Today, I’m going to talk about the inspiration behind The Warrior Prophet. Because it’s the third and final book in The Watcher saga, I can’t talk about what inspired one without a little background on the others.
Inspiration for the series came from an idea I had for a story almost a decade ago about a boy who wakes up to discover he’s an angel. But telling it from his perspective seemed too much like a Spiderman tale, and though Spiderman is a great story, it’s not the one I wanted to tell. So it wasn’t until the character of Mia came to me, a girl whom he’d loved in a past life and had to face now in order to recover from his own past, did their story come to life.
After writing The Watcher, I didn’t know at first if I’d be able to write a sequel, but when my publisher suggested one, I knew right away what I would do for the third book: a journey through Hell. But I had to give Mia a reason to go, so The Angel Killer grew from that.
The Warrior Prophet takes Mia and the reader on a journey through Hell. Inspiration came from many places. I’d studied meditation and metaphysics for years and know that negative thoughts and actions affect not only our mood, but it can seem to ensnare us into patterns in our lives. I wanted to look at that in an archetypal way. What if demons were responsible for those negative thoughts? What would the world look like if they were here? I liked the idea of the world looking pretty much the way it does now, but with an overlay that only few can see, like Mia who’s a prophet.
The journey through hell had its own inspiration. I was a big fan of Milton’s Paradise Lost. I loved the epic good versus evil theme, the descriptions of hell. I also like the idea that there were many layers of hell, as Dante had in the Inferno. Thirdly, ever since I’d watched the movie What Dreams May Come I wondered about the idea of hell being subjective. After all, life is subjective. What if the afterlife were too?
If hell were subjective, then Mia might see a very different version of it and might get lost. This isn’t Wonderland. She’d make no friends in hell. In order to survive the trip, she’d need a guide. And from there, I knew that the guide needed to be unreliable, the way that Gollum was to Frodo in the Lord of the Rings.
I’m not much of a planner, but for The Warrior Prophet, I planned elements and characters. And from there, the pieces came together and the story came to life as I wrote it. As dark and scary as some of the places were, it was the most fun I’ve had writing a novel. I only hope it’s as much fun for the reader as it was for me to write.