THE DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND

THE DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND: death of a Juggalette in the SFV

Much of the inspiration for the real side of life in the Night Angels Chronicles came from my experiences raising children as a single mother on the mean streets of Los Angeles suburbia. I write essays on the topic and this is the latest one, published in NAILED magazine. It’s a tragic story, about a friend of my son’s.

There’s the fun side of writing Urban Fantasy, the magical world a writer can create where anything is possible. For me, I’m enjoying my vampires and denizens, the angels and demons, the Lizard City beneath Los Angeles , the Key of Mystery and the tablet upon which is written the Secrets to the Origins of Life. It’s been especially fun to build the history of the Night Angels, going back to the Pharaohs of Egypt and the Ottoman Empire.

And then there’s a real side of Urban Fantasy. For me, I’ve chosen to peel back the façade of a suburb and see what’s really underneath. As a single mother, raising kids on the mean streets of Los Angeles suburbia, I’ve had first-hand experience of this. As the co-founder of a creative writing program for incarcerated youth, I’ve heard so many horrible stories of injustice. I’ve made friends with my students, now going back over twenty years, encouraging them through their struggles. And I always did my best as my kids were growing up to be there for the young people of my neighborhood who were struggling with addiction and gangs.

NIGHT ANGELS CHRONICLES is a blend of these two worlds–the fantastical and the often more horrific reality. This essay shows what really happens, and how, sadly, parents and community leaders most often don’t want to acknowledge the truth of what our children face every day when they walk out the door and into the world. I hope to do my part to change that blind mentality.

Book of Angels, Volume II in NIGHT ANGELS CHRONICLES, and Editor’s Pick

Book of Angels is soon to be released and I am thrilled to announce that it is an Editor’s Pick with my fabulous editor, Melissa Hosack, Evernight Teen. Find your way deeper into the secrets of the NIGHT ANGELS CHRONICLES with Volume II. Learn more about denizens. Do you know what they are?
“A denizen is a foreigner allowed certain rights in an adopted country.”

This is who the Night Angels are and who Sera and her brother Salem become. What, really, does it mean? How at home do you really feel you are in your world? Can you ever escape it for a better one? What is the price that you pay if you do?

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I was recently in Bolivia for two months, finishing up Volume III, Cave of Secrets. Amazing experience. I found a fantastic boxing gym and became obsessed with the colonial churches. I wrote my first travel essay, Writing and Fighting in Sucre, and it will be published in http://www.gonomad.com soon! I had interviews published in The Missing Slate, http://themissingslate.com/2016/05/18/an-interview-with-my-world-project-founder-karen-hunt, Fantasy Lit Magazine, and Talk Supe.

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Angels with Gold Wings in the Church of the Santa Clara Monastery

How could I not be inspired for NIGHT ANGELS CHRONICLES when images such as this angel in Santa Clara Convent and Church surrounded me?

The month of June found me back in Los Angeles to catch up with my kids and to teach some kick boxing classes. I celebrated July 4th with friends in Calabasas, on a hill overlooking the San Fernando Valley, where so much of NIGHT ANGELS CHRONICLES takes place.

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But traveling calls to me! I am in Costa Rica, on beautiful Lake Arenal, writing for three months. Who knows where this experience will lead me?

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Above is the view on my run in the little pueblo where I live, my neighborhood. This place is inspiring me as I start to write Volume IV, Land of Talismans.

These books mean so much to me. They are entertaining but they also have a message of unity and they ask the most fundamental questions that all humans want to answer, and yet we cannot find the answer to these questions no matter how hard we search.

Now, as I write this, the tropical rain beats down on the roof and the sound is intense. Lightening strikes and clouds roll across the lake as if preparing for battle. I love this planet with all its diverse beauty. This planet is fine, it is humanity that is messed up! I hope these books can influence a new generation to unite and fight against oppression in all its forms. Travel the world. Find your path. Learn from those who seem different–discover how you are really all the same and celebrate the wonder and artistic expression of your differences. Speak your truth. Stand up against fear and manipulation.

As I quote Alexander Pope at the beginning of Book of Angels, “Aspiring to be gods, angels fell; Aspiring to be angels, men rebel.”

Cemetario General, looking just like apartment buildings for the dead

Cemetario General, Sucre. Where we all end up eventually. Little apartment buildings for the dead. Except that Sera escapes this fate. And finds herself embroiled in a curse greater than death.

Walking on the Roof of San Filipe Neri Church at Sunset

Walking on the roof of San Filipe Nero Church, I found the answers to some of these questions…..which only led to more questions of a deeper nature. A beautiful journey. And not an easy one. But well worth it.

Who Am I?

I am the official Transcriber for the International Order of Denizens, or, the IOD. I have told many stories and they live inside my blood and flow throughout my body. This story, I was forbidden to tell, but I could not stop myself. It is my final illumination.

Sera! It is her story. It starts with an ending. With a death. But that death is also the beginning. I have followed after her, down every twisting pathway, and I have invoked her voice. That is my gift, or perhaps my curse, imparted in an age when words were believed to have power and the incanting of certain mantras could raise palaces or tumble mountains. Dawn and shadows, light and dark, strength and weakness. Is it not all beautiful? Is it not all painful? Will I not one day understand, when the Tablet is found and the Secrets to the Origins of Life is in my hands?

In Sera’s hands.

Listen…

I speak with her voice. I love with her heart. I fear and I fight.

And I seek.

Sera Patterson, Keeper of the Key.