The Creation of Divinity – A Guest Post by Michelle L. Johnson
Posted by What The Cat Read
Today we’d like to thank Michelle L. Johnson for visiting us during her Divinity Blog Tour hosted by Spence City. We hope that you all will enjoy her guest post discussing the creation of her book, Divinity. =^.^=
The Creation of Divinity
by Michelle L. Johnson
Writers are asked all the time where we get our ideas for the stories we tell, how we think up characters, how we come up with plots, and how we create all the other elements that make a story come alive.
The answer is different for each of us, and usually unique to the story itself. In my case, at least for my new novel Divinity, fiction grew out of reality spiced with a simple question, “what if?”
Several years ago, I enrolled in a memoir workshop at The Muse, a successful community writing center in Norfolk, VA. During the first class we talked about the different types of memoir and what we each might write about during the workshop. I was adopted as an infant, so I chose to write about the challenges of meeting and getting to know my biological mother as a 14-year-old.
I knew I had a story to tell, and hoped that others might learn from my experiences, but I also knew that my biological mother would be a compelling character. You see, she lived in her own world inside her head and had some very… interesting… beliefs. One of those beliefs was that she was married to the Archangel Gabriel.
The morning after that first memoir class I was thinking about my memoir project as I showered, searching for words that would adequately describe her, when this line popped into my head: “My mother is a raving lunatic and my father is the Archangel Gabriel. Please pass the potatoes.” As soon as I had that sentence, I pictured a large dining room table, a woman having dinner at her boyfriend’s mother’s house and having that awkward moment when asked “So, what do your parents do?”
I thought, what if it were true, what if her father really was the Archangel Gabriel?
Well, as I often do, I started imagining what a person half-human, half archangel would be like, why they would exist, what challenges they would face, what they might be able to do, the worlds they would know, the life they might lead. And, in keeping with my mega-multi-tasking life, I decided why not write two books? And so I started.
From that dinner table scene, I created Julia, the main character – a woman who has had a difficult life, and who suddenly learns that her father is, in fact, the Archangel Gabriel. A woman who is just beginning to find her way on Earth and who now must suddenly function in two worlds, discovering the power and responsibility that comes with her angel half while living a very human existence.
I started out writing one chapter of the memoir, then one chapter of Divinity.
I learned that writing a memoir is tough work. You have to dig down deep and rip your heart out, and then serve it to the page, and to readers. You are forced to try to see the situation from all points of view, including those you may not have had any empathy for in the past. You’re telling a story that you don’t control, because it’s already been told, and you’re reliving an important and life-altering period in your own life.
At first, writing Divinity gave me a break from the intensity of the writing the memoir. Writing the novel gave me balance at a time when I needed some light in the darkness, balance after writing material that often left me feeling unbalanced.
In time – a fairly short time – Divinity took over. I was having too much fun getting to know Julia, watching her grow as she learned the truth about her family history, as she encountered all the Archangels and learned that each had their own agenda and purpose, as she learned how to use the powers her angel half offered her, and as she faced the unknown threat of the A’nwel.
The memoir sits on a nearby shelf, about two-thirds finished, a project that I keep telling myself I’ll finish soon.
Right now, though, I’m too engrossed in writing the sequel to Divinity, watching as Julia continues to evolve, and to make surprising discoveries about the nature of heaven, Earth, and the forces that would change both.
About the Book:
Release Date: September 23, 2014
When Julia climbs into a flaming car to save a trapped child, she’s left wondering why either of them survived. Then she learns that her father is the Archangel Gabriel, and that she is half human, half Archangel. With guidance from Michael, the most powerful Archangel, Julia sets out to discover her own history and explore her angelic powers. But her journey is cut short when an evil force, invisible to human and angel alike, tears her world apart. Now Julia must fight through her despair, harness her newfound gifts, and risk her very soul to stop the A’nwel and protect the family she never knew she had. What she doesn’t know is that Archangels have secrets too.
About the Author:
Michelle L. Johnson was born in Ohio and adopted by Canadians. They traveled all over North America, and when they weren’t on the road Michelle could be found with her nose buried deeply in the pages of a book. With all of her travels and adventures, she hopes to bring some of her unique perspective to the pages and to entertain others the way all of her heroes have for her. When she’s not hanging out with her feathered friends, she’s busy being a literary agent with Inklings Literary Agency. She says wherever she hangs her coffee mug is her home, and right now that’s a toasty warm Jacksonville, Florida with her happy Cocker Spaniel and her small family.
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