Today we are featuring an interview with Hope Carmichael, the heroine of The Archangel Prophecies trilogy—including Dark Hope and the newly released Dark Rising—and her guardian angel, Henri.
The Archangel Prophecies ask: Can one person upend a prophecy as old as time? Hope Carmichael is on the run. The only question is, from whom? The mark on her neck has branded her as part of an ancient prophecy, the Bearer of the Key. But the Fallen Angels have misunderstood and think Hope is their long-awaited way to regain Heaven by force. Now Hope is chasing down the artifact that could open Heaven's Gates, while seeking to destroy it before the Fallen catch up with her. Will the Triad crime ring track Hope and exact their punishment before she gets the chance? Is the ragtag band of angels surrounding her now there to protect her, or imprison her? And will Michael, the Archangel sworn to defend Heaven at all costs, be forced to deny his love for Hope and take her life instead, so that the artifact won't fall into enemy hands? Hope crisscrosses some of the most ancient sites in Europe and plumbs the depths of history in search of the truth about the Key, herself, and love. Exploring themes of identity, fate, jealousy, trust, and forgiveness, Dark Rising’s mythological scope and moral urgency deepen as we come to understand the choices and consequences faced by a young woman determined to follow her heart and chart her own destiny. And through it all, her guardian angel is at her side, to help. Let’s learn more about them in Reading Teen’s exclusive interview.
RT: You two seem to have a unique relationship. How would you describe it in one word?
HENRI: Exhausting. Despite my good advice, she seems to keep getting into trouble, from which I then have to extract her, of course.
HOPE: (Rolling eyes) Did I say “testy?” I think I meant “annoying.”
RT: Henri, tell us—is it normal for a human to be aware of, and in dialog with, his or her guardian angel?
HENRI: Not at all. If it hadn’t been for that meddling Archangel, Michael, Hope would have remained blissfully ignorant of my existence—which is how I prefer it. By revealing his own identity, Michael triggered her realization that the “voice in her head,” as she likes to call it, was actually me.
RT: Why was your anonymity important to you, Henri?
HENRI: Teens are notoriously prone to defying authority, Hope more so than most. Having her think my brilliant advice was her own idea certainly greased the wheels to her acceptance of my counsel.
HOPE: Oh, please. Your counsel? More like your Monday morning quarterbacking. You tend to be conveniently absent when the real trouble goes down.
HENRI: (Sputtering) I absolutely deny those allegations. Look at her—she’s standing before you, having survived run-ins with crime lords and human traffickers on two continents, not to mention having outrun a bevy of Fallen Angels. Do you think she could have done that without a little help from me?
HOPE: (Sarcastically) Right. The other angels surrounding me had nothing to do with it.
RT: Hope, why do you think Henri disappears? What do you think he is doing?
HOPE: I think he remains jealous of how close I am to Michael. Not that Henri has a romantic interest in me, far from it. He is jealous of his prerogatives and doesn’t want me to listen to anyone else. So I think he disappears out of frustration with me. (Pauses) Then again, at the most critical moment, he actually comes through. So I may be a little harsh in my judgment of him.
RT: Henri, what is Hope’s best quality?
HENRI: By far it is her persistence. She is a dogged little girl.
HOPE: That would be woman to you, Henri.
HENRI: (snorts) Let’s compromise with young lady, then, shall we?
RT: Hope, what is Henri’s best quality?
HOPE: He’s nothing if not consistent. Consistently annoying, consistently pessimistic, consistently sarcastic . . .
HENRI: Very funny.
HOPE: You know you love me.
HENRI: (Gruffly) Right back at you, kiddo.
HOPE: I would add that he has an excellent grasp of history. He is like the Angelic Wikipedia. My quest for The Key would have been much, much more difficult if not for some of the insights Henri was able to share with me.
RT: I guess that is what comes from millennia of experience! Thank you both for your time today. Before we let you go, what can readers expect from the final installment of The Archangel Prophecies, Dark Before Dawn, which is set to be released in 2016?
HOPE: Readers might be surprised to learn there is no job security for angels. So there will be some personnel changes, so to speak.
HENRI: Oh, please spare me. You already received my resignation.
RT: There you go, readers! We hope you enjoyed this exclusive interview with Hope and Henri from Dark Rising.
Readers can learn more about Monica’s work and passions on her website at www.monicamcgurk.com.