I welcome Zoe Whitten back today; she's interviewing Gabriel, one of the lead characters from her recently released YA novel, Saving Gabriel. Welcome back, Zoe... And a big welcome to Gabriel...
My guest today is someone I know well, and I know he doesn’t like interviews. But that’s a pity for Gabriel, because I’m going to prod him into a chair and poke him with a pointy stick until he talks. So, fine readers, without further introduction, I give you the fallen angel, Gabriel.
Me: Hello, Gabriel.
Gabriel: (taking a seat) Hello. Are we ready to talk about the sequel yet? Because I’ve been eavesdropping on your muse, and I don’t like the way she talks about me sometimes.
Me: No, we’re not ready to talk about the sequel yet. You and Rosalinda will need to earn your keep before I decide to keep you around for a series.
Gabriel: All right, that sounds fair. So why am I here? And why is there a pointy stick on your desk?
Me: It’s a MacGuffin, is all. So, I offered readers an excerpt showing you and Rosalinda. Your scene was a little embarrassing, wasn’t it?
Gabriel: (Blushing) It was uncomfortable, yes.
Me: But you’re her guardian angel. Surely you must have seen her nude in the shower many times.
Gabriel: No, I give my ward personal space and privacy. I can’t...it wouldn’t be right for me to watch her then.
Me: So she could have slipped and cracked her head in the tub while you were looking away.
Gabriel: (Puckers mouth) Well, it never happened, but yes, I suppose it could have.
Me: So how often does something happen while you have your back turned?
Gabriel: I didn’t protect her from a young man who was courting her, though I knew his affections for her weren’t genuine. He hurt her feelings, and I regret that, but it isn’t my job to tell her how to live, only to protect her from harm.
Me: But the other time you turned your back, she was almost killed.
Gabriel: (Frowns deeply) Yes. If I had not, Rosalinda might never have been attacked at all. At the same time, if I watched her every moment, I might not have uncovered this plot. (Shakes head) Which means I’ll be closer to Rosalinda, but I’ll also be seeing Michael more often. I’d rather go a century or two without talking to him.
Me: So now you’re going on a stakeout with your ward. That’s going to be a bit weird.
Gabriel: How do you mean?
Me: You’ve known Rosalinda all your life, but to her, you’re a complete stranger.
Gabriel: Yes, that’s true, and I have to build a false identity by the omission of facts rather than outright lies.
Me: Because you’re forbidden by the archangel council from lying.
Gabriel: As all angels and fallen angels are, yes.
Me: That’s a tall order for just one angel, fallen or not.
Gabriel: It will be very difficult, but I’m not working alone. I’ve got help from Muriel, a fallen archangel. After heaven cast me out, Muriel took me under his wings. He’s been a part of my life so long that I can call him my father and it’s not a lie.
Me: That’s very unusual, how you’re thousands of years old, but you still need a father figure in your life.
Gabriel: (Shifts uncomfortably) It’s part of my nature as a guardian angel, my eternal youthfulness. I lost some of my innocence by fighting and killing other angels, but for whatever reason, my soul never evolved to the point that I could be promoted to full angel status.
Me: That’s rough, being stuck two steps above the cherubim your whole life.
Gabriel: The last millennia hasn’t exactly been easier as a fallen guardian angel. Aside from Muriel, most of the other fallen angels won’t associate with me.
Me: Why is that?
Gabriel: Because after they fell, they rejected their roles and became abusers of humanity. I was cast out of heaven, but I never gave up my job acting as a protector. I wander until I find a ward, and I maintain my role as their guardian angel. The other fallen angels select humans to invisibly torment them and send them to hell.
Me: But Muriel is different?
Gabriel: Muriel is complicated. He runs casinos to generate his wealth, so in this way, he is exploiting the greedy weaknesses of humans. But what he does doesn’t taint their souls, at least not by itself. In place of an altar to lay their tithing upon, the humans who come to Muriel place their faith and funds in the promise of an earthly financial reward. I could not do that myself, but as Muriel is one of the few souls I can be myself around, I try to overlook his vices.
Me: So there’s only the casinos as his vices? He’s just a mixed up innocent angel like you?
Gabriel: (Squirms) No, he’s far from innocent. Muriel has been known to...to lay down with women, but so far as I know, he has no contact with any of his children. Also, he drinks quite a bit of wine. He says it reminds him of home, but in my opinion, earthly wine is nothing at all like the varieties found in heaven. To me, drinking earth wine is like drinking decaffeinated coffee. It sort of tastes the same, but you know something is missing.
Me: Aside from Muriel, you don’t talk to anybody else?
Gabriel: He’s the only one I speak to fondly, yes. When the fallen angels and I cross paths, they don’t have any kind words for me, and I have no love lost for them. But it’s even worse when I’m harassed by the archangels, Michael most of all.
Me: So what is the deal between you and Michael? Was it just you falling out because he cast you out of heaven?
Gabriel: (Stays silent a long time) No, Michael and I never quite got along. I...I didn’t mind that he acted as my father, and I loved him as a human might love their father. But I didn’t agree with many of his decisions when it came to applying angelic law. In Michael’s view, the law is black and white, and once he’s cast a value on an action, he won’t change his mind or be convinced that the issues are morally grey, at best.
Me: Then the two of you have been arguing for a few thousand years before you fell?
Gabriel: More or less, yes, that’s the case.
Me: Have you ever won an argument with him?
Gabriel: (Sighs) Not a one.
Me: Did you ever agree with him, at least?
Gabriel: Yes, we agreed on many things. Before I fell, I never disagreed with the cases I was assigned, and I did my job with a near perfect success rate.
Me: Near perfect? So that last case went badly, huh?
Gabriel: Very badly. I lied to my ward, and that turned her toward a life of evil. If you don’t mind, I think I’d rather talk about something less distressing.
Me: Well I think we can stop here. If readers want to know more about your past or your stakeout with Rosalinda, they’ll just have to try the book at Amazon, Kobo, or my blog bookstore. Gabriel, thanks for being a good sport.
Gabriel: I am still trying to suck up for a sequel.
Me: Yeah, and good luck with that. Just one more thing?
Gabriel: I guess—OW! Hey, you said the stick was a MacGuffin!
Me: And so it was, Gabriel. And so it was.