ORACLE OF PHILADELPHIA REVIEW:
I love all books. I'm not too big on nonfiction, but I'm a book-lover by nature. My two biggest loves are romance (like Charlotte Brontë and indie author Nadine Keels) and anything paranormal that ISN'T Twilight.
I just finished Elizabeth Corrigan's novel Oracle Of Philadelphia (Book One: Earthbound Angels). That is paranormal done right!
Khet/Cassia/Carrie (the three pseudonyms her friends know her by, as her real name is a secret) is the Oracle, a human made immortal thanks to Lucifer. She can read minds and has helped countless people in her eight-thousand years alive.
Her closest friends are the archangel Gabriel (with whom she is in love) and the demon Bedlam (AKA Azazel--fans of the TV show Supernatural will know him better as "Old Yellow Eyes"). Her greatest enemy is the archangel Michael, who hates her and banished her from Heaven were she to ever die.
She can't change deals humans have made with demons, but when Gabriel sends her a man with a truly pure heart, she is determined to try...even if it means going to Hell.
Oracle is one of the best books I've read lately. Angels and demons are a favorite theme of mine and rarely are they written so well. This book has fictionalized facts about every Bible story, from the Fall of Lucifer and the other angels, to Cain and Abel and a few others.
Angels fall in love, get scorned and try to get back into Heaven after they fall. Demons aren't all so bad and humans really can have good hearts in Ms. Corrigan's masterful work.
Perhaps hardcore Christians might not like the fictionalized versions of archangels, but I think that this is a book for all to enjoy. Mixed in with the supernatural elements, there are real, raw emotions there. Certain parts near the end made me a little misty.
For fans of Terri Garey, Darren Shan and TV's Supernatural. You won't want to put it down!
5/5-one of my top five favorites!
RAISING CHAOS REVIEW:
In Elizabeth Corrigan's Raising Chaos (the sequel to The Oracle of Philadelphia), we find Khet (Cassie, Cassia, Cain, Caela, etc.), Bedlam and the whole host of Heaven and Hell about to pay for what Khet did at the end of Oracle.
Azrael, the archdemon Khet had Lucifer put away in the Abyss, is back, thanks to the help of Mephistopolies, and she's vowed revenge against Khet.
She's going to find the Spear of Destiny, the blade that pierced Christ at the Crucifixion and is the only thing that can kill the immortal Oracle.
But Bedlam is on a quest to get to it first and save his best friend who has no idea what's happening. But can a visit from his true love Keziel throw everything off-course when the angel Siren gets word of the plan?
Khet, meanwhile, is in Coventry, trying to make another new life for herself, but will her efforts to help actually hurt others instead?
Let me say this: I LOVED this book! I read slowly on ereaders for some reason, and I got through this book in two days. The characters are not just characters, they become your friends. Bedlam, especially, is one of the most lovable fictional creations, and he's the angel (well...demon) of chaos!
Siren was a relatable character for me, wanting what's right but feeling like it's not enough and blaming herself for what happened to the nephilim.
This book is a must-read for everyone, as long as you can deal with the fictionalized versions of angels and demons without getting religiously offended.
Ms. Corrigan took real things (yes, I believe in God and angels) and twisted them to her own fantastical whims to make Raising Chaos.
Excellent work. If I could give this a rating higher than 5, I would! My biggest issue is how can readers possibly wait any extended amount of time for the next book!?
1.When/why did you decide to become a writer?
On some level, I’ve always wanted to be a writer. For as far back as I can remember, I’ve made up stories in my head, thought it took me awhile to actually start writing them down. I started seriously writing in 2010, when I got hit with a bout of insomnia. I had to fill up all the time I ordinarily spent sleeping with something, and I decided to finally write down one of my stories.
2. What authors inspired you to be a writer and what books do you enjoy today?
Urban fantasy was the genre that most inspired me to make up stories. I read Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake, Simon R. Green’s Nightside, Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworld, and Charlaine Harris’s Southern Vampies, and I wanted to write books like those. These days I mostly read young adult paranormal novels, but I find most of the stories I make up still tend to be new adult at the youngest.
3. What was the inspiration behind your novel The Oracle of Philadelphia?
I got the idea for Oracle after season 2 of the television show Supernatural. The cliffhanger is that one of the characters sells his soul to a demon, so I spent the summer wondering what kind of character he would meet to help him out of it. I came up with this idea of an immortal oracle who operated out of a crappy diner, and I got really fascinated by her as a character. The story as it exists doesn’t bear much resemblance to Supernatural anymore, except for the crappy diner.
4. Why decide to write a sequel to Oracle?
While I was plotting Oracle, I decided Carrie needed to have other immortal friends, and since I already had angels and demons in the story, I gave her one of each. Somewhere along the line, Gabriel and especially Bedlam became crucial to the story, and I decided they deserved books of their own, with book 2 about Bedlam and book 3 about Gabriel.
5. Why choose angels and demons to write about as opposed to other, more conventional supernatural creatures?
I’m not a huge fan of werewolves and shapeshifters, both because of the frequent rampant sexism and the fact that turning into an animal is not all that appealing to me. So on that score, I’ve always been on Team Vampire. I did come up with a vampire story once upon a time, but right now they are kind of overdone. Fae are all right, but their cold and capricious nature doesn’t resonate with me. At the same time, I have a lot of thoughts about the nature of good and evil, and I’ve always enjoyed religious fantasy. So for my first book, I decided to go down that route.
6. Were any of the characters' personalities inspired by real people?
In almost every case, no. The one exception is the angel Siren, who shows up for the first time in Raising Chaos. When I was creating a pantheon of angels, I decided I wanted one who was like me, but in angel form. So I created an angel who never lied and who sang very well (way better than me, really. She’s also much more confrontational than me.) I intended her to be a side character, who was mostly mentioned as someone the other angels didn’t like very much, but then I got really interested in her, and she ended up being a narrator.
7. Will we see a third novel featuring the Oracle characters?
I have to finish writing it, but yes, definitely. I left a lot of things open at the end of Chaos, and it would be cruel not to answer them. Stories tend to grow in my head. I started out with the plan of having Oracle be a standalone novel, but then it grew into three books, then six, then seven. I have ideas for 12 books in the series right now, and I make no promises that will be the end. Of course, I also make no promises that I will actually write all of them.
8. Why did you make angels be unable to fall out of love? Was there a message or symbolism behind it?
It was actually more of a plot device than anything else. I had a Bedlam-esque conversation in my head that went something like this:
Me: You need an explanation of why Carrie and Bedlam aren’t in love with each other, or at least why he isn’t in love with her.
Also Me: I don’t know. Maybe he’s in love with someone else?
Me: You always do this! You always make your characters have these long-standing, eternal loves that are completely unrealistic! He’s been hanging out with Carrie for over three thousand years! He would have gotten over his other love by now.
Also Me: Hm. Well, maybe angels can’t fall out of love.
From there, it developed into a crucial part of the mythology. Toward the end of Chaos, Mephistopheles explains why it makes a lot of sense, given what the angels are and how and when they were created.
9. Would you like to see a movie or television show based on your stories? If yes, who would you like to see play Bedlam, etc.?
I would love to see a movie made of Oracle. I actually think it has a great movie plot because it’s simple with room for lots of special effects. I have a Pinterest board dedicated to my dream cast: Samantha Barks as Carrie, Ian Somerhalder as Bedlam, Chris Hemsworth as Gabriel, Matt Bomer as Michael, P!nk as Siren, Alexis Denisof as Mephistopheles, Tim Curry as Beelzebub, Gina Torres as Lilith, and Kristen Bell as Lethe. I recently had a blogger suggest Jonathan Taylor Thomas as Sebastian, and I’m okay with that. I’m still trying to think of a Lucifer and an Azrael, so if you have any good ideas, let me know.
10. Where do you see yourself/your career in the next ten years?
My thoughts on this change on a daily basis. In a perfect world, I’d like to keep writing my books and getting them published, while gaining a following of people dying to know what happens next to Carrie and her friends. I’ve also been working on the first book in an unrelated series that I would like to see go somewhere. So, overall, more books and more readers. Other than that, I’m flexible.
11. What are your views on immortality? Would you like to live forever?
I’m not sure. I’ve always said no, but I keep coming up with story ideas about immortal characters. I have three other somewhat fleshed out series ideas that I want to work on, and two of them in some way involve immortality. If I did become immortal, I would want to stop aging quite soonish. And I’d want some reassurance that human society will become progressively more enlightened.
12. Would you like to be able to read minds?
Definitely not! I was just thinking about this the other day, and I realized I would have to listen to what people really think of me. I really, really prefer not to know.
13. Do you have plans to write a non-paranormal novel in the future?
Not really. I do have a perpetual plot idea where a class at their ten-year reunion find out they have to repeat their senior year of high school, but I’ll probably never write it. I don’t have a lot of interest in non-paranormal books. I actually got kind of bored writing Carrie’s normal world stuff in Oracle and Chaos. I do have an idea for a sci-fi novel, which is more tech and aliens than paranormal, if that counts.
14. How did you choose which angels and demons you made the focal points of your novels?
Carrie started out as the focal point of the novels, and I decided to give her an angel and a demon friend, so the story expanded to include them. Bedlam started off as a stereotypical not-so-bad demon character, but he grew into someone who will become a bigger focal point for the novels. Gabriel was always my favorite Biblical angel, so I decided to make him Carrie’s friend. I also had some strong images of Michael, so I needed to throw him into the mix. Siren started off as a side character who pushed her way into the middle. Those five are the most central for a while. Eventually I plan to do more with Bedlam’s ex, Keziel, and there are some new characters waiting in the wings, as well.
15. Thank you for participating in the interview. Can you please leave the readers with three things that may surprise them about you?
I was born and raised near Scranton, PA, which means when I watch the early episodes of The Office, I can’t help but yell at the screen, “There is no Chile’s in Scranton!” I have eaten at the boat-shaped restaurant with the octopus on top many times, though.
I took ballet lessons for 14 years.
This year, I made myself this cake for my birthday: http://www.bakerita.com/midnight-binge-cake/. It took 3 days (not their entirety), and I broke my mixer, and it was totally worth it.
Find Elizabeth Corrigan online via:
Official site (has links to all of her social media and where to buy her books)