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Erin Kellison Guest Post and Giveaway: Angels with a dark side

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Fire Kissed by Erin KellisonFirst of all, a huge thank you to Vampire Book Club for hosting me here today. And thank you so much to all the readers stopping by. My publisher has offered a copy of my upcoming release, Fire Kissed, to a reader who answers this question: Can angels have a dark side as shadowy as a vampire’s, and if so, does it make them… bad?

Let me explain. I’ve yet to write a hero that doesn’t have a dark side. Most of my heroes are in fact well into the grey area between hero and villain—or I (gleefully) take them there. Vampire heroes are a good example of this tension that exists in the grey space (though my books don’t feature vampires). Vampires have an inherent darkness that they fight… or revel in… or both. The struggle is delicious, especially if it involves a heroine similarly inclined.

But angels? Can they go that dark? I say… darker!

Meet Jack Bastian, the hero of Fire Kissed. He’s been an angel for a long time—eleven tours on Earth, all fighting magekind, a race of dangerous people with Shadow magic in their blood. Jack is a soldier, stoic about personal needs, exacting in his work. He prizes self-control, loyalty, and order. He’s world weary, but dedicated to his job, which in this case is hiring fire mage Kaye Brand to infiltrate and inform on her kind.

Here’s an excerpt of when Jack first sees Kaye, the woman that will lead him deep, deep into the dark side. Good thing she wields fire to light the way.

Jack Bastian regarded the wanton collapse of Kaye Brand. How the mighty Fire bloodline had fallen. The family had changed their names to start afresh in the New World—Brand—but the centuries had been hard on them. The old mages would be glad they were dead, if she was their legacy.

Her skirt was hitched up around her thighs, high enough that he could see a patch of a pink undergarment. He grabbed the edge of the skirt’s hem and gave it a hard tug down. The blouse he could do little about, tangled as it was around her midriff and skewed at her shoulder and lace-covered breast. A flash of pink told him the skirt had crept up again. The woman had curves as irresponsible as her nature.

His gaze narrowed on her face. A lock of her dark red hair concealed most of her cheek, some of the strands caught in her mouth. He wanted to see the scars, so he stroked the strands of hair away.

Her skin was satin until his fingertips came to fine lines gone white with time. They ran from her temple to her jaw, a cruel trophy from a vicious attack. She’d have scars on the other side of her face to match. Her survival proved she had the necessary mettle for his task. Well, maybe—she was now drooling on her pillow.

Jack checked the pulse at her throat—sure and steady—then grabbed the edge of the bedsheet, flung it over her exposed body, and strode from the room to let her sleep it off.

Can a man so dedicated to light succumb to darkness and passion and still be a hero? What if Shadow enters his soul? What if he invites Shadow inside? What if his honor clashes with his desires, and the latter… wins? Is he still good?

These are decadent and fun questions to me, ones to savor and explore. A reader might ask… how do you find that grey place? From a writer’s perspective, I begin my story with a simple question about my hero: What would he never do? And then I go there, all the way there, where not only is he faced with that situation, but he has very good reason to veer from his customary course and take the dark path.

(Credit for the question goes to Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook by Donald Maass. It’s a great resource.)

It’s in that journey into darkness that the story takes place, because the story is not about what happens, it’s about the struggle and transformation of the character. Dark to light; light to dark. All the grey in between. An angel, just like a vampire, has to go there, see the monster within, if he has any hope of coming out the other side.

What do you think? Can an angel be dark and good? Post a comment below. (The giveaway is open only to U.S. and Canadian addresses. Make sure to enter on or before July 9.)

38 Responses to “Erin Kellison Guest Post and Giveaway: Angels with a dark side”

  1. McKenna Lang says:

    I love this whole idea. I definitely think an angel can be dark AND good. The motivations behind allowing darkness into his soul are everything: did he let it in with the intention of doing good or saving someone special to him? Then he’s good! Did he let it in to further his own egomaniacal goals? Then, not so much. This looks like a great read!

  2. Rebe says:

    Definitely! How can an angel truly understand the light without understanding the dark? I love this series and can’t wait to see how Jack responds to Shadow!

  3. Lori says:

    Hi! When it comes to lovers, they can be dark but still have a side to them that is golden, passionate, and good. So i say Angels can be anything we want them to be…dark and good? Definitely!!

  4. Kate Douglas says:

    Since I have the book, no need to enter me, but I DO want to recommend it! Erin has written one that has gone immediately to a place of honor on my Keeper Shelf. I was lucky enough to get an ARC of Fire Kissed. I’ve already read it three times–and yes, it’s just that good!

    Congratulation on such a fantastic story, Erin!

  5. Maya says:

    Every being has a dark side, specially in a desperate situation. Having a dark side does not make one evil, but we need to in order to understand and stay on the light.

  6. Molly Frenzel says:

    I think angels walk a fine line between darkness and goodness, constantly fighting for balance. I think it would be very easy for them to be both dark and good.

  7. Danni T says:

    I think they can be good with a dark side. I think it makes for a more interesting character when there constantly battling there dark urges.

    danni0113(at)gmail(dot)com

  8. Victoria Sloboda says:

    I love my heroes to have a dark side. I think angels have demons to battle like all creatures so I love that there is a dark element here. Thank you.
    vsloboda(at)gmail(dot)com

  9. Barbara Elness says:

    Love the question, and yes, I think an angel can have a dark side and still be fundamentally good, as long as the dark side doesn’t take over.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

  10. Natasha says:

    Yes, I think an angel can be dark and good. Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  11. Na S. says:

    I definitely think an angel can be both good and bad. It might make them more complex and for me that is interesting. They’re less predictable.

  12. Bethany C. says:

    I think they can be whatever the author makes me believe!

    b(dot)cardone(at)hotmail(dot)com

  13. Victoria Zumbrum says:

    I think an angel needs to understand good and the darkness inside of everyone. Everyone has both sides inside of them. They just need to control the darkness. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

  14. Vilmarys says:

    Yes, I think angels can be both good and dark. Not everything is so simple as good or evil. I think all angels must have a little darkness in them because if there wasn’t then there was nothing to overcome to be good in the first place. Without darkness no one can make a choice to be good. Please enter me in the contest! And thanks for the chance!

  15. terri dion says:

    I think angels can have a dark side to them just like I think a vampire can be good. And you also have to remember that Lucifer was an angel at one time and he definitely has a dark side. I also that everyone has a dark side and has the potential to be bad if they let that side of them rule their life.

  16. Megan says:

    I think it’s possible, I mean aren’t we all good and bad at times.

    Megblod@yahoo.com

  17. Chelsea Foust says:

    I abso-bloody-lutely believe that an angel can be dark and good. As long as his dark ways are not only for personal gain, and he is still able to do good, then go for it! Love Fallen Angel/Angel books!
    chornbacher22@gmail[dot]com

  18. Julie Witt says:

    I definitely think angels can be dark and good. I think they are basically good at heart, but having lived so long and seeing all the bad stuff that humans can do to each other, it could turn a saint into a sinner!

  19. Liz Semkiu says:

    I think everyone has a light and dark side. There is a need for balance even for angels! The trick is not letting the dark side take over! Looking forward to your book!

    lizsemkiu@gmail.com

  20. Jackie says:

    I definitely think angels can be dark and good. It adds depth. The best characters are the ones that are multi-faceted.

  21. kerryjcj says:

    An angel can be dark and good – makes the best characters and alpha males :).

  22. kerryjcj says:

    Forgot my email – kerryjcj@verizon.net

  23. Alexandrea Ward says:

    I think that an angel with at least the knowledge of the other side and maybe even a little experience about the other side can greatly help with their work with humans, etc. Because how can you tell someone how to live or what they should do when you can’t truly relate to them on that level?

    sankofa0509@yahoo.com

  24. cindy vinzant says:

    I think angels knows there is a good side and a dark side.How can angels understand the light without understanding the darkCant wait to read your book.
    cjv115@yahoo.com

  25. Laura says:

    I believe depending on the book, yes they can bee both good and bad, good because they are angels, bad becase of the step they sometimes have to take in order to assure the safety of the innocent

  26. bn100 says:

    Yes, I think angels have a good and bad side.

  27. Susan H. says:

    Yes, they can!

  28. Julie says:

    I believe they can be both. Besides, it’s all a matter of perspective. What’s bad for you might be perceived as good to me or vice versa. Great giveaway, Thanks!

  29. Laurie says:

    Yes, I think they can. Since they are supposed to be so good, it’s interesting to see them struggle and how they overcome their issues.

  30. Keira says:

    Of course they can be bad! Angst instantly comes to mind, but it doesn’t have to be like that. They can be cruel, unrelenting, ruthless, etc. Maybe a little candle of good within their soul?

    Good post! 😀

  31. Karen Wapinski says:

    I do think they can be dark and still be good; its easy to become a little twisted when seeing what humanity is capable of and allowing that to make them angsty and maybe even a little vicious, but their essential goodness is always there, otherwise the bad wouldn’t bother them ^_^
    I can’t wait to read this, thanks for the giveaway!
    karen.wapinski at gmail dot com

  32. Sandy Lion says:

    I think angels can be anything they want to be. Free will and all. After living for eternity, I think it gets harder and harder to not explore all asoects of what life has to offer.

  33. I agree, I think angels can also be dark and light. As it sounds like your character Jack starts out (stoic and full of self control). I see a battle-hardened warrior who’s impassive and just wants the job done. I think an eternity of fighting could do that to a person er…angel. And I think that’s a type of darkness itself – restricting oneself from what they truly are, striving to be unfeeling and staying focused. At least with people, everyone has good and bad in them, like Ying and Yang. It’s a balance, and without bad, no one would know what good is.

    I could easily see an angel having both. In fact, succumbing to darkness might be even harder for them to resist, as they’re supposed to be the embodiment of ‘good’. And when you cut yourself off and strive to just be just, it makes the temptations that much harder to resist. Too much darkness is bad, of course, but I think dipping into your inner darkness, accepting that it’s there and part of you, and using it in balance with your light would make you even stronger. Not everyone is 100% good, you know? And ignoring the bad parts of yourself can only make you darker, and making it easier to tempt you. Even if you’re an angel.

  34. Marisa says:

    Of course angels can have a dark side. I think everybody can have a dark and a light side.

  35. Yes, an angel can have a dark side. It makes them more complex.

  36. Proserpine says:

    Hi! Thanks for this introduction, I really want to read this one, sounds awesome! Angel and Bad doesn’t seems to fit! I prefer my angels to be good and my demons to be bad!

  37. Elizabeth H. says:

    I totally believe an angel can be dark and still be good. I think the struggle with the darkness to remain good is admirable and shows strength. Plus, who doesn’t love bad boys : )

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