Interview by Brock Eastman
Featuring the Son of Angels series
I could not put down the Son of Angels series. From the dynamic character development to the intertwining of spiritual themes into a world that each of us lives in, Jerel captured my attention and didn’t let go. Communicating spiritual themes to kid through a story of fiction, can be a challenge in itself, but Jerel did a fantastic job maintain the biblical truths while creating an exciting adventure. With four books out, Spirit Fighter, Fire Prophet, Shadow Chaser, and Truth Runner, readers can really dig into the world and befriend the characters.
After reading these four books, I really wanted to know more about the series, so I asked Jerel for an interview.
Brock: What is your inspiration for writing this series?
Jerel: I find loads of inspiration for my writing in my three quirky, funny kids! They love to read adventure and fantasy books, and I wanted to give them something that would put their very real faith in a world of action and adventure. Combine that with my own curiosity about some of the more mysterious passages in the Bible and the Jonah Stone: Son of Angels series was born.
Brock: What do you hope kids take away from the series?
Jerel: As a writer, my challenge is to make each book nearly impossible to put down! Beyond that, though, if I could take the question to a deeper place, I want kids to find themselves in the book. I want them to see themselves as Jonah, Eliza, or Jeremiah, figuring out how to make sense of their faith in God in the middle of sometimes-dire circumstances. I hope they’ll come away with a sense of how awesome God is and how much of an impact their faith can have in our world.
Brock: Why did you choose to write the fourth books topic about Jonah running from God?
Jerel: Jonah and his brother and sister go through something very tragic at the end of Shadow Chaser, book 3. They experience a loss that no one should have to face, but many do. And like a lot of people, he chooses to deal with the crushing pain of the loss by running away. I tried to carry through the theme of running from God that we get in the biblical Jonah, and then how God gently – but firmly – helps him understand a huge truth – you just can’t outrun God!
Brock: What do you want families to take from this series?
Jerel: A lot of families in novels these days are extremely dysfunctional – and let’s be honest, sometimes that makes for interesting reading. But I wanted to show a fictional family that, yes, has their issues, but is also encouraging one another in their own ways to follow God – no matter what. I hope that families who enjoy the series together will be encouraged to help each other figure out the ways they can serve God best with their lives.
Brock: Expound on the spiritual theme?
Jerel: I find myself writing without a certain theme in mind, but inevitably, when I look back at the books, themes have arisen. I’d say some of the big themes are the reality of the spiritual battle all around us; the fact that we each have gifts and abilities given to us by God that we can use for good; and that everybody, no matter how seemingly small or insignificant, has the power to change the world.
Brock: Is it fun to write a spiritual fantasy adventure?
Jerel: I love writing in this genre! There are so many possibilities with each page. I love the challenge of communicating spiritual truth in a way that kids can grab ahold of. I think that will always be something I am drawn to.
Brock: Is it difficult to be accurate to Biblical perspective/facts when writing fiction fantasy?
Jerel: Yes! I’m so thankful for a great editor at Thomas Nelson, who helps me stay as close as possible to biblical truths. Part of the fun is communicating these bedrock truths in fresh, creative ways. But it’s critical that we make sure we land with two feet on a biblical perspective.
Brock: Are there more books planned?
Jerel: We are through book 4 right now…I have as many as 8 planned for the series! I can’t wait to unveil them at some point in the near future.
Brock: Jerel thanks for the interview and I certainly am looking forward to more books in the series, or in a new series. God has blessed your writing.