When Lilia Desjardins strode into my office in 2005 and demanded that I write her story, she surprised me. I’d written opinionated and outspoken heroines before, but Lilia was from a different time and place. Her world was that of the future, almost a hundred years in the future, a gritty repressive society called the Republic. Her world was post-nuclear but pre-Apocalyptic, one in which angels were sacrificing their wings in a quest to save humanity. Even better, she was falling in love with one of these fallen angels, whose earthly guise was a homicide cop named Adam Montgomery. As a rebel and a woman who has a slippery relationship with the truth, I think Lilia was more concerned that Montgomery was a police officer than a fallen angel. Now we call these books urban fantasy romance, and the settings dystopian, but at the time, I thought Lilia’s story was a strange hybrid of genres.
All the same, she wasn’t one to take no for an answer. I found myself not just writing her story but haunted by it. The first draft was a compulsive write, a mystery told in first person point-of-view in her strange and dark world. That version of Lilia’s story was never published—the book was revised extensively and repeatedly. The original vision was that of an historian trying to recreate a chronology of the events in 2099, which are told in the story. In that version, the historian had only Lilia’s diary as a source document. The historian thought Lilia an unreliable witness, so added newspaper articles and other materials to both corroborate and challenge her view of events.
Fallen was published in 2008 as a paranormal romance. Along the way, my idea that Lilia and Montgomery would be continuing characters with a relationship that evolved over multiple books fell by the wayside—because the trilogy of the Prometheus Project were all romances, they each had to feature a different hero and heroine. The story also was told in third person point-of-view, with scenes from Montgomery’s perspective that hadn’t existed in the original. I liked this change a lot because it showed us more not only of Montgomery but also of the angels and their plan. It also made the opening scene of the book possible. That was the last scene I wrote for this book and it remains my favorite. Sadly, my historian was cut out of the story, along with her footnotes. Guardian, book two in the trilogy, is the story of Raphael (a fallen angel we meet in Fallen) and Lilia’s daughter, Delilah. The final book in the trilogy, Rebel, is the story of Armand (one of the angels captured by Lilia before Fallen—his angelic name is Armaros) and Theodora, a wraith we first meet in Guardian.
I always really liked these books, although they are quite different from my other work. I’d never written about a place as dark and violent as the Republic, yet it offers a good contrast to the power of love. I was very excited to have the opportunity to revise and repackage the original trilogy for new editions. Publishing a linked series as it is written invariably leads to some continuity errors, so I’m glad to be rid of those. In addition, a new fourth book is being published: Abyss is also an urban fantasy romance, which takes place after the events in Rebel and tells of Tupperman’s happily-ever-after.
The other wonderful thing about a new edition is the chance to include some bonus material. I’ve gone through the files of the original book and included a selection of the content that never made it to the final version of Fallen. You’ll find the bonus material on page 333 of this edition. It includes A Summary of Nuclear Events of the 21st Century, some commentary from Lilia on New Gotham and radiation, as well as a news item about Lilia’s mom, Lillian Desjardins.
Finally, I want to comment on the change in the cover art. The new editions require new covers, and in this case, the market has changed significantly. Urban fantasy is well-established now as a viable genre, as is dystopian fiction, and the graphic language of those covers often include the heroine alone. Putting the heroines on the covers of this series resolves another issue with accurately presenting the characters in the book. Those of you familiar with angelology will have already realized that Munkar (Montgomery’s angelic name) is an angel named in Muslim sources and said to have the ability to discern the secret hearts of men. Munkar is also the only black-skinned angel. In the Republic of 2099, there is no conflict between black and white citizens, so the color of Montgomery’s skin color isn’t an issue for Lilia or anyone else in the book. Even though there are plenty of other prejudices in this fictional world to fill the void, that’s one facet of the Republic that would be a welcome change in our world. With Lilia on the cover of this new edition, you’re welcome to imagine Montgomery however you choose.
Until next time, I hope you are well and have plenty of good books to read.
All my best,