An Angel on My Shoulder
I’m not a religious person: I wasn’t brought up going to church or Sunday school, and I went to a working class comprehensive school where my RE tried to make the lessons trendy by explaining the underlying religious themes of Star Wars. Consequently, most of my (admittedly very thin) knowledge of the Bible comes from studying literature: so it was in a sense fitting that when I decided to make one of the characters in my novel Dark Dates an angel, I should turn to literature and popular entertainment for my inspiration. So for this guest post, I thought I’d talk about my favourite angels… did I include yours?
No surprise to anyone that knows me: until its rapid drop off in quality in Season 7, I was a huge Supernatural fan and I loved the whole angel story arc. Misha Collins’ Castiel is of course a joy (I think my favourite line, ever, is when he’s phoning Dean and going ‘the little voice tells me I’m out of minutes’) but the supporting cast of celestials were great, from Robert Wisdom’s menacing Uriel to Sebastian Roche’s delightfully louche Balthazar. Not to mention Richard Speight Jr’s fantastic take on Gabriel…
Xas, The Vintner’s Luck
The idea for this hypnotic novel came to author Elizabeth Knox in a fever, and it shows: there’s something of the dream state in this lush, lovely tale of an angel who falls in love with a human in early 19th century France. (This was also made into a film, which I admit I haven’t seen yet, and a sequel that is sitting on my to-read shelf, because I’m scared I won’t love either as much as I adore this book…)
The Angels, Wings of Desire/City of Angels
While the Berlin-set original German film is beautiful and moving, it’s not without flaws – it’s overlong and a little ponderous, but worth watching for its lush imagery and romantic themes. The Hollywood remake transferred the action to the US (and, inexplicably, gave it an unhappy ending, in a reversal of the usual rules of American remakes) and while it was a fairly bland romance, it used the same idea of the angels – still, silent, standing in their black coats on top of buildings as they watch the humans below them – to beautiful effect, and both can be seen to be obvious influences to shows like Supernatural.
O’Reilly and Jackson, A Life Less Ordinary
Danny Boyle’s little-loved comedy is rightly regarded as a bit of a misfire, but who wouldn’t love Delroy Lindo and Holly Hunter as a pair of deadpan angels? Owing much to the classics A Matter of Life and Death and Heaven Can Wait, the idea of angels as administrators or put-upon public servants is one that recurs through film and literature – Jim Butcher used it well recently in the Dresden Files – and it never gets old for me.
Clarence, It’s a Wonderful Life
‘Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings’ – come on, who doesn’t sniffle a little at that? Henry Travers’ bumbling, good natured angel Clarence helps Jimmy Stewart’s George Bailey realise just how important he has been in the lives of those around him in the ultimate feelgood Christmas movie. Excuse me, I have something in my eye…
BIO: Tracey Sinclair works as freelance copywriter, editor and legal directories consultant. A diverse and slightly wandering career has included writing factsheets for small businesses, creating web content for law firms, subtitling film and TV and editing one of the UK’s largest legal directories. A keen blogger, she regularly writes for online theatre site Exeunt and science fiction site Unleash the Fanboy and her blog Body of a Geek Goddess was shortlisted in the Cosmopolitan Blogger Awards 2011. Her work has been published in a number of magazines and anthologies and her short play Bystanders was premiered in 2011 as part of the CP Players New Writing Season at Baron’s Court Theatre, London. She has published two small press books (Doll and No Love is This, both Kennedy & Boyd) and is now dipping a toe in the digital self-publishing world with her new urban fantasy novel, Dark Dates.
BLURB: All Cassandra Bick wants is to be left to get on with doing her job. But when you’re a Sensitive whose business is running a dating agency for vampires, life is never going to be straightforward – especially when there’s a supernatural war brewing in London, a sexy new bloodsucker in town and your mysterious, homicidal and vampire hating ex-lover chooses this moment to reappear in your life…
Witty, sharp and entertaining, Dark Dates is a heady mix of vampires, witches and werewolves – with the occasional angel thrown in – and introduces Cassandra Bick, a likeable heroine destined to join the ranks of fantasy’s feistiest females.