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Angels at Christmas: The Start of the Writing Journey

Angels and the Heaven
That Could Be
I was raised in a traditional family, or as traditional as a
family could be in Northern California during the ‘50’s and ‘60’s. And yes, we
had our fair share of quirky characters, as all families do. Laced in there were
some serious hours doing service at our local church, mostly because that’s
what my parents had done, how they had met, in the shadow of my grandfather,
who was an evangelist.
Let me set you straight here, this blog isn’t about religion
or much of anything in the way of values, other than as it relates to my
characters. I’ve always said I’m a Christian with a bent antennae. I’ll
I was given a unique view behind the curtain, to see what
went on behind the production number that was the stage. And that’s where I
think the real story is. I got to see the women, kids in tow, coming to my
grandfather’s house in the middle of the night, after being beaten by a raging
husband. Those things really do happen in the real world. I’d see them at
breakfast the next day, and watch as my grandfather would hand out a free meal
or a little money to people out of luck. He told me the “hobos”, as we used to
call them, marked his fence so one that followed would know there was a kind
person living there who might share a scrap of food. I once gave my favorite
teddy bear to a little girl who was about 4 and clearly was afraid. I was
afraid too. Afraid for her future. I often think of her little face, standing
in my grandfather’s kitchen, barefoot, with syrup running down her chin.
What has always interested me is what makes people do the
things they do. And what choices they make in life. I didn’t want to go into
religious studies. I wanted to know what motivated
them. So, in college I majored in Psychology.
Years later, after raising a family of my own and now
beginning to see them have children, I still don’t really know what makes
people do what they do. But I know how to write it down.
Heavenly Lover is
my first book, and it was the book that seized me one cold December day when I
was visiting my daughter for her college graduation in Portland. We were snowed
in that day, and the graduation (mid-year, smaller) was cancelled. And like the famous story of Mary Shelley, who wrote
Frankenstein, we started talking about stories as we went around the room. I
had been dreaming about angels, but not anything close to the angels I’d
learned about in Sunday School. These were fully fleshed out beings with
personalities, in a beautiful place with gardens and classrooms so they could learn
about human life.
My blonde angel character was innocent, but drawn to the
human world like a moth is drawn to a light fixture. The story developed that
her attraction to all things human was what made her such an effective Guardian
Angel. And she had a 100% track record, unlike anyone else.
I constructed a world around her and the possibility that
she might fall in love so hard, that she wanted to give up her wings and become
human. And so I explored what that would look like, how she would feel, and
what the consequences would be.
The premise became: 
Heaven isn’t 100% perfect by design. The Underworld isn’t 100% evil by
I began thinking that she would test the premise that all
beings had free will, human as well as angelic. And I wanted her to push the
boundaries. And not just push them, I wanted her to fall off the edge and watch
her recover, if she could.
Thirty days later, in mid January, I had that first draft
done. It was 92,000 words. I asked other writers I was becoming friends with if
that was normal, and realized I am a prolific writer. Now that version has been
re-written over 50 times now, vetted and critiqued on the contest circuit,
where it did very well. It took a lot of people to help me wrestle with this
behemoth first novel. But the end result is something that is near and dear to
my heart. The premise and the ending remained the same.
I’m now on my 4th book in the angel series.
You might ask me if I believe in the presence of a higher
power. And I have to say, when I shut my eyes and tune out everything else,
that someone else is there.
I hope you enjoy the journey I’ve taken. No, it probably
won’t send you back to church. But it might make you believe in perfect love.
For life doesn’t have to be 100% perfect to be fully enjoyed. We don’t have to
be 100% perfect to love or be loved.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Sharon. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. It was so wonderfully written and I found it very moving, especially at this time of the year.

    I am even more thankful to have met such a warm, loving person that I have found you to be. Without having met you I would have missed out on this wonderful opportunity to read and love the books you have written for us. Thank you so much. <3

  2. I loved your post Sharon, as I did all the others. You are a wonderful woman with a heart as big as the sky and I consider myself lucky to have 'met' you. Love all the books I've read so far, looking forward to read the Angel series too. Hope you never stop writing HUGS!

  3. i really enjoyed your post Sharon it was well written and very thoughtful. Thats why we love your books so much, im really excited to start reading the Angel books. All the best.

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