Vespers: the Latin word for twilight, or quiet prayers sung in a monastery at night.
Or, in my fiction series… the species of black-blooded serpentine immortals charged with the stewardship of the human race by the Gatekeeper in the Garden. A dark paradox inspired by Original Sin.
I was inspired to write the Vesper Series originally as one book: Boundless Obsidian, the story of a Vesper who breaks away from his fearsome master, Levitiqas. Writing the book took me on a whirlwind journey of refreshing my memory of all the lessons I learned growing up in a Roman Catholic household and school.
I was always fascinated by the concepts of sin and repentance and Original Sin, but as I progressed through the book, it became so much more than what I originally intended. It became a mingling of Creation, Evolution and Reincarnation all in one, while following along a fantasy storyline and characters that drew from the book of Leviticus in the Bible and the laws set forth in those pages. It was during this process that I realized the deep love I have for not only the Bible but all sacred texts and variations, though not in the sense that I treat it as a doctrine: rather as an absolutely priceless collection of the writings that defined the history of mankind from a spiritual perspective.
Drawing visual inspiration (in my head) from movies like the Underworld series and tapping into the excitement I get whenever I meet a spectacular, show-stopping villain (as in The Devil’s Advocate), the book was also a challenge for me in understanding “the bad guy.” I never want a bad guy to be just bad. He needs to be bad with purpose, with soul of his own in some way, like a fallen angel struggling to ascend to a kingdom different than that which he hoped before he fell.
When I finished Boundless Obsidian, I was surprised to realize that not only was I unprepared to give up the storyline at the ending, but I still had far more to learn from the characters and wanted to tie in Biblical references in even bigger ways than I did in Boundless Obsidian. One book became four, with the next instalments titled Ruby Sacrifice, Emerald Defiance, and Steel Triumph. I thought the religious connections in the series might be a major stumbling block, since my perspective in the story is quite dark, but then I found my agent, Michelle L. Johnson, with Marisa Corvisiero at Corvisiero Literary Agency and she not only liked my story, but connected to it on a level that pertained to her own fiction, as well.
From there, I came to understand that Biblically-inspired fiction is not only growing more widely-accepted, based on the way it connects with readers on a deeper plane because of the stories we know well and cherish, but has a rapidly spreading fanbase thanks to television shows, movies, books and even video games. So many people celebrate their personal connection with spiritual stories of old by linking it to fiction, and I am so excited to be a part of such an inspiring community of fans and artists of all walks of life.
I hope you’ll enjoy this blog as Michelle, Jamie and I continue to share our experiences as authors, readers, watchers and fans of Biblical FanFiction. Every person’s relationship with the their spirituality has different meanings and connections. Mine is one quietly sung at night in books.
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