Lately, I've read a few posts about the popularity of angels and demons in paranormals and urban fantasy. I also write about angels but not because they're the latest "fad." I write my stories because I want to.
I've worked on two angel novels since 2007: Cathedral Girl and Death Sword. Both were written for NaNoWriMo. Didn't finish Cathedral Girl, but the research I did lent itself to Death Sword. My latest projects involving angels are two novellas, the second book in my Angels of Death series, and a short novel.
So what influenced me to write about angels, fallen or otherwise? I'm fascinated with the idea angels are not always the benign, white-winged, haloed beings who bring good tidings and want to protect us. If anything, there's a reason people in the Bible fell to their knees. For example, Ambriel is said to be of the order of thrones, also known as the Many-Eyed ones, described as fiery wheels. According to Angels A to Z, "They are angels of justice and it is their job to carry out God's decisions."
Yeah, if I saw a vision like that, I'd probably be on my knees, trembling, too. Hell, I'd be running in the opposite direction.
Another popular trend is stories about the Nephilim and Grigori. Okay, I'm a bit guilty of this, but let me explain. Xariel is a variation of Sariel, the Watcher who taught humans the course of the moon. So, yes, the Grigori interest me. Nephilim? Not so much. However, one could argue Karla Black is of the Nephilim, since her mother is human and her father, Azazel, a Watcher. I don't focus on this since she's the incarnation of another powerful archangel. To me, her being a Nephilim is a moot point. Hey, it's my story. :-)
Sadly, the latest books don't interest me. I've read reviews and even tried getting through a few novels. They end up DNF. No offense to these writers. I simply refuse to gush over a book just because everyone else does. This doesn't mean I won't read any novels about angels, though.
What I have enjoyed reading are various manga. Makoto Tateno's Angelic Runes, Yun Kouga's Earthian, Kaori Yuki's Angel Sanctuary, Hirotaka Kisaragi's Innocent Bird, among others. Kaori Yuki also has two art books which are beautifully illustrated and were a major influence in my study of angelology. These were the books that inspired me to learn more about angels, going beyond the traditional Judeo-Christian teachings.
For comprehensive research, I find A Dictionary of Angels by Gustav Davidson to be the best source. Second would be Angels A to Z by James R. Lewis and Evelyn Dorothy Oliver. Not so impressed with Rosemary Ellen Guiley's The Encyclopedia of Angels. The Book of Angels by Ruth Thompson, L.A. Williams, and Renae Taylor is filled with well-done artwork, probably the best I've seen, along with Yuki-san's.
I'll keep writing about angels because there's so much material to work with. And I think that's why I find angels and devils fascinating.