Inkpop Blog

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Posted by inkpopbecki on December 8, 2010

Heather Terrell, author of the new Fallen Angel series, had an unlikely trajectory into publishing. So how does one go from being an ordinary lawyer by day to creating scoping mythologies for a three book young adult series? We caught up with Heather to get her story. If you want to know what it takes to write complex series full of original mythology or history, join us for our live chat with Heather Terrell today at 5 p.m. EST on the inkpop forum events.

How does you go from being a lawyer to becoming a novelist?
Not easily!!  While I was practicing law in a large New York City law firm, I dreamed about having some fantastical job unraveling the larger mysteries of time as an archaeologist or explorer or historian, and I even continued to take classes in those fields.  But then, I tried my hand at writing.  While drafting my first book, a historical novel called The Chrysalis, I reached a moment of clarity.  I realized that what truly intrigued me was the notion that I could answer monumental historical mysteries and uncover the truths lurking in legend and myth – through fiction.  So, I plugged away at that first novel for almost ten years!!  When I finally mustered up the courage to show the book to someone, I was fortunate enough to get a literary agent and a book contract . . . and, with a lot of time and effort, the opportunity to keep exploring those historical mysteries through writing.  Especially my new series, Fallen Angel!

Fallen Angel offers a new mythology around fallen angels. How did you come up with this new narrative? What does it take to create a mythology?
Fallen Angel tackles one of those big unanswered mysteries – do vampires really exist?  While I was researching my third historical novel, called Brigid of Kildare. I learned about a little-known, ancient Biblical text, called the Book of Enoch.  That text describes how – at the beginning of time – God sent angels to help mankind, but instead, the angels fell in love with humans and had children with them, half-men and half-angels called Nephilim.  According to the Book of Enoch, God was so furious that he banished the angels to earth until the end of time when the “Elect One” would come to judge.  The Book of Enoch got me thinking.  What if these banished angels – fallen angels – really did walk the earth, and what if their presence explained the legend of the vampire?  The link between the legends of fallen angels and vampires was born, in my mind anyway.  And from that link sprung the Fallen Angel tale of Ellie and Michael and the end of time.  Now, the creation of a full-blown mythology around this link was another matter; it took quite a bit of time and planning.  I had to think through every nuance of that new world – from Ellie and Michael’s powers, to the nature of the prophecy, to the limitations of their enemies, among many things.  But, I relished creating the mythology and that Fallen Angel world.

What does it take to write a series? How much of Fallen Angel has already been planned? How does each decision made in each novel affect the next?
Fallen Angel is a multi-layered story.  On one level, it tells the tale of Ellie and Michael – two otherworldly teens who experience an instant connection and set off in search of exactly who, or what, they are.  On another level, it takes Ellie and Michael on a dramatic, dangerous ride as they find themselves center stage in an ancient battle between good and evil, a conflict that may divide them. Because of its very nature, Fallen Angel lent itself to a series format, and fairly readily, I was able to divide the story into the first book

in the series, Fallen Angel, and the second, Eternity.  That said, I had to carefully parcel out and plan the story, so that each tale revealed itself in the proper time and place.  And, I quietly (almost secretly) left the door open in Eternity for a final resolution of Ellie and Michael’s conflict . . . but that will depend on the readers!!

Want to ask Heather a question yourself? Join us for our live chat with Heather Terrell today at 5 p.m. EST on the inkpop forum events.

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