Friday, October 22, 2010

Guest post : Maria Zannini and the Nephilim

Maria Zannini's blog first caught my eye because of her Prudent Penny posts - I'm a big fan of creative ways to save money. But she's also a homesteader, a very talented writer and an expert in social networking. Plus, she had the most adorable Rottweiler puppy ever. I say "had" because he has now grown up, but I am certain he is still adorable. Right, Maria?

But anyway, on to the story. Maria's new story, that is, a hot-covered release called True Believers. And she's here today to talk about the fantastic in the fiction, the myth of the Nephilim...


Ever since I was a kid, I've been fascinated with the Nephilim, sometimes called "Giants" or the "Watchers". According to biblical legend, they are the offspring of angels and human women.

The first time I'd heard about them, it was mentioned in passing by an elderly nun who spoke in near whispers. Did I hear her right? The offspring of angels and mortals?

I rolled the name around on my tongue and imprinted it to memory. Since I couldn't get any more information from her, I was determined to research it on my own. With Google not yet invented, I was forced to do it the old fashion way—reading the Bible. (Made me a great hit with the nuns. Little did they know I was doing research for a book I wouldn't write for thirty-six years.)

Who were the Nephilim? And what happened to them?

There were brief references to them in Genesis, the Book Of Numbers, the Book of Enoch and the Book of Jubilees. That's a lot of books and yet they provided very little information. As I dug deeper much of the information even contradicted itself. Why was so little known?

As the centuries rolled past some texts changed so that the Nephilim were no longer the offspring of angels, but the children of nobles. Others stated the Nephilim were the offspring of the righteous men descended of Seth, while the daughters were the descendents from the line of the unrighteous Cain.

Goliath is rumored to have been a Nephilim as was Gilgamesh, king of Ur.

According to the book of Jubilees, God granted ten percent of the Nephilim to remain after the flood and preside as demons. I still haven't quite figured out why God would inflict demons on the world. And why ten percent? I would have happily settled for five percent less demons myself. This is one of those instances when downsizing is a good thing.

Nonetheless, it was fuel to a story that refused to go away. I took these bits and pieces and fashioned the world of the Nephilim. In my world, these weren't the offspring of angels and they weren't demons. They were men and women seeded here (and elsewhere) by a race of beings so evolved an ancient people might very well see them as angels.

Immortal? To a point. They still had human DNA and a third strand from their progenitors that gave them the capability to regenerate at will, extending their lives almost indefinitely. It's enough to give them delusions of grandeur—delusions of godhood.

But what happens when one of their own doesn't want to be a god? And what if she wasn't given a choice?

I adore the Nephilim in my novel. They're pompous and arrogant, absolutely certain they're at the top of the food chain until a little technology brings them to their knees.

Now they're going to need help. And it's not going to come cheap.

I have a fun question for everyone today. If you could live for centuries, what sort of occupation(s) would be on your resume? What would you do with your time if you had dozen lifetimes instead of one?


Maria Zannini's latest release is a science fiction romance called TRUE BELIEVERS.

Mix one cynical immortal and one true believer and throw them into the biggest alien-hunt the world has never known. Rachel Cruz is a Nephilim masquerading as an archeologist and she's stuck with an alien who believes she can lead him to his ancestral gods. Black Ops wants to find these gods too. They want them dead.

Follow Maria here:


Contest time! Every time you leave a comment, tweet or mention "Maria Zannini" anywhere with a link to my blog, your name goes in the hat for a chance to win a Texas sized prize. Go here for more information.

PS And if you're a real pal, you'll go to RT Reviews and vote for my novel, MISTRESS OF THE STONE. Go on. You know you want to. And if you vote for me, I'll love you forever.


Will do, Maria. :) Thanks again, and all the best for the new book!


Unknown said...

I would be a cook, dishwasher, dogwalker, lawn care, Nanny, Live In Maid, proof reader, copy writer (in ancient times), and if possible a soldier of fortune and adventurer... If had to live forever, or at least for a very long time variety is the spice of life and mostly my taste tends to be helpful to others if it allows me to have gainful employment at the same time!

However a human life span is quite enough for me thank you very much, lifes trials and tribulations are enough to go through for 80 or 90 years if we live that long!


Maria Zannini said...

Ref;...and an expert in social networking.

LOL. I don't know about that one.

But I still have my adorable "puppy". Iko is all grown up. He's such a generous dog. Because of him I am getting new furniture, a new rug, and if he trips me up again, I'll be getting a new knee too.

Rotties mature slowly. I have at least six more months of 'puppyhood'.

I should last so long.

Thanks for having me over, Marian!

Maria Zannini said...

Jackie: Haven't you done all those things already? :grin:

I would surely learn many different languages and travel extensively so I could stay in practice.

Thanks for popping in!

Meghan S. said...

Hmmmm, why have I never heard of the Nephilim before? They sound so interesting, I will have to google them...

As for what I'd like to do if I had to live forever - writing of course! A job in the publishing industry as an editor would also be nice :)

Maria Zannini said...

Meghan: I'm not surprised. It's not discussed in school. Except for that brief mention in catechism class, I never would have known either.

Lots of authors use the Nephilim though. They're almost always depicted as bad guys, and some mistakenly call them "fallen angels", which they're not. The Nephilim are the descendents of fallen angels.

Joanne said...

I've never heard of the Nephilim, and find the history of it intriguing. I went to a Catholic school too, isn't it interesting the things that stay with us from that experience. What would I be for several lifetimes over? Hm, definitely a writer, charting with words my first few lives. And when I'm done with that, I'd move on to photography, to record visually the rest of my lives.

Joanne said...

While I'm at it, I'd own the most charming coffee shop, too :)

Maria Zannini said...


Ref: While I'm at it, I'd own the most charming coffee shop, too.

But of course!

I like the idea of chronicling your life. A historian would be the perfect occupation for a near immortal.

Marian Perera said...

Maria - There's a lady living nearby who has two plump little pugs. Yesterday I saw them outside (wearing matching coats) and I crouched down to rub their wrinkly heads. Unfortunately I had a McDonalds burger in my shoulderbag and they smelled it. They nearly bowled me over trying to get to it.

Can't imagine what the experience might have been like with two Rottweilers instead.

Thanks for your post and the update on Iko! :)

Maria Zannini said...

Marian: LOL! I can just see it now. Two pugs knocking you down for your burger.

My boys are remarkably good with food. They won't take anything unless it's offered. Thank God for small favors. :)

gypsyscarlett said...

The Nephilim are a very intriguing subject. Heh, I loved how the nuns were so impressed with all your bible reading. :)

What job would I want? Writing, of course! And I'd travel around the world doing so.

Maria Zannini said...


Ref: Heh, I loved how the nuns were so impressed...

It backfired on me though. I ended up learning something. ;-)