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Thursday, 4 February 2016

ℚ Angelus: The Books of Raziel [3] - Sabrina Benulis

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Angelus (, Harper Voyager, 403 pages), a Dark Paranormal Fantasy, book three of The Books of Raziel series.

[Benulis’] unique take on religion and angels is truly innovative. With just enough left unresolved, Covenant perfectly leads into the upcoming final book of the trilogy” — Romantic Times Magazine on Covenant

These angels can be vindictive and cruel, more human than you might expect and oozing supernatural abilities…. If you think you have the guts to take on this novel pick it up.” — Boulder Examiner on Covenant

A dark, bold story.” — Lexington Literature Examiner on Covenant


Author Q&A | Synopsis | Teaser | The Series | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops


Hello Sabrina, welcome to BooksChatter.


What was the inspiration for Angelus, and The Books of Raziel series?
"This was the last book in my series The Books of Raziel, and each installment of the series has had some inspiration from favourite books, movies, and mythologies I've encountered over the years.

I can honestly say, though, that Angelus is a true blend of many different elements over time.  It had to close off the overall story in an epic way, but also blend in seamlessly with the other books and stand on its own as something special.  So it's my ode to so very many things, and rather than list out tons of them for you, perhaps you'll be able to spot them yourself as you read.  That's half the fun after all."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"Since Angelus and the books previous to it have to do with angels and demons and are heavily influenced by Judeo-Christian mythology, many people ask me if they reflect my own personal beliefs on God and angels.  They don't.  I've learned to firmly separate myself from my fiction over time.  But I think the basic underlying themes of friendship, love, trust, and hope are essential to us all.  So in that respect, there is a touch of myself laced into the words no matter what I do."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for Angelus - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"HarperCollins actually chose the cover artist for all three books, and his name is Nekro.  He is very talented and I'm lucky to have such a beautiful cover.  However, my editor did collaborate a little with me on the elements of the cover, because we both wanted them to really represent the inner content of the book.

On the cover you see the main character, Angela Mathers, as the ruler of Hell wearing her great crown.  The most important detail is the hourglass she holds, which is a crucial detail in Angelus and also ties it back to the previous books."
 

He is an incredible artist - I just had to share the image of that cat! (as well as the artwork used on the covers for The Books of Raziel trilogy.)

Why should we read Angelus, and The Books of Raziel series; what sets them apart from the rest?

"Angelus and the rest of The Books of Raziel thrive on their uniqueness.  That can be both a good and bad thing, depending on how adventurous of a reader you are.  I can firmly say you will have never read this story anywhere else.  It stands on its own, for better or worse.

It has a gothic atmosphere that tends to take some people's breath away, and it will immerse you deeply in a world vaguely enough like the one you know to unsettle you.

Though there are angels and demons, just as with us humans, there is not a sharply divided line between good and evil.  If you are into involved fantasies with deep characters and an intricate story-line, this series will be right up your alley.  It's not a once and done beach read, so I guarantee the end will stick with you for a while if you have the courage to get there."
Can you tell us something quirky about Angelus, its story and characters?
"I have gotten flack over the years for the name of my main character, Angela.  Some people called it out as being too obvious.  But there is backstory as to why she is given the name in the novel.

An angel important to the story appeared to her mother in a dream after her birth and told her to name the baby "hope."  Angela's mother refused (for reasons special to the story), but out of fear decided to at least name her Angela in memory of the fateful dream.

Other than that, many of the angels and demons have the names of actual angels and demons with occasional minor spelling changes for variety's sake."
Who would you recommend Angelus to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"I suppose I already answered this, but I don't recommend these novels to anyone looking for a light beach read or an erotic romance.  Both tend to be associated with paranormal novels right now, but this is primarily a fantasy novel and it has some dark sensibilities.  If you can handle a touch of suspense you'll do fine."
If you could / wished to turn Angelus and The Books of Raziel series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"I could definitely see Guillermo del Toro directing these "movies."   Or Tim Burton, or even Peter Jackson.  You need someone who's tackled darker, detailed, and more epic material in the past."
Fantastic directors, and their work is so distinctive - just like the work from Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro.

What do you like to write and read about?  Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?

"I love writing fantasy, and no matter what I do, my stories tend to veer in a mystical direction.  I've dabbled in lighter science fiction and I've been contemplating writing a dystopian novel.  But fantasy will always be my first love.  However, you might find this strange, but I love reading historical fiction (when it's a time period I'm interested in)."
What is your writing process?
"The idea/creative stage takes the longest, and in the case of these novels it took quite a long time compared to the actual writing.  I'm talking years.  But then again, at the time I was going through the process of obtaining an agent, finding a publisher, etc.

After that comes the sketchy outline, and then the writing of the first draft, which is always an epic adventure, in my opinion.  It's also my favourite part, because I can really enter the story and let my creativity shine.

If my book is under contract, it then gets reviewed by my editor who catapults me into the revision process."
What is in store next?
"Now that this book series is over and done with Angelus's publication, I'm ready to start a new project.  I've been torn between writing a dystopian novel I've had on the backburner for a while, and rewriting an Asian fantasy I worked on for years.  It's a hard choice!"
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"I have a 19 year old cockatiel named Caesar!  Isn't she just the cutest??  :-D"


She is gorgeous! :-)  Hello Caesar!  Many head scratches to you, little one!
Thank you for sharing her with us and for taking the time to be with us today.

Angelus
Pre-Order NOW - out on 9 Feb 2016!

UK: purchase from Amazon.co.uk purchase from Nook UK purchase from Kobo UK purchase from iTunes UK purchase from Google Books find on Goodreads
US: purchase from Amazon.com purchase from Barnes & Noble purchase from Kobo purchase from iTunes US

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