Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Guest Post: Savannah Kline Author Of Beloved Of The Fallen

Today we welcome Savannah Kline to A Chick Who Reads thanks to Book Lovin' Bitches Ebook Tours. Savannah is the author of Beloved Of The Fallen, which I reviewed here.

Beloved of the FallenFirst Jobs and Fallen Angels

"I had selected his features as beautiful …"

--Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

I learned a lot about fallen angels from my first job ever, in a walk-through maze at a local theme park's annual Halloween event. I played the role of a girl who had been attacked by zombies and escaped with her life, but unfortunately, not her sanity.
I loved that job. Not only was it a bona fide acting gig, but it also meant I'd get paid to do two of my favorite things: dress up in costume and stay awake all night long. Perfect!

Most of the people working this maze were hidden in the shadows along the path the guests would walk. These "zombies" wore masks or full makeup that completely hid or disfigured their faces. They would jump out at the guests, going for a "jack-in-the-box" scare.
But for me there was something different. The makeup artist didn't conceal my features; he emphasized them. I was made up to look like I'd been through a really traumatic experience, my complexion livid and blood trickling down my face.

And, unlike the "zombies" who wore layers of gaudy ripped clothes รก la Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video, I wore a pair of ordinary jeans and a sweater, artfully spray-painted so it looked like it had been dragged across half a mile of asphalt.

I was then stationed at the front of the maze and told to try and warn approaching guests of the terror lurking within.

So, every night from about seven p.m. to one a.m., I'd pace at the head of the line, panting as if I'd just run out of the attraction. I'd scream, cry, hyperventilate, and beg people not to enter the maze. There were these things in there, terrible, look what happened to me …

Most people would pause to stare, trying to figure out where the makeup ended and my real features began. They would start to wonder if I was simply acting or genuinely freaked out. I would try to interact with them until, in their minds at that moment, I really appeared to be a monster's victim gone insane. Until I saw the look that said: There's a human being behind that mad face. And she used to be normal.

The masquerade worked like a charm. Of course, once I'd informed people that something monstrous had gotten to me in the maze, they just had to go investigate. Some people acted apprehensive. But in the end, the temptation proved irresistible.

Why are "the fallen" so appealing? Whether it's an angel thrown out of Paradise or a human being gone wrong, something about a fallen creature makes us want to analyze, to find out what happened, how things will play out—and what we might do in a similar situation.

Certainly we wouldn't make the same mistakes, wouldn't put ourselves in a dangerous spot or ethical quagmire. Even if we did, we would find a way out somehow. Or would we?

In my novel Beloved of the Fallen, the angel Valentin allows himself forbidden feelings that seem harmless enough at first. His emotions are human, understandable, but they lead to his fall from grace.

As I wrote the story, I found myself even more fascinated with Valentin because he had fallen. He wasn't the lovely angel he'd been before. But he now had a reason to seek redemption. He understood his place in heaven was not something to be taken for granted, but a privilege.

Maybe that's what is so compelling about fallen characters. They provide a way for us to explore the forbidden without experiencing the misery, and to realize that sometimes "normal" is a blessing.

As a former zombie victim, I can attest to that.

Join Savannah on Facebook or Twitter @savannahkline.


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