[The following blog post is by Linda Poitevin, whose books I was supposed to review for the Sins of the Lost Blog Tour. They haven’t come in the mail yet, but what Linda has to say about world-building is truly a fascinating read.]
Many writers of fantasy/urban fantasy pull from existing mythology as a basis for their stories. By giving an oft-told story a fresh twist, a writer can create a whole new world; make us see things in a whole new light. But when an author decides to rewrite Christian angel mythology, she can find herself treading a fine line between “fresh” and “blasphemous”…at least, according to her Catholic-raised husband. 😉
The Grigori Legacy series started out innocently enough, intended to be a single-title paranormal romance involving a female homicide detective and the really hot angel sent by heaven to protect her from a fallen angel. But in my search for motivation (why was the fallen angel after her?) and conflict (what was keeping the detective from falling in love with her protector?), I began uncovering a veritable treasure trove of new-to-me angel mythology: Lucifer as God’s best-loved angel before he fell; a half-human, half angel race known as the Nephilim; a choir of angels (the Grigori) whose purpose was to watch humanity but not interfere with it; and much, much more.
My writer’s “what-if” process couldn’t help but be triggered.
One of those what-ifs became a true game-changer. Lucifer had fallen from grace because of his jealousy of humankind, but what if, I wondered, God was a woman…and Lucifer’s love for her hadn’t been as simple as the love of an angel for a deity? The implications—and the possibilities resulting from those implications—were mind-boggling. (This would have also been the first accusation of blasphemy from my husband…but he’s since come around. J )
Once I’d embraced the idea of twisting some rather beloved mythology to suit my own nefarious needs, other pieces of a much greater story arc began to fall into place. A war between heaven and hell that had been ended by a peace pact; the inevitable demise of that accord; angels whose free will had been taken from them for their own protection; angelic hunters of the fallen ones who walked among mortals; the impact on humanity made by descendants of the Nephilim; even a “second coming” of sorts.
Some of my ideas gave me a moment’s pause, I must admit…particularly when it came to a certain event in Sins of the Lost. I was—and continue to be—hyper aware that I’m working with material that is regarded very seriously by some. Ultimately, however, it comes down to the fact that, whatever the mythology behind them, the Grigori Legacy books are works of fiction…
Although I still totally think God could be a woman. 😉
Linda Poitevin was born and raised in B.C., Canada’s westernmost province. Growing up in an era when writing was “a nice hobby, dear, but what are you going to do for a living?”, Linda worked at a variety of secretarial jobs before applying to be a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Due to an error in measurement, however, she was turned down when she didn’t meet the height requirement of that time. Undeterred, Linda became a civilian member in the force and was a dispatcher for two and a half years, during which time she met her husband, a police officer.
Following their transfer to Ottawa, Linda went on to become a real estate agent and then a human resources consultant before starting a family. She remained a stay-at-home mom, homeschooled her youngest daughter for nine years and, now that she has realized writing can be more than a nice hobby, she continues to live her dream of being a cop vicariously through her characters.
Linda currently lives near Ottawa with her husband, youngest of three daughters, one very large husky/shepherd/Great Dane-cross dog, two cats, a rabbit, and a bearded dragon lizard. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found in her garden or walking her dog along the river or through the woods.