Writing Samael- Behind The Character

 

Writing Samael- Behind The Character

(Lavender Fields villain)

Writing nice, likable characters with hearts of gold is easy for me. Writing villains, as it turns out, is not. Not because I can’t imagine a character vile enough to make a good villain but because I have a tendency—or so I’m told—to create cheesy villains. In the words of one of my editors (I should be mad at him but he made me laugh so I forgive him) at first, Samael came across as the cartoon villain in The Incredibles. I still don’t agree with this assessment of Samael, but I figured that if even one reader agreed with my editor, I’d be in big trouble. I decided to change it.

Pine

Buddy Pine, aka Syndrome from the Incredibles

I needed Samael to be truly dark, inside and out, the epitome of evil. I wanted the readers to be afraid for my characters. And, if I’m totally honest, I wanted the readers to have some nightmares about this character and what he may do to Caleb and Sky. I dug into my previous experiences writing villains and rehashed the one I felt was the most insidious of all.

This character is from a novel I wrote a long time ago and which hasn’t as yet seen the light of day. It was never edited and rests on my pile of maybe-one-day-I’ll-revise manuscripts. This man—can’t even remember his name right now—was evil because he hated and harmed for no logical reason. He had no other motivation but hate itself. In the original manuscript, he hated the main character because of his race. Samael hated Sky because he was in many ways different from him. Ultimately though he just hated because it gave him pleasure, it justified his existence. Isn’t that the ultimate evil?

evil

Samael is the character that reflects many of Sky’s fears—his fear of being enlisted by the dark angels, losing his freedom, and ultimately his fear of losing the things and people he loves the most. Just like the boggart in Harry Potter, Samael is the incarnation of everything Sky abhors and fears.

Who wouldn’t be scared of evil that can sneak on you at any time and has the power of angelic magic on its side? Samael made my skin crawl while I was writing him, and yes, I had a few nightmares about him. I think I’ve achieved a truly scary villain but, in the end, the readers are the ones who will decide.

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Lavender Fields-New Release

Title: Lavender Fields
Author: Natalina Reis
Genre: Gay Paranormal Romance
Release Date: July 15, 2017
Cover Designer: Claire Smith
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One angel to bind you, one angel to save you.Sky Heavensent, an angel of death, is charged with the collection of souls of the recently departed. Known to his peers and immediate supervisor, the archangel Gabriel, as the liability, Sky puts his heart and soul into everything he does.

When he meets Caleb Pierce, Sky is immediately smitten. The problem is Caleb is the soul he came to earth to harvest, and saving him means breaking one of the most sacred angelic directives.

Already in too deep, Sky pushes aside the consequences and follows his heart. Danger and mayhem follow, but he will do everything in his power to protect his lavender-eyed man.

 

 

Author of We Will Always Have the Closet, Desert Jewel, and Loved You Always, Natalina wrote her first romance in collaboration with her best friend at the age of 13. Since then she has ventured into other genres, but romance is first and foremost in almost everything she writes.After earning a degree in tourism and foreign languages, she worked as a tourist guide in her native Portugal for a short time before moving to the United States. She lived in three continents and a few islands, and her knack for languages and linguistics led her to a master’s degree in education. She lives in Virginia where she has taught English as a Second Language to elementary school children for more years than she cares to admit.

Natalina doesn’t believe you can have too many books or too much coffee. Art and dance make her happy and she is pretty sure she could survive on lobster and bananas alone. When she is not writing or stressing over lesson plans, she shares her life with her husband and two adult sons.

 

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Lavender Fields-Cover Reveal

 

LAVENDAR_FIELDS_titleblack

by Natalina Reis

 

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TBR: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34497411-lavender-fields

One angel to bind you, one angel to save you.

 

Blurb

Sky Heavensent, an angel of death, is charged with the collection of souls of the recently departed. Known to his peers and immediate supervisor, the archangel Gabriel, as the liability, Sky puts his heart and soul into everything he does.

When he meets Caleb Pierce, Sky is immediately smitten. The problem is Caleb is the soul he came to earth to harvest, and saving him means breaking one of the most sacred angelic directives.

Already in too deep, Sky pushes aside the consequences and follows his heart. Danger and mayhem follow, but he will do everything in his power to protect his lavender-eyed man.

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Gay Paranormal Romance

Lavender Fields-Coming Soon

PUBLISHING ANNOUNCEMENT

Natalina Reis has a stunning M/M PNR coming this July. Get ready for heavenly romance, witty dialogue, and emotionally charged tension.TBR: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34497411-lavender-fields
Blurb:
Sky Heavensent, an angel of death, is charged with the collection of souls of the recently departed. Known to his peers and immediate supervisor, the archangel Gabriel, as the liability, Sky puts his heart and soul into everything he does.

When he meets Caleb Pierce, Sky is immediately smitten. The problem is Caleb is the soul he came to earth to harvest, and saving him means breaking one of the most sacred angelic directives.

Already in too deep, Sky pushes aside the consequences and follows his heart. Danger and mayhem follow, but he will do everything in his power to protect his lavender-eyed man.

When Angels Call – Character Creation

I debated whether to talk about Sky in this series about character creation, mostly because he is the main character in a book yet to be published. But if there was a character who speaks to me on a daily base it’s him; my angel—literally. He’s an angel, wings and all.

Sky Heavensent is an angel assigned to the Soul Collecting Squad under the supervision of Archangel Gabriel in my M/M paranormal romance (and romcom as well. I hate genre labels), Lavender Fields. He started as a way of surprising my readers in a flash fiction story. He was very good at it and I fell in love with Sky. I just had to give him a full-length story.

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Sky is klutzy, hyperactive, and very lonely. Among his perfect people he is the “imperfect” one, the one that is constantly blundering, the one that always seems to swim against the tide. The truth is that he has what the other angels have lost; true compassion, the ability to love truly and completely.

When Sky meets Caleb he doesn’t stop to think of himself in order to protect the one he loves and for him, Sky is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for an angel (can’t tell you what it is. Sorry.).

heart-angel

 

I loved creating Sky, not only because he is an angel—duh—but because he has a very distinct and altruistic personality. He’s an outcast (I do love my outcasts) and he is starved for love and companionship. He is also a very curious soul—which is always getting him in trouble—with a thirst for knowledge and understanding of others. I love that. I find people who are content with living inside their bubbles puzzling to say the least.

When Sky falls in love he falls completely and literally. Writing about him and his love for Caleb, was—to use a word I seem to use way too much—awesome. Their love was so strong I swear I felt it myself. These guys did not give me a moment’s rest; I dreamed about them, thought about them, wrote about them…the manuscript is off to my editor and yet, they are still haunting me—in a good way. Strange how characters from a fantasy can feel so real to you in ways real people don’t.

angel-hand

Dancing with the angels

It is a fact well-known that dancing is good for the soul. I totally subscribe to this belief. I have been dancing since I was a toddler and no therapy in the world is more effective than a few turns around the dance floor.

My aunt Lucilia is a perfect example that dance is the cure for all evils. She had a tough life; born poor and prone to bouts of severe asthma. After marrying my uncle she gave birth to a baby girl. A couple years later they both got struck by a train. She survived, the baby didn’t. My cousin, the only boy in  a family of females, came next. He is just slightly younger than me and we grew up together, living across the street from each other. My aunt got pregnant many times after that. She lost the baby girls every time after carrying them to term. She cleaned the skyscraper she lived in, washing the marble stairs from ground to the tenth floor on her knees with a rag and a bucket. She also washed clothes for working people, ironed and did alterations and other sewing services to make extra money to keep her family fed. In her middle years she was abandoned by her husband and left alone to finish bringing up her teenage son. Through it all one thing kept her going; dancing.

She passed away a couple days ago from complications from an infection. She was 80 years old. She still cleaned her building every day. She still washed and ironed clothes for others. She still let out and hemmed pants. And to get her going without giving in to exhaustion or desperation she still went dancing every weekend.

I hadn’t seen her in a few years living on the other side of the pond as I do but I will always remember her as a dancer. No matter how exhausted, how drained she was she never, ever stopped dancing. In fact, I bet she is dancing with the angels right now.

Rest in peace tia Lucilia. May the afterlife be full of music and bailaricos* and may your pain be gone forever.

*dance party

The Angel

The rain fell incessantly over the land as if trying to wash away all the sin and pain in the world. People walked under umbrellas and ducked under trees trying to stay dry as they visited the gravesites of their departed loved ones. Some had tears that rolled down their cheeks and mixed with the water from the skies above. Others kept their eyes on the ground as if afraid to face the harsh reality of a lost loved one. Still others chatted amiably but quietly as they avoided mud and puddles on the saturated grounds. Flowers adorned the arms of some, others walked empty-handed. One carried a teddy bear and a heart-shaped cushion. Those would be soaked before the turn of the hour, she noted with a heavy heart. Death was not kind for the living or the inanimate objects that adorned their tombstones. Even flowers lost their petals and drooped piteously like overwrought souls pining for the dead.

Gracefully and serene she sat, a faint smile on her lips, a slight tilt of the head. The rain didn’t bother her even though she hoped, for the sake of the living, that it would stop. Her white dress fell to the ground in a cascade of folds, forever frozen in time, wet but never soaked, lifelike but not alive. Her right hand held a bouquet of blushing roses to her lap and the left touched the black cold stone with such tenderness those who walked by had to look twice to make sure they had not seen her move. Behind her two white wings unfolded, sheltering her body from the wind and framing her beauty with haunting grace. The Angel – for so was she known to all who visited the graveyard – had not been there long but she reigned over the quiet bleakness of the place and there was not a single patron that wouldn’t stop for a minute or two to admire the beauty of her lines, the serenity she inspired. A tragedy had summoned her there, commissioned by the surviving members of a family decimated in a terrible fire. Now, she sat on their graves, guarding them and offering them the company the living couldn’t afford to give.

Passersby think of her a stone monument to the love a family felt for those who had so tragically lost their lives; but she was so much more. For beneath all that pristine white and coldness of stone, there was a heart beating; a heart that beat to the sound of grieving humans and restless souls; a heart so full of love, she was willing to waste away her days watching over the dead. Death was lonely at first. As loved ones stream away from the burial site, there is a moment when heart-wrenching loneliness strikes. For those single moments the Angel waits, ready to comfort both those who leave and those who can’t. One day her spirit will leave that body of stone and alight somewhere else where she will once again comfort the dead and the living.

As the sun goes down on a dreary day and the mourners hurry to leave the realm of the dead into their brighter side of life, there she remains quiet and beautiful watching over those who are left behind.