Angels have been featured in stories, poems, and art since they were first featured in the Old Testament millennia ago. Now, there’s hundreds of books on the shelves that feature angels. When I first wrote The Watcher in 2009, everyone was still talking about Twilight and vampires. I wanted to write about a different archetype. Then Hush,Hush and Fallen came out, and I started to see books about angels taking flight. Yet I was still a new writer, and my book wasn’t ready.
In fact, when I was shopping The Watcher a year later, I was told to give up and write about something else because the angel trend was already over.
But I just couldn’t give them up. Something about angels fascinated me, and many other people seemed to feel the same, given the number of books and stories about them.
The world of angels is as varied as that of vampires, if not more so. Sure they have some things in common. But what I’ve been seeing a lot of in stories these days is angels being made secular, and sometimes frightening.
Let’s start with TV. I’m a huge fan of Supernatural, and I love Castiel. But in that world, the angels were soldiers first, and God was absent. I believe this was done to make these awesome beings accessible to people without covering them in religious dogma.
Then there’s Doctor Who and the weeping angels in the episode Blink. In this show, angels are terrifying creatures who will attack in the blink of an eye.
In movies, angels are almost always dark. We have Gabriel in the movie Constantine, who went insane. The only force for good is John Constantine himself–who’s a troubled character to say the least. In Legion, the angel Michael (played by Paul Bettany) was a cold-hearted soldier. Yet he was still the good guy, because the other angels were completely creepy, almost insect-like.
And then we have fiction. In adult romances, they have usually turned their back on God because sex is a sin and some personify the twisted or overindulgence that can occur as a result of opression.
In Young Adult fiction, it’s less about sex and more about violence. In Daughter of Smoke and Bone, the seraphim are beautiful but heartless soldiers. In Hush, Hush, Patch starts off as a killer out to murder Nora, the main character.
None of them have grace or glory, or anything spiritual about them. They are godless.
I am not a religious person, but I am spiritual. I meditate and believe in energy and metaphysics, because I’ve had first-hand experience with it. I believe in reincarnation and a soul and the soul’s journey.
I don’t think angels are only Christian. In fact, angels appear in the old testament and in the Qu’ran. They touch into three religions. There were winged gods worshipped by pagans long before that.
My conceptualization of angels is a bit different. I believe in divine intervention, in spiritual guides or aids that serve humanity. I don’t believe they are inhibited by the dogma of a single religion. Just like I don’t believe God/Source/Higher consciousness/the Divine is limited by one religion.
What if there’s a truth at the base of everything? And it’s simply about energy? What if angels had their own rules and were soldiers against evil? What if they worked for a heavenly force that possibly had its own set of rules, and yet was based on kindness and love? Would they be cruel? Heartless? Tough?
What I’ve done is taken the new age idea of spirituality, brought in angels, and combined it with the idea of a soldier and came up with the idea of spiritual warriors.
The Watcher may not connect with all readers. It’s not meant to. It’s meant to connect with those who are seeking an understanding of things perhaps a little beyond the norm; those who maybe have intuition themselves and believe in past lives, reincarnation, and the soul’s journey; those who perhaps know there’s more to human potential than meets the eye; or those who seek redemption on some level for their past.
Some people might find that irritating, and I understand. I’m attempting to write about love of a higher form than simply human love. I realize my book isn’t perfect, for no book is, but I truly hope it touches on something inside each and every one of us, a love that speaks of human potential itself.