Happy New Year! January 1st is such a day of hopes and dreams, and I hope that some of yours come into reality this year. Of course, they might need a little helping along – I don’t think you ought to wait for them, I think you should chase after… with a club if necessary!
Personally, I’m starting 2014 as I mean to go on – celebrating an imminent release. After nearly two years in drafts and endless edits, ARCHANGEL comes out Monday 6th January.
I didn’t set out to write a story about angels. It was March 31st, 2012 and the Twitterverse was buzzing about ScriptFrenzy, a month-long challenge hosted by the same people that bring the world NaNoWriMo every November (ScriptFrenzy no longer runs, but has been replaced by Camp NaNo). I’d no idea. None. Okay, well the vaguest inclination to write an urban fantasy with a “different” kind of supernatural element, but nothing concrete.
Vampires? Done that. Wolves? Done to death. Ghosts? Meh. Angels? Hmm, wait.
There’s an NCIS: LA episode called “Archangel”. It’s not about angels. At all. It does, however, feature my TV crush, so I’d seen it. Fairly recently, in fact. He played a mercenary and my brain started down the “what if” rabbit hole. I didn’t want a hero. Heroes are dull. But an antihero? With an attitude and a tendency to shoot first and ask questions later? That I wanted. And so Gabriel Kemp was born.
Gabe is probably the least angelic angel you can imagine. A tough upbringing made him into a tough human being, and getting divine powers doesn’t change that. He’s a crook skimming through life with little interest in it. Responsibilities are something to avoid, problems are things to be shot. He’s no belief in heaven or hell, or even himself.
Most of that came from my own determination to write something other. Angels are usually pure and powerful, messengers of love and peace. Tidings of great joy and all that. Of the words I found to apply to angels, only one stuck for Gabe – protective. That realisation amused me so much, I used it to create the logline.
Patient. Merciful. Protective… One out of three ain’t bad.
That’s not just descriptive of Gabe, but of his attitude. Although he has no faith, he’s not without hope. He’s not quite as carefree as he pretends, but there is something transient about his soul. He’s looking for a place to be, and someone who’ll accept him as he is.
I think, to a large degree, that can be said of a lot of us.
It took me just twenty days to write the rough draft of ARCHANGEL and it was a wild ride. Most of the time I’d literally no idea what my next sentence was going to be. I wrote in first person and simply surrendered the reins to Gabe. He became very, very real and is still a character I love to death.
That’s probably down to the person I wrote the script for. I’d a very definite idea of who should play Gabe, and the story is largely a love letter to him. I even approached him for the cover, but costs proved to be prohibitive. Instead he gets the dedication.
Misa Buckley is a sci fi geek who escapes the crazy of raising five children by creating imaginary characters who experience adventure, romance and really hot sex on their way to a happily-ever-after. You can keep up to date with Misa’s latest news by following her on Twitter or at her website.