From the Author
I’ve always been fascinated with stories of good vs evil and Lucifer in particular. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when Coming Darkness was conceived but I can point to two catalysts: 1. In Neil Gaiman’s Sandman – Season of Mists, a fed-up Lucifer quits, kicks all the souls out of hell, locks it up and leaves. 2. A dream I had where Lucifer (graciously portrayed by a very dashing David Niven) interrupts a satanic ritual a group of Goth kids were performing in a cemetery. He sits them down and tells them that they’re all idiots. It’s a chicken/egg situation – I’m not sure which came first, although the dream-Lucifer became the basis for the Lucifer in Coming Darkness.
I knew I wanted to write a story that involved Lucifer, but not the popular conception of Lucifer, as it had been done many times before and I didn’t have anything new to add in that regard. Given my catalysts, I wanted to explore his nature, one where he wasn’t evil – not a good guy mind you – but not Satan. My research gave me a starting point. The Sufis believe that Lucifer’s fall occurred not simply because he disobeyed God, but because God commanded that the angels love humans more than Himself, and Lucifer refused because it was asking the impossible. This was the foundation on which I could build his character: proud, stubborn, perfect (from his point of view of course), and thus flawed. Everything else sprung up organically. The Creator gave his creations – including the angels – the ability to choose their own fates. Thus Lucifer, unable to fulfill his Father’s demands, “fell” desiring only to be left alone. Having been given the choice, there was no punishment – at least none from the Father.
Then we come to the concept of Free Will. What if that was an aberration among the Creators and not the norm? More possibilities opened up, and the theme expands from good vs evil to order vs chaos. And I pretty much fell down the rabbit hole from there.
I did research angels, demons et. al. but ended up discarding most of it. There is so much conflicting information, detail on some things, no detail on others… The easiest thing to do was lift names and go on from there. Since I was following a different path for Lucifer, why not follow a different path for all of it? That’s what I love about writing fantasy – I have the freedom to construct and mold the world that contains the story.
A good portion of Coming Darkness is about Kai, Lucifer’s lover. Kai originally showed up in a dream as an unknown supernatural creature being hunted by his own kind. I was in the middle of my first National Writing Month and I was bored with the story, so I made him a vampire and threw him into a romance with Roberta as his partner. At the time, I had decided that he and Lucifer were together and that Roberta was a temporary dalliance. I found the characters so much more interesting than that particular story, and so I wrote Coming Darkness specifically for Lucifer and Kai. Roberta almost didn’t appear, but I’m glad she did. I think her normalcy is grounding.
While Kai began to take shape in that other story, he wasn’t fully realized until I started writing Coming Darkness – he developed specifically for Lucifer. What kind of partner would Lucifer have? Definitely not human. What would attract the most powerful being on the planet, and not only hold his interest but be so important to him that he’d go through ridiculous lengths to ensure that that person was protected? Of course, that person would have to have beauty, strength, and intelligence but also a capacity for deep devotion and the willingness to ignore their own desires, to unwittingly become consumed… There are consequences to that kind of obsessive love. But this isn’t a love story, at least not directly. Then I took the idea that he was being hunted and turned it around to his being disrespected and dismissed by his own kind simply because of who he loves. He never felt the need to prove himself, until Lucifer disappears. All of a sudden, he has to adjust to no longer being in Lucifer’s shadow and it won’t be an easy adjustment.
I hope that readers can take away with them a love for the characters and their individual struggles and that they end up rooting for them as much as I do.