Paranormal Fans, I have a new Guest Post!
I just finished her book Lost Angels so I can be ready for her next installment. It’s a change from my favorite nighttime creatures, vampires, witches and werewolves.
Our guest writer is into Angeles and Demons. Who doesn’t need a little or maybe a lot both in your life?
Please welcome Loren Rhoads, author of Angelus Rose: As Above, So Below Book 2, to Paranormal Wednesday.
About Loren Rhoads
Loren Rhoads is the co-author of the As Above, So Below series with Brian Thomas. Her Lorelei stories have appeared in the books Sins of the Sirens and Demon Lovers. Recently, her other short stories have been published in Occult Detective Quarterly, Space & Time, Weirdbook, and Best New Horror #27. She’s the author of a space opera trilogy called In the Wake of the Templars and a nonfiction guide to 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die. Keep an eye on her at LorenRhoads.com.
Angelus Rose: As Above, So Below #2
by Loren Rhoads & Brian Thomas
If Romeo had wings and Juliet had a barbed tail, could they find happiness in the City of Angels?
After their escape from the ashes of Lost Angels, the succubus Lorelei and the angel Azaziel want nothing more than to enjoy each other’s company. Unfortunately, Asmodeus, the Demon Prince of LA, has threatened to devour Lorelei’s new-grown soul if she doesn’t bring about Azaziel’s downfall. Meanwhile, Aza is keeping secrets of his own that threaten the tenuous peace between Heaven and Hell.
Three archangels come to town to try to set things right, but friendships are fracturing. The demon in charge of fallen angels is sniffing around. And Los Angeles is about to catch fire between a devil and the deep blue sea.
Interview with Loren Rhoads
1. What inspired you to write a paranormal story?
I wanted to write about angels and devils: pretty much the original Romeo & Juliet story, right? I kept buying all these books about angel lore and demon myths…and it seemed to me that there was a lot of commonality between the two sides. Besides, I wanted to write my friend Brian a story for his birthday. An apartment building down the street from his home was named The Lorelei… That was a great starting point.
2. Has anything paranormal ever happened to you?
I actually saw something I consider to be an angel when I was in college. I had been having a really rough transition to living on my own for the first time. School was harder than I expected, there was a lot of aggressive sexism, and I was really overwhelmed. One night when some of my high school friends came to visit, I imbibed way too much. They wanted to go out to eat afterward, so I found myself freaking out in a public restroom in downtown Ann Arbor. When I finally got brave enough to come out of the stall, a creature made of stars was standing in front of the sinks. It was so beautiful, so full of love. It gazed at me and said, “You’re all right. You’ll be all right.” That didn’t become true immediately, but it helped immensely to hear it. In the end, I was all right.
3. What is your fascination with death, angels, and demons?
I love that there are spirit messengers in every tradition around the world. Sometimes they are terrifying, like the angels that chased Adam and Eve from the Garden. Sometimes they’re beautiful and sad, like the angels you find in Victorian graveyards. I saw the winged Assyrian angels in the British Museum and the Egyptian goddess Isis in the Rosicrucian Museum — and was inspired by how universal these figures are, how their values as good or evil are often defined by the culture that conquered them.
4. How was your publication experience?
It’s been a long road to seeing Angelus Rose published. I started the original short story in 1995. It was intended to stand alone, but after I thought the story was finished, Brian jumped in with chapters 2 and 3. We wrote and wrote and wrote until the novel was finally done in 1998. It was huge, over 600 manuscript pages.
When I started looking for a publisher, the length of that original novel was a problem. So I cut it in half — there was a natural climax about halfway through — and found a home for the first half at a small press. Black Bed Sheets published it in 2013 at As Above, So Below. Brian and I got the rights back a couple of years ago and that first book was republished as Lost Angels.
I thought it would be quick to make a book out of the second half, but that turned out to be much harder than I expected. All the characters had to be reintroduced — and there are a lot of them. In the end, I’m really pleased with how things turned out.
5. How did you develop your main character, Lorelei?
Lorelei was inspired by a woman I went to university with. She lit up every room she entered. Not only was she surprisingly pretty, she was really, really fun. Everyone loved her. She made a good template for a succubus.
6. Can you give me one of your ‘aha moments’? An Aha moment is when the meaning a life lesson, becomes clear to you (got it from Oprah).
I just had an Aha moment this week. I read that it isn’t the person who has the most things who is necessarily the happiest. It’s the person who needs the least. This book I’ve just finished is the process of Azaziel and Lorelei realizing what they need to be happy — and then gathering the courage to let all the rest go. It’s funny how these lessons appear right when they will resonate the best.
7. James Bond ordered a martini, shaken, not stirred. What’s your poison?
I like a well-made Old Fashioned. It needs to be made with bourbon and should come with a maraschino cherry. My grandmother used to make them, so drinking one connects me with her memory.
8. What would you tell your 12-year-old self, if you could go back in time?
I think I would echo my angel: “It’s okay. You’ll be all right. I love you.” It would’ve meant the world to me to have an adult say that.
9. How do you stay inspired to write?
I write to figure out people and the world. There’s always some question I want to explore. Besides, I’ve tried to quit writing and I can’t. The stories just keep at me until I write them down.
10. How do you find the time to write?
I write in fits and starts, rather than consistently every day. I work better sitting in a cafe for an hour than I do sitting at my desk all day. It helps me to have distractions in the background, as well as a time limit. Then the words just flow.
11. The clincher–describe yourself in six words!
Curious. Compassionate. Life-obsessed.
Thanks so much for doing this, Shonda! It’s been a pleasure to think about your questions.
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Thanks so much Loren Rhoads for sharing your writing passions with us.
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Thanks so much for interviewing me, Shonda!
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