Today, I'd like to welcome Jessica Shirvington, the author of Embrace to my blog. Jessica is here to talk about what she found in her research about angels and how she adapted her angel mythology to make it unique.
I love delving into old tales and finding loopholes or differences of opinion that offer new story possibilities. When I started writing EMBRACE, I knew from an early stage that I wanted to explore the many tales about angels, but in my own way. There is so much I could discuss, but today I would love to tell you a little more about how I used the concepts of free will from mythology.
The idea for EMBRACE stemmed from a desire to write a story that explored free will vs. predetermined destiny and if the two may in fact work together. So often humanity are defined by our free will - by the choices we make and the consequences that we suffer and inflict on others. The questions I asked were - If angels play a role in the function of the universe but are not making and enforcing decisions that direct our lives towards a predetermined fate - then what do they actually do? I decided it would be interesting to consider that they could be providing the options - for every choice one option is better than the other. Sometimes we take the better option - sometimes we do not. And then, for every angel that was there to offer the ‘good’ option, must there not be one to offer the ‘bad’ one?
When I started to dig deeper - so much of the research agreed that angels must also have free will; they can choose to fall, have the ability to feel pride and envy. So what makes them serve the universe as they apparently do? Is it their profound knowledge or something else? And if they have free will, angels could not possibly be all-divine beings that do no wrong? It seemed more probable that whilst their function may define them and indeed control them - free will demanded they were not perfect.
This led to the development of the two categories of angels in EMBRACE: Angels Elect (the light) and Angels Malign (the dark). It has always seemed convenient in storytelling to simply have beautiful angels who want only good in contrast to the ugly demons who want only evil. Lucifer was described as an angel - but is it possible that he still is? Is it possible that he simply had a function and is fulfilling it? For the purposes of storytelling this seemed like a conflict rich subject.
In EMBRACE, there are no demons. Only angels. The story takes the viewpoint that angels equally provide both good and bad alternatives for us to choose from. It doesn’t make an angel elect a wholly good spirit, nor is an angel malign an evil entity - they simply follow the function (completely). Likewise, if angels are the administrators of the universe and control all things including weather and nature - then angels must be willing to provide a draught or hurricane just as much as perfect summer days. So it all fit together really well.
I loved working with this concept because it led to so many developments in the story. It allowed me to excuse my characters from the larger ‘God question’ - one I was not interested in drawing into the plot and it also allowed for a new approach - not so simple as good vs. evil but instead, a whole lot of grey.
Thanks for dropping by, Jessica!