I know. In a world that has been running on the ‘fanged ones’ for quite some time now, it’s a lot of fun to see the ‘winged ones’ trying to edge them off the top rung of the ladder. But angels were actually the only choice for me, because Matt and Emily had lived in my imagination for a long, long time.
Everyone knows about being a teenager. They know about the heartbreak, the desire to get out of their hometown, the need for a driver’s license to get that taste of freedom - all of those things just sort of come with being a teenager. When I was thirteen I wanted all that so badly I could taste it - just as strong as a vampire can taste all that blood.
When I lost my grandfather who was simply the greatest man in the world, Matt came into my life. He wasn’t a ‘glistening’ being. No choirs sang in the background when I saw him in a dream, and there was no exchange of vows, or yearnings for him to be a boyfriend. When I saw Matt, he was a friend. I asked him a lot of questions and he guided me through a world I’d never seen before. And I wrote those ‘escapes’ into journals that I kept by my bed.
About ten years ago those journals were resurrected after I lost my father, because I recognized Matt again. The dreams happened, and even though I was a whole lot older he was still the same, with the mess of blonde hair that went in every direction, like he was caught in the sudden backlash of a pack of angels when they took off. Apparently, he was my strength and courage, and for some reason I always remembered him calling me Em, and not Amy.
When Until Next Time came to the computer screen, I wanted to tell Matt’s story. I wanted him to be allowed to have that taste of freedom we all wanted when we were younger, and I wanted to really see what he would do with it.
Human emotions are the most difficult things to deal with. I still love that line from the movie, Contact, when a ‘being’ was talking about our species. He said that he thought humans were the most confusing creatures, because we were capable of such wondrous dreams and such horrific nightmares all at the same time. I was wondering what my warrior - who was purely innocent - would do when faced with a world that had very real nightmares. He had a job where his role was defender, judge, jury and executioner, and he was suddenly thrust into a world of desire, jealousy, secrets, lies, and passion.
Matt and Emily grew up in Until Next Time. They weren’t ready for it - none of us are. But watching them trying to keep their faith in each other in a world that’s attempting to rip them apart was beyond anything I could’ve imagined.
When I open up the computer to begin their next journey, they’re always a little bit older, a little bit wiser, and a little more broken than before - but their faith hasn’t changed. An the love triangle I wrote into the story was thought about a great deal, because I don’t want anyone to really know who Emily chooses as ‘the one,’ until the curtain falls. After all, this is a character who has a very unique quandary; she has a soul mate on earth as she does in heaven. So it will be interesting to see who readers ‘vote for’ as the ultimate soul mate.
In the end, I suppose I picked angels for various reasons. The biggest being that the warrior has been traveling in my mind for a long time. And his Emily came from a very real girl who’s now the mom of a teenager. I’ve gotten to be on both sides of the fence, so to speak, and watching my own beautiful girl turn into a young woman - and having the luck of being able to write with her and pass my angels down to her is a true blessing.
My journey isn’t done…and neither is Matt and Emily’s.
Until Next Time, Everybody.