Today I have the author of The Grigori Legacy, Linda Poitevin here with us to talk about building the world behind The Grigori Legacy. Thank you so much for being here Linda!
The world behind The Grigori legacy unfolded slowly for me…and, I must admit, rather painfully. The first several versions of Sins of the Angels contained mention of Heaven, but no solid description of the place. I had created wonderfully tormented characters and an edge-of-your-seat plotline, but setting? At the time, that wasn’t really my forte; without having identified myself as such, I was definitely of the character- and plot-driven author variety. Then I signed with an agent who sent me six pages (six!!) of revision notes, many of which centered around the world-building—or lack thereof. While she had seen potential in my writing, she had also identified deep flaws, and before we could move forward to the submission stage, I was going to have to face my story’s weaknesses…and my own.My urban setting was great, my agent said, but what, she wanted to know, did Heaven look like? What could the angels do? What could they not do? What were the rules of the world I had created?To be honest, my first instinct was to throw my hands up in despair and walk away from the whole idea of publication. Writing the damn book had been hard enough (it took me ten years) and now I had to create a world, too? I was not a happy camper. But I’d cleared too many hurdles on my path to give up, and so after a couple of months of mulling things over (a.k.a. sulking J), off to the word-building board I went.Heaven, it seemed to me, would be an ageless, timeless place. It would have been there forever: solid and providing an anchor for the entire universe. It would also be a place of beauty and growth, and one (given the all-seeingness we perceive God to possess) of knowledge that would span its own history as well as ours.The perception of beauty and growth led me to a limitless Garden-of-Eden idea; knowledge spoke to me of libraries and archives; and the solidness brought to mind soaring stone buildings with massive oak doors. Slowly I teased out the details: a great central library with a sweeping staircase leading up to quiet study rooms and offices; smaller libraries scattered throughout the angels’ residences; winding paths leading to fountains, rose gardens, arboretums; an enormous archive where a record of every event since the moment of creation was carefully documented and stored. But that was only the first step; I still had to figure out the inner workings of Heaven’s inhabitants.I had already identified the choirs of angels and Aramael’s purpose as a Power; now returned to my research to determine tasks and purposes for each of the other choirs. The more I read and played with ideas, the clearer became a vision of a distinct hierarchy—and, since the universe seemed a rather massive place to have to manage, a kind of bureaucracy. Office blocks took shape in my Heaven. Dominions took on the role of managing the Powers; Principalities became the scribes; Virtues became administrative support, and so on. Rules followed: the Powers would be able to draw on the energy of Heaven itself in order to subdue the Fallen Ones they hunted; angel immortality would make them impervious to human attack of any kind; a pact between Heaven and Hell took shape and was followed by an 11th-hour agreement; and a full rewrite of Sins of the Angels began.As I wrote the new version of my story, I realized that my agent had been right on every front. Building a solid, detailed world for my angels re-shaped them into stronger, more vivid characters and opened up a whole world (no pun intended!) of possibilities. The clearer I became on roles and rules, the more plot twists presented themselves. What I had originally pitched as two books became three, then four—and I no longer had a story with a sequel, I had an entire Grigori Legacy.
When homicide detective Alexandra Jarvis sees a photo of Seth Benjamin on a police bulletin, she knows that Heaven’s plan to halt Armageddon has gone terribly wrong. As the only mortal who knows of Seth’s true nature, only she can save him. Aramael was a hunter of Fallen Angels until a traitor forced him into earthly exile. Now, with no powers and only a faint memory of Alex, his mortal soulmate, he will stop at nothing to redeem himself-even if it means destroying Seth in the name of the Creator…
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My Heaven is a place of no worry, feeling loved all around, surrounded by family and friends. No war, no hunger, no fear or mean-ness. Thats my Heaven. 🙂
LadyVampire2u AT gmail DOT com
Kitt: I haven’t thought about this all that much, because I’m not a particularly religious person, but if I had to say, I’d picture it to be something akin to Joss Whedon’s version: Warmth, Love, Happiness.
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I’m not a big believer of the everafter. I attended religious day school as a child and the Rabbis drummed all sorts of fairy tales into our heads. The older I got the less I believed in anything.
@LadyVampire and @Kitt, those sound like a very nice heaven indeed! 🙂
@Nora, I’m closer to that viewpoint on a personal level for sure…which may be why it was so difficult for me to envision a heaven for my story! 😉
Hum when my father was really ill i thought a lot about this…for me it’s a place where all pains disappear ( be it physical or emotional) perhaps will all nature in spring, flowers everywhere and our loved ones ( human and animals)
at least i hope so
@Miki — that sounds lovely. I really hope you’re right. 🙂
Claire M. Caterer
Your vision of Heaven sounds good to me, Linda. Mine would definitely have libraries and study rooms and sweeping staircases!
Thanks, Claire! 🙂
Lots of fluffy clouds, all surrounded by the most beautiful blue skies!!!
Congratulations on your next release.
I forgot my email:
dsadler53 at yahoo dot ca
there would be peace and lots of love
I think my version of heaven would have books, books, books, lovely music and some more books.
I am so glad Linda did not give up on her book. I loved the first one and look forward to book two.
As to Heaven? I hold with the Bible’s description- a city with a gold street and jeweled gates where no tears or pain or death can happen with God and his angels of course- which is not much of a description, but it does sound great.
My thoughts of Heaven is a place where all living things live in peace & harmony.
I’ve always thought Heaven as a place where I can bounce around on the fluffy clouds 😀
I’ve never really thought about it but I do think of it as a peaceful place where I can rest.
I’ve honestly never thought about what heaven would look like.
There are just a few things that I would like to be included in heaven for me: an endless amount of books, the best foods ever, never ending amounts of chocolate and knick knacks. (If you have seen Howl’s Moving Castle, the movie, Howl’s room is what I want my heaven to look like.)
I think Heaven will look like whatever or wherever your favorite place is…at least where you can call home. I know the Bible says “streets of gold” so I think that must be where God exists. I would prefer a little more homelike atmosphere!
I know my family, friends and yes, my animal friends will be there waiting. What a party it will be!
@Diane — thank you! 🙂
@Wendy — that seems to be a common sentiment. I hope it’s a true one. 🙂
@nayjf — hm…never thought about music in The Grigori legacy stories…I may have to remedy that! 😉
@Sophia — that is a lovely description, isn’t it? And I’m glad I didn’t give up, too! 🙂
@Linda — I suspect many of us hope for that kind of heaven… 🙂
@LeDerpyReader — cloud trampolines…I love it! 😀
@Na — that would be nice…with hammocks, too. I like hammocks for resting in. 🙂
@Emily — I have indeed seen the movie…and that room would be fabulous!!
@Phoenix — homelike, friends & party…I’m in! 🙂
Thank you all so much for stopping by to share your ideas of heaven…love that the answers are so diverse! 🙂
I just had this discussion with my 5 year old earlier this week and we decided that heaven is whatever each individual wants it to be! My son’s heaven is full of toys and puppies, and my heaven is has all of my kids there, with lots of books and lots of yarn for knitting and crocheting!
@Julie…I do so love a child’s view of things. And I think your son is exactly right. 🙂
It’s somewhere safe where all worries cease and loved ones before you are waiting to be reunited
I hope that Heaven is where every day is a beautiful warm day with my loved ones there to welcome me & keep me company. I hope that all of my pets that I love so much will also be there to cuddle up with. 😉
I’m a religious person and the answer I’ve been given is heaven is to be in the presence of God. I’m not sure if that’s how I imagine but probably more like my fairy tale loving self: I like to think there’d finally be peace among people, no pain, no suffering just happiness and love. If I could put my own request in for a nice soft reading spot, all the better.
Haven´t really thought about heaven in a long while, my dad passed away a year ago so i want to believe he´s having a great time in the afterlife.
At the same time i feel i´ve become a cynic, so i´m not sure there is an afterlife, at all. It sure is something you can spend hours thinking about.
Love the giveaway, =) sounds like a great read and it´s def. going up on my TBR list!
best wishes, Linda
Oh wow… To be honest I’ve never thought about it but anywhere that I can relax and read would definitely be heaven.
I have. And I really have no words to describe it or what I hope it is like. More of a sense of infinite peace.
It would be perfect absolutely perfect. Everything would be beautiful and happy. 🙂
I have thought about what heaven would be like, but honestly have not been able to picture it. I would like to think it would be peaceful and joyful 🙂
For me heaven is a place where you don’t have to worry about anything… It is where you will be contented and will always be happy… It does not necessarily mean that heaven is in the sky, it could also be here on earth as long as you will feel all the positive emotions, that is heaven…
Thank you for this!!!
I have always pictured what I thought heaven was like and looked like especially when my father passed away. I think it is a place with no worries and no suffering, a really beautiful and peaceful place. It’s really green with trees and a beautiful sky. Thanks for giveaway!
Heaven…hmm puffy clouds, golden gates, angels welcoming me, all the people in togas 🙂
My thoughts on Heaven is that it will be beautiful with beautiful flowers and peaceful waterfalls.