Dina Rae, the author of Halo of the Damned, was kind enough to answer some questions about her latest novel and being an author.
Simply Infatuated: How did you decide to write Halo of the Damned? Did you begin with a character that intrigued you or did you have an idea for the plot first?
Dina Rae:I begin with the concept of angels and how most people view them as sweet, perfect beings, forgetting a third of them fell with Satan when they tried to takeover Heaven.
SI: What inspired you to use advertising as one of Satan’s weapon?
DR:Great question. I think there are many ads on television promote sin, especially greed and vanity. For the record, I’m no angel! Examples: alcohol makes you and everyone around you gorgeous and exciting, makeup that supermodels use will transform your appearance, fast-food is constantly eaten by thin, gorgeous people, certain cars will make you more attractive to your colleagues and women, etc. We’re bombarded with them all day long. The underlying message is clear: we aren’t good enough and need to buy some kind of product that will make us worth knowing. Not to get on a soap box, I’ve fallen victim to many ads, but there is something seductive about a really good ad. Ironically, advertising is now very important to me as I’m promoting my novels! Yes, my cynicism in Halo contradicts reality. And yes, I’m being a hypocrite!
SI:Do you plan to continue writing about the characters in the Halo of the Damned?
DR:Yes! I’m writing a sequel and hope Eternal Press picks it up.
SI:What was your favorite scene in the book?
DR: When Abe Silverman, a private detective, gets caught spying on an angel worshiping ceremony. His consequences took me by surprise. I had no idea what to write. The pen in my hand took over by blank mind and gave me something original, disturbing, and scary.
SI:Which character is your favorite?
DR:They all are my “babies”, but would say Marcus Reinsing, the villain’s sidekick, is probably my favorite. He’s an odd combination of a pathetic lackey and major screw-up. He’s evil, but also comical at times.
SI: If you were putting together a playlist for Halo of the Damned, what is one song that would absolutely be included?
DR: The Toadies’ Possum Kingdom. That song has such an edge. The singer’s voice and lyrics sound like the devil persuading you to join him.
SI: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
DR: I’m still too new to all of this to really offer anything of value, but I will say this: read, write, read, write, read, write. Reading has helped me get better at writing, and writing everyday, even if it’s only a page, keeps me focused on finishing my work.
SI: What books have you reread numerous times?
DR: I used to be an English teacher for at-risk kids. Professionally, I read numerous times Stephen King’s Nightmare and Dreamscapes, a collection of his shorts, and lots of Shakespeare, but not in the original form, in the “Shakespeare Made Easy” form. Great line of work. The publishers rewrote the plays to make them easier for low level readers to understand. I also read Mice and Men too many times. Not a Steinbeck fan. Personally, I read a book and don’t look back. Too many that I want to read and do not want to waste time re-reading something for fun.
SI: Who is your favorite author?
DR: I have quite a few. Dan Brown, Stephen King, LaHaye and Jenkins, Tom Wolfe, Preston and Childs, Brad Thor, Anne Rice, and George RR Martin are some of my faves. I read a couple of Frank Peretti’s books and was really impressed.
About Halo of the Damed
Author: Dina Rae
Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal, Thriller, Horror, Romance, Suspense
A chain of advertising agencies, a new breed of humans, and a fallen angel to worship… Andel Talistokov is known for his slick advertising agencies across the globe. He is a fallen angel that uses advertising as a weapon for Satan’s work. His growing power emboldens him to break several of Hell’s Commandments. Furious with his arrogance, Satan commands him to return to Hell after finding his own replacement. Yezidism, an ancient angel worshiping religion, quietly expands throughout the West. Armaros appears as a guest of honor during their ceremonies. He mates with young women to produce nephilim, a mixed race of humans and angels. They are alone and unprepared for their supernatural power. Joanna Easterhouse, a recovering drug addict, steps out of prison shortly after her mother’s fatal accident. She and her sister, Kim, unravel their mother’s secretive past. Intrigued, they learn their bloodline is part of a celestial legacy. Both worlds collide. Halo of the Damned is a horrifying tale that weaves research together with suspenseful twists and turns.
Kim finished the mini-project and then hung the painting above Maria’s headboard. She took a mental note to get the painting appraised and insured later on during the week. Both Kim and Joanna were eager to find out about their mother’s relics left behind at theLake Genevahome. As promised, Kim looked up an old friend from high school, Doctor Sandra Jackson, who currently held a post atLoyolaUniversity. She hoped that her friend, Sandra, or one of her colleagues could identify the script and point Kim in the right direction in finding out its translation. If she was really lucky, they would be able to answer all of her questions about the unfamiliar items.
Kim quickly found Sandra online listed under the College of Arts and Sciences. She called her at work, and Sandra was available to talk. They quickly caught up with each other’s lives until Sandra got down to business.
“Kim, I’m so glad you called. Is this a purely social call or is there anything I can help you with?” Sandra asked, sensing that Kim was withholding something from her.
“Well, yes. I’m embarrassed to call after all these years of failing to keep in touch. And now when I could use your help, here I am. I’m a lousy friend. Please forgive me,” Kim begged.
“Kim, it’s okay. I haven’t called either. Please, I’d love the chance to help. What can I do?”
Kim remained as vague and elusive as possible, briefly describing some of the carvings found in the basement wall. She told Sandra she copied down the markings and wanted to know what they meant. She also described the old scroll, without commenting about the who’s, where’s, and when’s. She omitted telling Sandra about her mother.Lydia’s death would have tipped Sandra off as to where the items came from.
“Kim, this all sounds very mysterious. Please bring what you have and come around lunchtime. We’re all here in our cubicles. If I can’t help you, I’m confident one of my colleagues can. See you tomorrow.”
Later that evening, Kim informed Joanna about the meeting with the Loyola staff. “These heirlooms will bring us fame and fortune. They are our ‘holy grail’! I feel like Indiana Jones!” Joanna exclaimed.
“Don’t get too blissful. They might not be able to help,” Kim cautioned.
Overhearing the conversation, Maria became upset. “But Mom, who is gonna pick me up from school?”
“Holly’s mom is. You’re going to stay there until I get back, probably around dinner time,” Kim assured.
“Mommy, those people are strangers! You just can’t be showing them Grandma’s things! It’s not right! It’s not what she would have wanted! Lonnie doesn’t trust your friend!” Maria’s petulance was escalating. In desperation, she threw her aunt into the argument. “Auntie Jo, don’t let her do this! Especially Grandma’s scroll! It’s too dangerous!”
Although Joanna was uneasy about her niece’s behavior, she was not going to let a six year-old manipulate Kim’s and her plans. “Sweetie, your mother and I are curious to what that stuff is. She is taking these things to a very smart bunch of people who may be able to help us. No one is going to wreck it or steal it,” she placated.
“I already know what it is! Grandma was an angel, or a nephilim! Why don’t you believe me?” Maria screamed as she raced up to her room.
* * * *
The next day, Kim packed up her own drawing of her mother’s carved wall, the scroll, and the piece of metal. Her excitement put her in a giddy mood. Once she was parked and in front of Loyola’s entrance, Sandra met her in the foyer and escorted her back to the Arts andScienceCollege. Sandra took Kim to their lounge and introduced her to six other professors who were equally interested in seeing her finds. All of them specialized in fields that had to do with the ancient world.
Kim began with unveiling her own copy of the symbols she drew from her mother’s basement. “I appreciate all of your attention. Can anyone tell me what this is, and even possibly what it means? Each symbol was copied down in the order it was etched into the wall,” Kim said.
One professor immediately took the paper and made a copy. This made Kim uncomfortable. He asked, “Where did you find this?”
“Again, none of that matters,” Kim defensively repeated. Her daughter’s omen chimed throughout her brain. The man intuitively put up her defenses.
“Doctor Nrogbi’s English is somewhat limited. He’s not trying to be pushy or rude,” Sandra explained.
“This is Angelic script, also known as Adonite language, alphabet of the Ark, or even Enochian. It’s the first written language of this world. Angels used it to communicate with God. The first humans also used it before the Fall,” Doctor Nrogbi lectured.
“Before what fall?” Kim asked, very confused. How could Maria have known all of this?
“Before Adam and Eve sinned. Before they were kicked out ofEden. It pre-dates Hebrew, Sanskrit, Aramaic, and other ancient languages. It’s very sophisticated and difficult to translate. These symbols look like a key, invocation, or lyric. Let me get something off my bookshelf.”
While the doctor frantically flipped through several of his books, other professors rattled off bits and pieces of their own views concerning the script. Kim learned that Enoch didn’t name the language, but his name was chosen for it thousands of years later because of his communications inside of Heaven.
The professors spoke of John Dee, a famous mathematician, cartographer, and seer of Queen Elizabeth I. He had a revelation about angelic script and later recorded it. Sir Edward Kelley, his colleague, also witnessed the revelation and recorded additional symbols called Keys or Calls. Their legitimacy had been debated for centuries.
“Ah, I found it. What you have here is a Key. Angel script is read left to right. These symbols together are sort of like a prayer. A rough translation in English means, ‘Forever fallen is forever damned, until one can unlock from within.’ I wish I knew where you found this. The context would help cypher the meaning,” Doctor Nrogbi stated.
“Anyone have an inkling to what the passage could mean?” Kim asked.
“I can only guess that fallen is either man, as in Adam…or possibly angels, as in the Fallen that waged war with Satan against God. He and all his angels were cast down and forever damned. However, there is a loophole suggested-‘unlock from within.’ Don’t know, just a guess,” answered Doctor Barry Lowenstein, an ancient comparative literature professor.
“Kim, you said you had a few more items to show us. Can we see? The anticipation is gnawing away at all of us!” Sandra exclaimed.
“Okay, I have a scroll that might be of some interest,” Kim answered as she gingerly took it out of her purse and laid it down on a long table. All the professors’ jaws dropped in astonishment. They all hovered over the scroll, whispering theories of what it might be. Doctor Nrogbi quickly grabbed his cell phone and began taking photos. The rest of the professors followed suit.
“Tanned animal hide, probably lamb or ram, of the highest quality for ancient times. This must be dated as far back as 500 B.C., maybe even a 1000 B.C. We need to carbon-date this. It’s in perfect condition. What was this stored in?” Doctor Lowenstein questioned.
“It came in a box. I didn’t bring it with me,” Kim replied, feeling suffocated and wanting to leave.
“We could use a combination of steam and chemicals to remove the seal so that it doesn’t break. That way we could read the scroll. Can you leave this with Sandra for the next couple of days?” asked Doctor Litner, an art history professor and expert in document preservation.
Can you bring in the box? Can you take us to where this was found? Can you leave this for display? Can we take this to the Smithsonian? Can you, Can you, Can you…Kim’s head was about to explode. She wasn’t about to disclose the ornate metal she still had in her purse.
“I’ll call Sandra and we can do this another time. Thank you all for your help,” Kim abruptly announced. She packed up her things and rushed out of the university. Not paying attention, she almost got hit by a car. Once in her Lincoln Navigator, she calmed down. Rush hour traffic on the Eisenhower Expressway gave her time to process.
Find Halo of the Damned
About Dina Rae
Dina Rae is a new author that is here to stay. As a former teacher, she brings an academic element to her work. Her research on the Yezidi religion and love of art inspired her story telling for Halo of the Damned.
Her other novel, The Last Degree, is a fictionalized account of the Freemason’s role in the New World Order.
Dina lives with her husband, two daughters, and two dogs outside of Chicago. She is an avid reader, tennis player, movie buff, and self-proclaimed expert on conspiracy theories. Her favorite authors are Dan Brown, Tim LaHaye, Jerry Jenkins, Lincoln Childs, Robert Preston, Brad Thor, Stephen King, and Anne Rice. Her favorite movies are Devil’s Advocate, Angel Heart, Shutter Island, I Am Legend, and The Shining.
Find Dina Rae
Dina Rae has generously offered an ebook copy of Halo of the Damned and her other novel, The Last Degree to our winner!
- The giveaway runs through April 27th and is open to US readers.
- To enter, fill out this form.
- You must be a follower in order to participate. You can follow through WordPress, by subscribing through email or Linky, or following on Twitter.
- You must be at least 13 years old.
- The winner will be chosen through at random via Random.org.
- If you win, please respond to my email within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen.
This tour was put together by FMB Blog Tours.