|“No great thing is created suddenly."
~~ Stephen King in Doctor Sleep
Welcome to October... the month of scary stuff and pumpkin
I decide to start the Halloween season off with a little Q
and A. If you have any questions about JABB that you'd
like answered, please let me know. Thanks!
a JABB Co-Founder: The Halloween Edition Part II
Question: We haven't seen much of
Andrew's AOD work in recent stories. Will you get back
Answer: Yes! To be honest, story-wise this whole year
hasn't gone as planned. I wasn't going to do a big issue
story but then I started one and it's taking forever to
finish. So that's pushed back all other stories
including two which would have featured Andrew-as-AOD.
Rest assured, Andrew is still an angel of death and is
regularly taking people Home. They've just been shorter
Since Halloweentime is also when All Saints Day and All Souls
Day are celebrated, I thought I'd address this question here:
Question: When you write for Joshua and the other biblical
characters, are you writing what you actually believe or
just what you think makes a good story?
Answer: If it's something of moral significance or something
that I feel is vital to Christian faith, then I write what I
actually believe. I would never have Joshua say
something that was counter to my understanding of the
teachings of Yeshua/Jesus. I hope what Joshua says does
genuinely represent Yeshua's teaching, of course, but I'm an
imperfect human being. Surely I can't have everything
right. But I try.
In other matters, I will write what makes for a good
story. Do I necessarily believe Mary of Magdala and Mary
of Bethany are the same person? Not really. Do I
believe it's possible? Yes. So I felt free to
write a story in which Mary, the little sister of Lazar and
Martha of Bethany, marries a man from Magdala. Some
people do believe that the two women are one and the same and
I don't personally believe one's faith is going to be impacted
no matter what side of the issue you land on. For
comparison, generations of people went their whole lives
believing Mary of Magdala was a prostitute. Was it
wrong? Yes. Do I think they were punished for
having that false belief? No. (I reserve the right
to believe Yeshua may have had some compassionate but strong
words for the man who started the slander, though.)
In a similar vein, I had Yeshua's siblings all be his cousins
who Maryam and Yosef adopted after they were orphaned.
Do I believe that? No. But I didn't want to lose
Catholic readers over something that really isn't integral to
the story I'm trying to tell and the message I want to put out
there. And it does fit in really nicely with the
stories' overall theme of family being about more than
And I obviously don't believe that Andrew witnessed the
Crucifixion because that was a real event and Andrew is a
fictional character. However, I do believe that some
angels had a more direct experience of the Crucifixion so, not
knowing their stories, I chose to explore that possibility via
Question: Have you ever abandoned an
idea for a Dyeland story because you decided it was too
Answer: Abandoned? No. Delayed? Yes.
The idea of a pre-Flood, demonic breeding cult was something
I'd considered several years before I ended up using it in
"Shadowlands." As someone who studied the Bible, I know
some of the super-weird, super-creepy theories about the
Nephilim. I was not interested in exploring the idea
that they're half-demon, half-human because that doesn't fit
in with my belief system. I don't believe angels can
procreate so since demons are fallen angels... how would they
be able to procreate? I don't believe Satan is able to
dole out procreative abilities. But I could imagine them
trying to build a super army via selective breeding of
captured humans and, thus, creating the Nephilim that
way. As for why I wanted to pursue that plot line at
all... 1. I wanted to introduce El-Chanan and the Great Flood
seemed like as good a time as any for an off-shoot of humanity
to move into another dimension, 2. I knew I eventually wanted
to do a story on modern human trafficking and the El-Chananite
characters would be a good resource for the Friends since they
would have had experience with an ancient form of trafficking,
and 3. the demons behind it would be great foils for Andrew
who is in a very self-sacrificing relationship with a
I had at one point, several years ago, considered a story in
which demons somehow tricked Andrew and JenniAnn into
believing that Adam had fallen. I honestly don't
remember many details but I eventually abandoned it not so
much because it was too dark so much as it was too
stupid. Especially post-Joshua, Andrew and JenniAnn
would have to be struck hard with a gullibility stick to fall
I've also toned down all of the Crucifixion scenes.
Maybe that won't always remain the case but, at this point, I
don't feel ready to explore the full brutality of it.
Question: Have you ever had a nightmare
because of anything you've written in a Dyeland story?
Answer: Not that I recall. I've definitely lost some
sleep, though! Andrew's account of the Crucifixion in
"The Carpenter" was written late at night because I couldn't
sleep knowing that scene was out there... waiting to be
written. So I stayed up and wrote it. I don't
remember clearly after that but I imagine I laid awake for a
while in bed once I'd finished.
I have actually incorporated at least one of my nightmares
into a Dyeland story. In "Remembrance," JenniAnn has a
nightmare about seeing Joshua in a concentration camp and
trying to alert people but it was as if she was a ghost.
No one could hear or sense her... Joshua included. I did
actually have a nightmare
like that. I was very glad to wake up.
Question: Does Andrew have a Halloween section in his
Answer: Why yes... Yes, yes he does. ;-) And
here it is since I can't remember if I ever shared these
newsletter is dedicated to John Dye for making Andrew such
an encouraging, lovable character... who is nice to
daydream about after watching a scary movie.
(Photo Credits: The photographs used on this page
are from Touched by an Angel and owned by CBS
Productions, Caroline Productions, and Moon Water
Productions. They are not being used to seek profit.)