I want to start by saying that this is a subject I've been thinking about addressing for a while now, but I've been too nervous because it is a sensitive topic. A lot of people, including myself, have trauma surrounding religion. It was brought to my attention a few days ago —and several other times during the last two years— that because I write Urban Fantasy books about Angels and Demons who live semi-harmoniously alongside humans, it leads some to believe that my books are religious in nature or might push my religion.
This is false.
I had a religious upbringing, and like many of you, I've had bad experiences with organized religion, or to come right out with it, Fundamental Baptist Churches. Over the years, I've come to realize that I'm not comfortable with how Christians, mostly “Fundamentalists and Baptists” behave and treat each other and those they do not agree with whether that is religiously, politically, or domestically. That being said, I want to make it known to the community that has followed me, to people that have met me after or even because of the trauma, and to those that have stuck with me through it, that my books and I are not religious, and we will not try to push religion on you.
I try to avoid Christianity as a topic, especially “Fundamentalism,” because of said trauma, and I will make another post to address and explain what happened, from my perspective —now that I know a bit more— but this post, however, is about “religion” in my books.
~ Religion in Fantasy
Like many fantasy books —Urban, Sci-fi, Dark, and High Fantasy alike—, my books do have a religion, and it does, in some respects, resemble Christianity, or how it should have been, because that was my upbringing. It also has aspects of many other religions from around the world, both past and present, too, because I love to study Pantheons and other religions.
~ In my books
In my books, the different Pantheons are made up of Angels that were dispatched by the Maker to different regions of the world to help mortals/humanity. Because of their appearance, powers, and their baffling and riddle-like speech, this caused the people of those regions to sometimes revere them to the point of worship, which ultimately got to some of their heads, leading many of them to fall.
This is shown more in The Created Angel Chronicles as each book is from the point of view of one of the Angels. In the Born Angel Novels, this will sometimes be less prevalent, because these books, or series in the case of The Kalista Chronicles, are about the descendants or the Heirs of Angels.
~ Mentions and Uses
Now, in Kalista’s upcoming book, A Broken Redeemer (October 2023), she says:
“It's complicated. I'm not a fanatic or follower of a strict set of rules that I have to conform to or make sacrifices to appease some unknown deity. I simply abide by a moral code, listen to the intuition and logic the Maker gave me, and thank Him for what He gives me while apologizing for when I fail to listen to those things.”
This is one of the few times that Kalista directly references her “religion,” and it comes because someone, whom I can’t name due to spoilers, commented on her bowing her head to pray before she ate.
There is also a scene in The Haunted Angel, my latest book, where Forseti or Matt, the main character, prays before he eats a meal with a group, whom I am also not mentioning due to spoilers. In Leighla’s book, The Stained Angel, she hears directly from the Maker and is friends with a southern preacher, which is a bigger subplot that impacts her and shows a little bit more of her character. Going forward, especially in the Created Angel Chronicles, there will be more times when the Maker speaks directly to the characters and manifests to them in a corporeal body. This is unique to that series, at this point.
~ What else is in the books?
They also include normalized LGBTQ+, polyamory, and even marriages between not 2 but 3 individuals, especially when one of the Throuple is bisexual or pansexual. AND this is not frowned upon except by the minority of religious whack-a-doodles in their world because, yes, they do have those too. They also have a group of humans who actively fight, protest, attack, and spew hate at non-humans —aka preternaturals— who live, work, and mate with humans. Plus, you will find Angels or Angelic beings in nearly every religion, which is also a topic for another blog.
~ In closing
In no way are my books strictly religious nor do they try to push Fundamentalist Doctrine, teachings, or practices. They have been enjoyed by Christians, Satanists, and Atheists alike. I may have been brought up in a Christian household and have Christian parents and grandparents both Baptist and Catholic. But as for me, I do not like being associated with or called a “Christian” because of how many Fundamentalists, and Baptists in general, have twisted, perverted, and ultimately ruined Christianity for so many people, myself included, by being unlike Christ.
So, to reiterate my books do have religious aspects, as do many, many Fantasy books, but they do not push religion. I have even been kicked out of or asked to leave two churches that I grew up in because of my books containing “a dark ritual,” also because I wear black lipstick and pentacle earrings or necklaces —not to church, mind you, but on my socials and in day-to-day life—. I will talk about that more in depth another post, but for now, that is all.