Angels and Elephants

“Where’d you get that idea from?” We’ve all heard it, and since the publication of my first novel, Reborn, I’ve been asked variations of that very question many times. So, here it is – the source of my inspiration.

I collect two things; angels and elephants. My children would suggest that I also attempted to collect children (I’ve had six) but that’s a whole other argument.

Elephants were my first love, in particular, the fab Herd collection from Martha Carey, and I began collecting them when I was about 13 years old. (It makes Christmas and birthdays really easy for anyone who knows me.) I don’t know where my love for this incredible beast came from, but there’s something very grounding about their majesty, their gentleness, and their love for family ie. their herd.

My fascination with angels came years later, although my collection is easily as big as that of my Herd collection.

After a difficult pregnancy, my twin boys were born prematurely. They were tiny but thrived, and at five weeks old, came home from the NICU to join their two older brothers. Settling into a hectic life, not a day went by when I didn’t offer up thanks for whatever Guardian Angels had watched over the twins when their lives were most fragile. Looking back, this is probably when I first began to consider life may be accompanied by something more celestial.

The twins were identical in looks, and did everything together. They communicated in gurgles that each seemed to understand, they ate at the same time, played at the same time, even peed at the same time. They slept cuddled up together, and they awoke together…until one morning, when they were just a few months old, and only one of them woke up.

Now, I’m not writing this to tell you how I felt – you don’t need to be a parent to work that out – but to share how the idea for my book came about. I questioned how my son had survived a high risk pregnancy, survived being born prematurely, survived the NICU, only to be taken when all the danger had passed. What was the point of that?

And so began my intrigue with angels. I began to research them, and the more I learnt, the more intrigued I became. Though I found nothing to suggest this was true, I imagined that everyone was born with a purpose, and had a Guardian angel to ensure they reached that purpose. The idea acted like a balm to my aching soul, and eventually became the basis for the Reborn Trilogy.

And who knows…maybe we do all have a purpose, and my son’s was to bring this idea out at a time when the whole world’s soul could do with a little soothing.

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