BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Angels: The New Trend in UF? - Guest Post by Author Linda Poitevin

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 has been a stay-at-home mom ever since and has homeschooled her youngest daughter for the last nine years. 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, three daughters, one very large husky/shepherd/Great Dane-cross dog, two cats, three rabbits, 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.

In addition to her books, Linda also does freelance writing and editing. Information about her services can be found at Linda is a member of Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, Quebec Writers' Federation, Romance Writers of America, RWA Futuristic Fantasy Paranormal Chapter, and Ottawa Romance Writers' Association.

You can find her on Twitter and at her author website.

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If you Google “angels new trend in literature,” you get a host (no pun intended) of hits. Interestingly, several of them are directly related to the YA (young adult) audience. Even more interestingly, many of the links date back to 2009. It seems that people have been predicting that angels would take over as “the new vampires” for a good couple of years. But have they done so?

Browse the fantasy section of a bookstore and you’ll certainly find a number of angel-themed books, making it clear that authors are at least dabbling in this arena. At least in my local bookstore, however, the vampires and werefolk still heavily outweigh the heavenly. Heck, even the demons seem to be doing better. But why? If predictions of the growing popularity of angels track back two or more years, why haven’t they proved true yet? Why haven’t angels taken over the bookshelves the way vampires once did?

Some time ago, I read a blog/article (I really need to remember to bookmark these things <sigh>) that ventured the opinion that many fiction authors considered angel mythology to be a taboo subject—or at least tended to tiptoe around the idea. While angel mythologies appear in some form or another in nearly all religions around the world, the writer postulated, they figure prominently in the Christian faiths…and for many, there is a certain factor of uneasiness involved in writing about what is commonly seen as a symbol of Christianity (apparently, however, I have no such qualms, lol).  

Is the writer of that blog/article right? Maybe, maybe not. I can’t say for sure why the angel theme in fiction is underutilized, but I do think we as authors have barely begun to explore its potential. As for whether or not they’ll be the new vampires, you tell me…what do you think?


  1. I wonder if one of the reasons for the relative scarcity of angels compared to other supernatural creatures like vampires, werewolves, and demons, is the perception of their inherent purity.

    A lot of supernatural stories tend to have an element of romance, with a dash of eroticism whether subtle or overt. I think it's definitely more of a challenge to do that with angels (though very doable, as proven so deftly by Sins of the Angels!). I wonder if their traditional role as that pure guardian makes some writers turn to creatures more typically imagined romantically?

  2. You know, that's a good point. Angels, at least in Christian mythology, do tend to be associated with goodness and purity and that's not where fantasy is at these days, for the most part.

  3. I think that's hitting the proverbial nail on the head, Jayme. I suspect many people are uncomfortable with the idea of messing with such perceived purity and/or perfection. Even without the romantic element, SINS OF THE ANGELS doesn't shy away from the possibility of imperfections in heaven's inhabitants...and for me, it's those imperfections that open up a whole universe of possibilities. (And thank you SO much for your compliment about the book -- I'm thrilled that you liked it!) :)

  4. It was the imperfections and human-like qualities in the angels that really caught me. So much plotting and planning and deviousness! I loved that. :D

  5. Definitely! I love the idea of fallible, more human-like angels and other divine makes them so much relatable and sympathetic for the audience, I think.

    I think that was one of my favourite elements of Sins of the Angels, exploring the motivations and very relatable personalities of the various angels. They felt alien (from the human experience), hugely powerful, and "other", but were still easy to relate to and understand.

    I can see why some people might be uncomfortable with that, given their very traditional Christian mythology, but I think it's super interesting!

  6. I for one love Angels. I think it's time they got the recognition they deserve. I would love to see a hot sexy angel. Humans were created to create, I don't think 'God' is as much of a prude as religious organizations would have us believe. jmo. ;)

  7. Hmmm ... this is an interesting subject. As an individual with a Christian background, I have always been fascinated with angels. But my fascination has evolved with age. At first, as a small child, I saw them as protectors and perfection. Now that I am older, I have difficulty in accepting that any being, heavenly or not is capable of absolute perfection. If this were the case, there would be no demons to speak of. You know, Lucifer's fall and all that - at least according to what I have been taught since childhood.

    But my curiosity now extends to what these creatures would look like, what their purpose and responsibilities involve, how they would interact with us if earth-bound, and so forth. With the subject matter that I have read in many books, it seems ridiculous for a writer to think of angels as a taboo subject. But from a religious/offending perspective, I suppose I can understand the hesitation. But even with a Christian background, I would never be offended by a writer's interpretation of angels. I may not agree with the picture painted, but writing is an art. If you disagree vehemently, stop reading the book. Simple.

    For myself, I enjoy reading about angels and a writer's interpretation of them. I believe this is one of the draws I have to reading - not even limited to angels - the ability to assimilate and author's interpretation and create such a world within my own mind. It is an experience and escape like no other.

  8. When I was doing angelic research for my story, I found it interesting there was often conflicting information about angels, even regarding their holy/fallen designations. Are they infallible? Apparently not, if you consider the Grigori. And the subject of Nephilim seems a favorite theme in YA.

    Personally, I like my angels flawed. Then again, I also like pushing the proverbial envelope. :-)


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