names Michael and Gabriel should be changed to Frank and Jesse, if it made people feel better. Because the book, itself, is just about two teenagers – not about some political argument. You see, the training pit was cool; the Lightning Room was awesome; the brothers and friends who play cards, race horses, and have fun – all of this had to be there. I wanted them to be in period costumes and have a sense of humor, and I thought that taking these fantastical factors away in order to be ‘accepted’ was wrong. So Emily and Matt received the home I saw in my imagination – with that incredible library being the number one place they went to when they needed a bit of ‘alone time.’
Emily needed to be strong and, like her author, got more than a bit confused and mad at this supposedly ‘great world’ when she experienced the heartache, pain, and power of love and loss. I truly believed that it would be interesting for one of the main characters to have the hardest time believing in anything.
Matt – well…Matt’s that guy who wants to be the hero and just enjoy life. But he has no idea that fun and freedom come with a cost, until he’s faced with losing a love he never even thought he had.
In the end, the world of Emily & Matt had to be different. It had to really show the fact that these were two very normal teenagers who faced very normal problems – they just had abilities that helped AND got in the way when all was said and done. For each adventure this angel/warrior team will find themselves up against bad guys, hard decisions, humor and confusion, as they desperately try to make sure they keep each other in the process. Love does bloom, but this, again, is no ordinary love triangle. No one is perfect – that’s impossible. So readers will soon see even more ‘out-of-the-box’ twists where Emily’s heart is concerned. And, hopefully, they’ll continue to love this new world where anything can, and does happen.
Until Next Time, Everybody!