…there are rumours about a place, where the souls go to die. There are rumours about a place, where the wind sounds like a sigh and raindrops look like tears. There are rumours about a place in old tales where the angels goes to mourn, and where each old wound is torn open again…
Animreh invites you on a journey to follow the history of mankind and immortals. Animreh shows you the mysterious archangel, Raziel and his battle between love and faith. The un-told story of the beginning of the Nephilyn and the Great War of Angels. Will Raziel stay in Heaven with his love, Yura or will he follow his destiny and join to Lucifer?
This mysterious and enticing passage is the blurb to ‘The Season of Storm: The Raziel Codex’ by Animreh. The story of angels and demons has been a wild success, so we interviewed Animreh to unveil what we could about her writing journey…
Publishing Push: Tell us about yourself, your background and your journey to writing a book.
Animreh: I started to write when I was only 10. Some people find joy in playing video games on PCs, I opened up Microsoft Word and that was more than any video or PC game can give. That was a white paper for me, where I built empires and worlds, and destroyed them. A white endless world, where I am God and I do anything, and paint it with colours that do not even exist in reality. My first book was over 600 pages; my literature teacher sent it off for a contest and I won. She inspired me to carry on, so I did. By the age of 16 I was a member of a literature club, winner of a few contests, I had a short story published, and I was working on my first book. By the age of 21 I had a publishing deal, and I had published my first book. Now I am breaking in the book market with my second book, that I hope has great success. I was in the fashion business for over 10 years as a model and later on as a photographer. I still enjoy taking photos and videos as a hobby.
Publishing Push: How did you decide to write The Season of Storm: The Raziel Codex?
Animreh: I was on my way to a photo-shoot in summer 2006, and a piece of music I listened to for the first time made me think of something mighty, something with a war. And as I listened to the same music later more often, I felt that my characters must be something different, something powerful but that have not yet been used a lot by movies and other books. I decided to have angels and demons for characters and I began my research on these theological creatures in 2006 and it took me almost 2 years of research before I started the book.
Publishing Push: What inspired you to write the book, perhaps within the research you had to do?
Animreh: I fell in love during my research. The more I have learned about religions and angels, the more I was into it. I spent time with different religions (Pagan, Jewish, Muslim, Christian, New-Christian, Hindi, Buddhist etc.) I made friends and I participated in their rituals and prayer, I read the Bible, the Torah and I had a friend who helped me to read the Koran in its original (Arabic) language. The world of beliefs is a miracle, a true miracle that inspired me and kept me going. Dancing under the moon with Celtic Pagans, or fasting for the poor and clearing your body, all helped me to create a place that you can no longer call Heaven or Valhalla, as it is not a place for one religion only.
Publishing Push: Does your personal experiences and background influence the novel?
Animreh: I could say no, but I think everybody would know it is a lie. You cannot write unless you give your heart and by doing so, you will be using your personal experiences to describe feelings, places and characters. When I was 6, I died for about 1 or 2 minutes. I have been resuscitated; I had a short experience of afterlife. I saw no floor with a door in the end; I saw no Jesus or Buddha coming to greet me. I went into darkness, and then like a push I went into shine. The shine, that was a part of me and I was a part of it. Shine, that moved but had no edges or legs, or space to move onto. It was bizarre and unexplainable but it felt pure and good.
Publishing Push: Is there a unique topic in the book that people might not know about, or might benefit from?
Animreh: I wrote the book with a specific rule: do not take a side. If you do not believe in any God whatsoever, you will still enjoy the book as the story catches you and takes you to a fantasy place where you fall in love, and where you fight. If you believe in God, you will feel that this book is about religion, and it is about the way of finding faith. If you are – let’s say – a Satanist, you still will feel that this book is about the truth and showing Lucifer in his true power and colours. Basically the book itself is one huge topic: you and what you believe. No matter who you are or what you think of the creation, this will be a journey that will make you feel that you are right in what you believed.
Publishing Push: What have been the most difficult and the most rewarding aspects of the writing process?
Animreh: The most difficult was making sure that I do not take a side. Writing a book about good and bad is boring. I had to write and re-write all the time to make sure that I did not take a side, I do not say who is good. I had to make no heroes and evils, but characters for you as a reader to choose from. There were a few chapters and characters I enjoyed writing the most. There were some upsetting parts as well, but these parts were also rewarding as I felt that they are truly heart-breaking. I grew with the story. I did write every day, not knowing what my characters would do next. I was just sitting in front of my laptop, asking my characters to move, to live and to do what they would do. They did, so I was writing and there became a story. I feel that I am the hand that types, but the story itself is something I was led by and not something I fabricated on my own.
Publishing Push: Can you describe one key part of the book that may interest the reader, something surprising or unknown?
Animreh: All the characters are from existing religions. Some of them are famous, like Gabriel and Michael, some of them are not that famous, like Yura and Vesta. I have spent years working to tailor existing stories together, so it would give a history line that I can follow when I write the book. I can tell you what surprised me; Raziel is a very strong character, very powerful and still nowadays a known angel for many of us. His character, although a lot more than just having come down to Earth to make children and start the Nephylin (as the shorter version of the story says), there was a lot more to it. He did not just happen to fall off and when I discovered that, it gave me a drive. He was a scientist, he was a warrior and he was in love. His love stood opposite to what he believed was right, and that drove him to madness. He knew he cannot stay and be someone who he is not, he knew he needed to cut his relations, the only relation he had with Heaven. His agony was shocking for me. It was something I would have never thought of a mighty angel. In the end, his decision was even more shocking for me; I would have never thought he would choose what he eventually does to do with the situation.
Publishing Push: Can you summarise what the book aims to achieve, does it try to send a message?
Animreh: This story is more complex than one single message. I would say that if you read it you will be getting a different message from what the person gets next to you. The story is for you to pick your heroes, your side and it is for you to pick up the sword and fight your battle. The story is for you to fall in love, or understand the danger of falling love with the wrong person. There is no one big message. There is you and the story.
Visit Amazon to find your story in The Season of Storm: The Raziel Codex.