notes on Demon's Fall
I was uninterested in the whole angel/demon trend in paranormal romance until I stumbled upon an illustration by Loris Stavrinides. Something about the concept of a forlorn female caged angel stuck with me, although naturally she needed some fighting spirit if she was going to belong in one of my stories.
I used Biblical lore (mostly the Book of Revelation) as a source for the world's mythology and avoided being religious about it. The main difference between my angels and demons is actually cultural; neither is an automatic bastion of good or evil. So angels can lust, and demons can be heroic. It's just that these things just aren't encouraged, particularly given the magical talents each group tends to have.
The most frustrating part about angel/demon romances that acknowledge an afterlife (as is the tendency) is that "happily ever after" really means for eternity. This isn't an easy proposition when couples come from nicely conflicting backgrounds — say, angelic and demonic. Neither Heaven nor Hell is a happy place for both to end up. Ta da! The Third Path.
I think I must have been tired of the physically buff hero trend when I was writing this one. Kenan's not much of a fighter (see: the fight with mirror-demon), but he does have other talents. I think it helped to stay in his perspective throughout the whole story, so that you could get a good sense of what kind of guy he was and how sincerely he came to feel about Jahel. (I'm a minimalist when it comes to points of view, and there was no question this story had to start with Kenan's — looking at an angel in a cage and not knowing how it got there is more interesting than being the angel looking out — and then I never felt the need to switch over.)
The fragment of "Snow White" that was woven in got mixed reviews. I confess I added it as a shortcut: I didn't want to spend time chasing the subplot about Jahel's ward and her soul, and the easiest way to do that was to invoke a story everyone already knew, and wouldn't expect rehashed.
My two favorite minor characters in this one: Edom, the demon-horse with a prediliction for apple pies (one review said, "I also learned, via this story, that I am really amused by talking demonic horses"), and Lilith, the succubus who has a great deal of power and little patience. There turned out to be undertones between Lilith and the archangel Baraqiel, so I gave them their own story.
Random fact: this story was originally titled Gutter-wing.
The Samaria series by Sharon Shinn also deals with angels in a Biblically-tinged but original setting. On Samaria, angels coexist with low-tech humans but hold a revered status, which makes their interactions fascinating. Shinn also has a lovely voice and builds deeply satisfying romances.