Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays from L.A. Weatherly

Book Nerd Holiday 

I write about angels, but probably not the kind symbolized on top of your Christmas tree. The angel on your tree is kind, giving, protective: a heavenly creature sent to help and guide humanity. In stark contrast, the angels in my YA series Angel are creatures from another dimension who feed from human energy, leaving death and destruction in their wake.

Sometimes I’ll see reviews of the series that express dismay at this idea, and I can understand these people’s feelings. Turning the popular concept of angels upside-down is different from doing the same thing with vampires, werewolves or any of the other well-known critters that populate YA dark romance. After all, not too many people really think that Dracula and the Wolfman are prowling their city’s streets … but millions do believe in angels. A story that portrays angels as evil and calculating jars tremendously with the common perception, which of course is partly what makes it a good story – but it’s also what makes it unpalatable for some people.

I’m often asked whether I believe in angels myself. I genuinely don’t know. What I do know is that although I’m not a religious person, I’ve often felt a strong ‘presence’ in my life – particularly when it comes to my writing. If there really are angels who are somehow guiding and helping us, then for me this is where they make their presence known the most. They’re the sudden creative flash that comes from nowhere; they’re the soft whisper that almost seems to be dictating the words as my fingers fly across the keys. As I write, I often find myself murmuring ‘Thanks, guys’ – and so I suppose at my deepest level I’d have to say that yes, I do believe.

I know that some readers feel uncomfortable with how my series portrays angels, and I completely respect their opinion. However, for what it’s worth, my own feeling is that if there really are angels, then they’re not only beings of immense love and wisdom, but they must also have a sense of humour. Try as I might, I can’t imagine such glorious creatures feeling threatened by my fictional portrayal of them. Mild amusement, perhaps, and maybe even satisfaction, because who knows – my books just might get people talking about angels a little bit more, and then looking at their own beliefs and finding something new there.

Personally, I’ve realised that angels aren’t limited to being winged, otherworldly beings. Ultimately, they are the divine in all of us – which means that we can all be angels to each other, even without realising it sometimes. The smallest act of kindness can send waves of positive effect through someone’s life.

So this holiday season, may we all be surrounded by angels, both human and celestial … but definitely not the kind that I write about!

Happy Holidays!
- L. A. Weatherly


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