In this day and age it would be a glorious thing to be able to build our own world instead of dealing with the pain and anguish in this one. When I was asked to write on the topic of paranormal world building, I was very excited. I thought I would go into a ‘blueprint’ of what the buildings would look like, how the people would act, etc. But then I realized something…I’ve read books that are set in pure ‘Paradise,’ and I’ve read dystopian novels that show a devastated world that makes readers feel like THIS is ‘Paradise.’ And I suddenly realized that I wanted something in-between.
Seeing as that the characters of Until Next Time are of an ‘angelic’ nature, I assume that right off the bat readers would think of bright white lights, heavenly music, and all that peace and harmony that comes along with it. But when I began to ‘build’ my world, I wanted to go in a different direction. I didn’t want my angel/warrior team to be tormented, fallen, or be in a situation where they started out with everyone and everything against them. So, in the beginning, my angels do reside in the place of their birth.
Emily and Matt were trained by the very best, and readers do get a glimpse of that world, but bright lights and pure loveliness is not what it contains. In their home, Matt and Emily have sat in classrooms, they’ve witnessed types of ‘magic,’ they’ve even trained in a ‘pit’ that’s far more fiery and painful than anything found in a zombie/walking dead novel. But the one thing that they lacked in their lives was the one thing they were about to run into head-first – imperfection. And, oddly enough, that’s what made their lives more perfect.
I loved the fact that innocents were given a job to do – many jobs in fact – but the angel/warrior team was a partnership that absolutely wanted freedom. They wanted to see what ‘life’ was like and what all the fuss was about down here. But once they came to this ‘new place,’ they ran into a world that contained anger, jealousy, true love, heartbreak, love triangles, suspense, mystery, envy – all that stuff. The twists and turns they had to accept made them confused; they were used to a world where things were exactly as they seemed. The underlying theme, however, as I got further and further into the novel, was the fact that the world they had entered was filled with all of these imperfections – which made it perfect. They had their freedom. They had their faith in each other. And they soon learned that with the bad came a wealth of good; knowledge of true love and friendship, loyalty and adventure – and all of this they would never have experienced unless they’d come to our world.
An oasis – an Eden – that would be magnificent, but it would also be boring. Knowing that every single day is going to be perfect no matter what; that nothing will ever change. You will never leave your job, because it’s perfect, but what if there was something else you were destined to do? You’d never know. You would never have that “What if?” factor anymore; which means running into that handsome stranger, or finding that new best friend would never happen. This would become depressing.
So building my perfect paranormal world soon became a journey where I learned to love the imperfections that I already have. I learned to love the bad days because the good days seemed all that much better. The warrior was at his finest once he learned what it really meant to ‘feel’ for the people he saved or judged to be wrong; not to mention when he learned that he really loved his partner, and not just in the ‘work’ sense.
Emily, the angel, found something she never thought she’d find. She is the one with the argument to stay in that perfection up above, but she knows if she had, her life never would’ve changed. She never would’ve met Jason, nor would she suddenly look at her partner in a whole different light. When the heart comes into play the world can become one of darkness. But, without the heart – as Emily and Matt prove to readers – life is simply not worth it.
War, desperation, pain, poverty – these are the things I would take out of our present-day world in order to ‘polish it.’ But without the unknown, the love, and the things fate has in store for us, then our days would be as boring as math class was in high school.
I love not knowing what’s waiting for me around the next corner. And in my perfect paranormal world, Emily and Matt truly live because of the imperfections they discover.
Until Next Time, Everybody.