Why I Write About Angels
Updated: Feb 20, 2020
Hello! And Happy All Angels Day!
Yes, you heard right! Today, September 29, is All Angels Day. So, of course I have to acknowledge and celebrate this day because the angels are my muses after all.
For those of you that don't know, I recently finished writing a novel that features angels and revolves around their history and lore. As a result, a lot of people ask me, "Why angels?" And I thought today was the perfect day to answer this question.
Ever since I was little, I always had a fascination with angels. I can't pinpoint one precise moment or incident that began this fascination, it just was always there. If anything, the Archangels were the ones who stirred my curiosity (when I was growing up, I went to church every Sunday, so I was easily introduced to them, especially Michael and Gabriel).
It wasn't until I became a little older that I really started to think about their purpose and how symbolical it was. I mean, they're guardians, protectors, defenders against evil for all humankind. In a way, they were the Avengers before the Avengers even became a thing.
During this time, I started to imagine them as characters in a story, based on the simple question: "What if angels lived amongst us?" Granted, I was only in middle school when I started thinking this way, therefore my initial idea was to depict them as some reincarnated forces in high school. But then I was introduced to the other side of their story, the one that involved a war in Heaven and a fall from grace. Once I discovered this, I knew there was far more potential in using the angels as characters beyond portraying them as mere reincarnated forces.
Subsequently, the what if question developed into: "What if the Archangels themselves lived amongst us? What if they had assimilated into our society, and were merely just ready and waiting for the precise time to act against greater forces of evil?"
And that is really what started my journey. The next stage was research, which commenced during high school. I wanted to know everything I could about angels, which is why I have several angel books and encyclopedias on my bookshelves today. The end of this phase was an early form of a book that I hope to one day recreate as a companion to my trilogy of novels.
After high school, the final phase of my angel musings began in college, and this period was what I would consider the most important years. I studied religion during my undergrad which was imperative to my research since I learned so many new things. The biggest revelation was that angels, or beings similar to them, appear in almost every religion. This intrigued me because it meant angels were universal. For this reason, I knew that I wanted my angel characters to represent all races and ethnicities to authentically reflect the diversity of the various faiths they appear in.
Another component to my research was a course I took during my undergrad called The Bible as Literature, where I literally had the opportunity to read and analyze the Bible as a literary work. This was an eye-opening experience for me, as it made me start to think critically and question what was really written on the page. It also opened my mind to multiple meanings and interpretations, as our class discussions showed the varied perceptions everyone had about the same text.
The finishing touch was my undergrad thesis, which I have talked about before in another blog post. Yet, this paper was the culmination of years of research, as I was finally able to write about angels and articulate my ideas about certain angel-related themes. My schoolwork became my foundation of ideas, which allowed my imagination to explore all sorts of possible plot points and storylines. However, my mind was being shaped by other portrayals of angels in pop culture and entertainment too.
Between these two external forces, I quickly realized I wanted to write a story featuring angels, presenting them in a way that mass media did not—as a group of protectors and beings of good who must combat evil rather than pitting them against each other and giving them evil intentions. Once I finished my studies, the need to bring their story to fruition was stronger than ever before since I realized angels had their own mythology, one that the general public is perhaps not as familiar with.
To boil all this down into a simple statement, I write about angels because I believe their tales still contain so much untapped story material that no one has ever read before. I write about angels because they are what speak to me. There is a popular phrase within the writing community: "Write the story you want to read." All I can say is I write about angels because their story is one that I want to read.