I was raised in a Southern Baptist household and cut my teeth on Old Testament stories full of the Devil and damnation. Having an active imagination and a strong desire to find good in everyone, I was particularly taken by the story about Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden. To me, it was a love story, maybe the greatest ever told. Adam gave up heaven on Earth to be with Eve after she ate from the apple. He could have resisted her and temptation and hung out with God, but he was so enamored by Eve, his good sense went out the proverbial window and he damned himself right along with her.
Destined to be a writer, I transformed many Biblical stories in my head instead of listening to the pastor on Sunday mornings, and questioned what might have happened if things had been different. What if the original garden had been the Garden of Evil and it was God who had to tempt Eve to eat from the apple in order to create heaven on Earth? What if God sent Adam and Eve back to Earth for a redo and once they got here and hung out with all of us, they had to decide if wiping out sin—which would include all of us born in sin—was a good deal?
In my Witches Anonymous novella series, I play with those ideas, letting Adam come back to Earth and find the perfect Eve (who happens to be named Amy). I took the Devil and gave him the ability to love, which in some religions, he was capable of as an archangel. And I continually flip the *rules* of good and evil on their heads, just to see what happens.
There are people in my family and in my community who don’t like me doing this. They refuse to read these stories. They don’t stand too close to me in case God sends a lightning bolt my way. Others get that the stories are fiction, and fantasy at that. They’re light and humorous and a fun read when you need a lift. Is there a moral to the stories? If you’re looking for one, you’ll find it. I throw in a lot of symbolism as well, and yes, I like to have a point to messing with the grand scheme of things, even if it is only fiction. Like in the first installment, which is the title of the series, some of my fans list this as their favorite quote: (Amy’s explaining things to Adam) “You see, free will begets self-responsibility. You can’t force someone else to be responsible for your decisions, even if the destiny of humanity rests on your shoulders…You take the credit and the blame, one-hundred percent, for your choices. No passing the buck. Or the forbidden fruit, for that matter. Eve sinned and so did you. You can’t blame her for tempting you to eat the apple or ask me to save you from eating it again.”
So I admit here on Magical Musings to have a God complex and rewriting good and evil to my liking. Working on this series constantly reminds me that good and evil exist in each of us, and it is our choice to resist or give in to temptation, whatever form it appears in. And just so you know, the WA series is romantic comedy because, having been raised on Old Testament beliefs, I can tell you I’ve found laughter is the best way to deal with the Devil (a little chocolate doesn’t hurt either!).
Readers: Have you read a story where good and evil are flipped around? Ever liked the bad guy more than the hero? Ever cheered when a character did the wrong thing instead of the right? Post an answer or comment and I’ll draw one name for a giveaway. The winner will receive an adorable The Devil Made Me Do It Sticky Note Pad (sorry I couldn’t get a picture to show up) or their choice of one of my WA novellas.