My guest today is author Trinity Faegen. The first book in her The Mephisto Covenant series, The Mephisto Covenant, is scheduled to hit bookshelves on September 27, 2011. Please join me in welcoming Trinity here today to Dark Faerie Tales. You can read the first chapter of the book here.
Trinity Faegen wasn’t always a writer. She had an illustrious career as a Campus Cop in college, led many children astray as a camp counselor, and decorated Christmas trees for sweet, and notsosweet, little old ladies. Trinity lives, writes and ruins her hearing listening to metal on headphones in the outback of Texas with her husband and a mean cat.
The Dreaded R
by Trinity Faegen
That R word. No, not rejection. Religion: Something I endlessly wrestled with while writing the first Mephisto book. My mother always said, never discuss politics or religion in company because the minute you open your mouth, you’ve already alienated half the people in the room.
The idea for Mephisto was fully formed from the start. I dreamed it, and when I woke to that place between sleep and awake, I was absolutely convinced this was something divine. I was crazy enough to believe, just for that brief moment, God sent me the dream. After I woke further and had some coffee in the light of day, I realized it was simply a very cool idea, but no way I could write it. Sons of Hell? A daughter of Eve? Humans incapable of sin, of hate, rage, or envy? The premise would be a direct contradiction to a great many religions, and if people are passionate about anything, they’re off the page about their religion. Everything in the story was bound to offend some readers.
But the story wouldn’t go away. I daydreamed these bad boy, very lonely brothers, the totally unsuspecting Anabo they might find, and the long, winding romances they’d have. Also, yearning. Lots and lots of oh-God-why-do-i-want-this-guy-so-much-he’s-a-son-of-Hell-I-must-be-doomed-but-he’s-like-water-air-food-I-can’t-resist-oh-nooooo.
Scenes began to pop into my head: Eryx’s charming, irresistible way of suckering people into pledging their souls to him; his followers’ ever-evolving schemes to find more desperate humans to pledge; the Mephisto battling with those lost souls, taking them to a dark, horrible place where they’ll die, but their spirits can never be released to Eryx; the Anabo, young women living their lives having no clue what they are, suffering the horrors of the world just a little bit more than others. I imagined initial meetings, the Mephisto discovering an Anabo: his awe; her confusion. I finally sat down and wrote the first chapter, quickly followed by the second, and so on.
But what about religion? I had to write a girl without sin, one who belonged to Heaven from the moment of birth. After weighing it a thousand different ways, I realized she didn’t have to be religious, but spiritual. In most religious doctrines, everything begins and ends with God. Did it matter if my Anabo was Presbyterian, or Catholic, or Jewish, or Muslim? Maybe from the standpoint of her daily life and cultural influences, but within her heart, it’s all about God – a higher being who made her, who loves her, who is with her every moment, even when she’s falling in love with a son of Hell. God would be her guide, so her religion didn’t matter. I carefully skirted the issue and wrote the entire novel with no reference to her religion.
The skirt didn’t last. One of my editorial notes asked the question: If Sasha is Anabo, if she’s all about God, shouldn’t you talk about her religion? Won’t readers find it odd she isn’t religious?
Back at Square One, more internal debates ensued. Did I make the revision, or argue about it? Then, out of the blue, I had a new follower on Twitter – a pastor. I still have no idea why he followed me, or how he found me. I could find nothing about his religion, which was frustrating, and I kept wondering, why is this guy following me? It’s not like I’m out there on the Interwebz as a religious individual – I’m rather private about my faith. But the experience made me realize, we want to compartmentalize people. We want to know where they’re coming from. Maybe I don’t need to know what religion Sasha follows, but a lot of readers will. I made the revisions, and Sasha became Russian Orthodox. (And yeah, okay, I totally thought that guy following me was a God thing.)
Is THE MEPHISTO COVENANT a religious story? No. Is it inspirational? Not in the literary sense, but I think – I hope – the message is very clear: Love is everything.
Can you introduce yourself to my readers?
I’m Trinity Faegen, author of THE MEPHISTO COVENANT, due to be released 9/27/11 by Egmont USA. I’m also Stephanie Feagan, author of a handful of Silhouette Bombshells, former Romance Writers of America board member/treasurer, RITA winner, and somebody’s best friend/wife/mother/daughter/sister/CPA.
Can you introduce us to the world that you have created?
Before Eve ate the apple, she had a daughter, Aurora, who left Eden and began a line of descendents who came to be known as Anabo, people without a dark side, who aren’t tempted to evil. A thousand years ago, Mephistopheles, the dark angel of death, found an Anabo and broke every law off Heaven and Hell by falling in love with her. She bore him seven sons, and the oldest, Eryx, declared war against Lucifer, his goal to take the reins of Hell and obliterate free will. Lucifer charged Eryx’s younger brothers to keep him from it, but they needed incentive, so God offered the Mephisto Covenant: peace in their angry, restless souls if they can love someone selflessly. Unfortunately for the Mephisto, the only humans with the ability to love something of Hell are the extremely rare Anabo. In a thousand years, they’ve only ever found one, and Eryx murdered her before she could become immortal and join the fight against him.
Will this be your first RT or are you a veteran? Any advice for those who are going for the first time?
My first RT was in Fort Worth, Texas at the dawn of time. Or 1995. It was my first romance conference and I still remember total, unequivocal shock and awe. Like finding the Mother Ship. Here is where I belonged. I attended the next year, in Baton Rouge, then didn’t go again until 2005, in St. Louis. Again in 2006 in Daytona, and here I am now, once more traveling across the country to visit the Mother Ship. I cannot wait. My advice: Forget to-do lists and laundry and the day job and enjoy yourself. Whether you’re attending as a reader or a writer, have fun. Find lonely people and make them not lonely. We only go around once.
Are you speaking on any panels during RT? Are there any you are looking forward to? What panels are you planning on attending?
I somehow missed when that ship sailed, so no, not on any panels. I’m okay with this because I can now trip along to others, especially those of my friends’, and heckle. Or, you know, ask intelligent questions. I’m definitely going to be at several of the YA panels, because even though I’m about to be published in YA, there is so much I can still learn.
If someone were wanting to meet up with you at RT, who should they look for?
I wish I could say the tall, slender woman with long blond hair and uber cool clothes – the one with an air of mystery about her. Instead, if you see an average sized woman with short-ish highlighted hair, nerd glasses, wearing jeans, talking with the absolute worst west Texas twang on the planet, that’d be me. Nora Ephron was spot on – I DO feel bad about my neck. Try not to stare. I’m signed up for Club RT on Friday 4/8 at 9:30 and I’d be honored and so excited if anyone out there stops by to say hello. I’ll be giving away an ARC from my meager supply, which I’m neurotically hoarding, so this – for me – is a big deal.
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