How did you come up with the unique idea/ concept for the Mephisto Covenant?
After someone very close to me was sexually assaulted, I went through a long period of guilt and depression, and somewhere in there, I began to think about evil. What makes some do such horrible, evil things? Are we all capable of evil? Are we born with it, as so many religions teach, and our whole lives, we have to overcome the temptation to evil? What constitutes Original Sin?
One night, while I was working on another project, the brothers, these sons of Hell, came to me in a dream – I’m not making this up – and they were so fully formed, so in need and want of help, when I woke up, I knew exactly who they would be in a book, and what would save them.
I’ve always had a morbid fascination with tales of Hell – Dante’s Inferno, Paradise Lost, and Faust. The name, Mephisto, stuck with me. It’s a nickname for Mephistopheles, who is the devil in Faust, but in The Mephisto Covenant, he is Lucifer’s minion, the dark angel of death who takes souls to Hell. He’s also the father of the Mephisto brothers.
How many books are planned for the series? (I know I’d love to learn more about the other brothers!) Do you have any other projects coming up?
This was a two book contract, and I’m currently writing Book 2 of the series, but we’re keeping it under our hat which brother will be featured. It’s due to be released in Fall 2012. Of course I’d love to write a book for each of the brothers, but that will depend – as so many books do – on sales and whether Egmont feels it’s a sound investment to publish more. I keep my fingers crossed a lot. I’ve been living with these guys for a long time, and nothing – I mean nothing – would make me happier than the privilege of writing ALL their stories.
Did you have a favorite author or genre when you were in intermediate/ high school? ( ask this since I am an intermediate teacher and love to share fun facts with students)
When I was young, I loved horse books. I read all of them. Also Little House books. By the time I was in intermediate school, I’d discovered mysteries and romance. I read Jane Eyre and never looked at another horse book. I devoured Victoria Holt and Daphne du Maurier. There wasn’t the treasure trove of young adult books we have today, so I read adult books. In high school, I discovered historical romances and they’re still a favorite. I also read a lot of classics – really true – not because honors English required them, but because I loved Dickens and Dumas.
Whoa. That’s hard! But here goes:
A son of Hell, Jax has waited 1,000 years for Sasha, but now that he’s found her, can he take her into immortality to save himself?
Are any of the characters influenced by people in your life?
I do have a crazypants aunt, but she’s not mean and nasty like Sasha’s. Much. Sasha’s cousin, Chris, is an amalgamation of several guys in my family who I love and cherish. Writing his scenes made me cry. And of course Julianne and her bees are totally based on girls I knew in high school. Doesn’t everyone know Julianne and her bees?
Which character do you identify with the most?
Probably Reilly O’Brien. I was always such a goody-goody when I was younger, never stepped out of line, and admit now, in retrospect, I wish I hadn’t been such a Mary Sue. (Feel free to tell your students I’m totally lying about this, that I’m glad I walked the straight and narrow….)
What was the hardest part of writing The Mephisto Covenant?
The end. Can’t say more without spoiling, but man, that was a killer to write. It’s difficult to put characters I know and love through major pain and grief.
How long were you working on getting a book deal before your big break?
After I signed with my agent, she subbed Mephisto right away and within a month, it was bought by Egmont. Before that, however, it took over a year to write, revise, tweak, polish, beat to death, get the manuscript into sell-able shape. Nothing about this is easy.
Do you have any plans on visiting the Houston area around the release date?
I’m hoping to do something in Austin around the first of October, so if that comes to pass, I’d love to drive on down to Houston.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with your fans and future readers?
Reading is such a personal thing, a strange sort of communion between author and reader, and I appreciate each and every person who picks it up and spends time with me and the Mephisto.
Thank you for this, Sarah. I’m honored to be here!