This final book was really hard for me to write. Next time I write a series, I plan to write it out completely, the entire thing, before releasing any of the books. Then I’ll be able to write for me and worry less about what might disappoint readers. Don’t get me wrong, my readers are beyond important to me. I may have continued this series without you, but knowing you’re out there, waiting for the books, makes it way more fun. I’m so grateful to you all for reading my books, for reviewing my books, for sharing my books, and for being with me during events like my cover reveals.
A third book, I think, will always be difficult to write, because there’s so much to remember from the first two books. Even though I wrote them, I don’t always remember all the details. Also, I always know where I want the characters to end up and I even know some of the major plot points, but getting them there is the challenge. I so badly wanted everything to come together flawlessly.
For me, a new author and publisher, who is in charge of marketing and everything else–and not always finding the success I hope for– I had to decide where my books fit in with all the other books out there. I had to do some soul searching. Initially, I’d marketed my books as paranormal, urban fantasy, and paranormal romance. But as time went on after I first released When Ash Rains Down, I entered it under the categories of Christian Fantasy.
While I write for a secular audience, I write from a Christian worldview. This was an especially important decision because I write about angels, demons, Heaven, and Hell. Raised as a Catholic, and as a Catholic first grade teacher, I wanted to hold true to my faith with the words I wrote and the stories I told even if they weren’t evident to my secular readers. It was important, and sometimes stressful for me.
Over the course of the past year, I read in various places online (via bloggers, readers, publishers, reviewers, etc.) that many Christians disapprove of angel fantasy in which angels are portrayed as non-biblical. No romance. No human-angel romance. No demons that can be redeemed. Etc.
This posed a problem for me as I wrote this book because I didn’t want Christian readers to disapprove of my books. I had to really think about what I was writing, why I was writing it, and then do what I believed was right for my books and my readers, Christians and non.
I found this site’s definition of Christian Fantasy:
http://bestfantasybooks.com/christian-fantasy.html and it helped me to define my stories and my place in a world of books.
I feel that Julia and Legion and Nicholas and Cole may be angels, humans, and/or demons, but not entirely. And the story explains the fantastical elements of these characters and so I hope their arcs will satisfy all readers and leave no one shaking their head.
Also, I enjoy reading books with romance, so even though my story has angels and humans and demons, I feel I stayed true to my faith, but also true to the reader in me and the readers who will spend time inside my stories. So… there’s romance and between more than just one couple.
That said… I am happy with where everyone ended up at the end of When Fire Rains Down and I hope you will be too!
What I want readers to come away with after reading my series is this: Angels are real, and so are demons.
When writing the series, I wanted readers to consider, for at least a moment, that while they are sitting reading my stories there are angels around them fighting for the safety of their souls that very moment. And I wanted readers to consider that death isn’t the end. Souls are eternal. I wanted readers to consider living their earthly life for their eternal one, in a way that would ensure a happily ever after for an eternity.
Anyway, I’m shy and introverted and keep to myself probably too much, so opening up like this is not easy for me. But, that’s my confession. I’m awaiting final feedback from my editor, betas, and final eyes’ readers. Then, after a final round of edits, my book will be ready to go! I’m excited, nervous, and relieved that you’ll be able to read the end of Julia’s story in just 17 days.