The following is an interview conducted with author Rick Pipito about the novel Devil’s Dessert:
Q: This is the fifth book in your Flesh and Leftovers series. It is also the first book to stray a little from your previous formats, but continues to be effective for the overall arc. Why did you decide to do it this way?
Rick: The idea is the same, but for each individual chapter, I had to take a different approach. They still remain separate stories, but tie in directly, instead of the way that they were secondary in the prior novels. The whole book happens in the present except for the mentions of how it all started. It was only logical to do it this way, as I don’t feel that scattering it through history would have been as effective.
Q: By far, this is my favorite of the series. How do you plan to top what you did here?
Rick: It will be difficult, but I think I can handle it well. There is more at stake with the main characters now. Moira and Gordon are dealing with a new stage in their lives, and they are all on the run. The media knows these people exist. The characters will have to watch their backs every step of the way, while dealing with an all new threat that is perhaps the most dangerous one yet.
Q: Can you elaborate on this threat more? Where will book 6 take us?
Rick: We’ve dealt with zombies, vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and demons. It has been building up since book 1, and you may not have even realized it, but technology will be the antagonist. How can we fight something that we depend upon for everything? It’s going to be the most difficult thing we’ve encountered in this series; so far.
Q: Regarding the religious aspect, did you find it difficult to write? What are your thoughts on possible controversy involved?
Rick: I was raised Roman Catholic, and have been fascinated with faith since I was a child. The stories and mysteries involved are intriguing. I researched a dozen other faiths as well before beginning this novel. I wanted to appease to ALL audiences, not just one. Even Atheists can enjoy this. The only controversy that will be is people being offended that I’m taking into account ALL faiths and not just theirs. If they want to cause a stir, I say go ahead. It will only make more people want to read it. Look what it did for Dan Brown. The Da Vinci Code was considered so controversial, and it made people want to read it because of that fact. Of course, it being a great novel also helped.
Q: Do you have any favorite angel or demon stories that are not your own?
Rick: It seems a bit clichéd, but “The Exorcist” is at the top of my list, followed by “Evil Dead” (the original), and I’d say the first “Silent Hill” game.
Q: The characters at the end of this book are being thrust into this new scenario that you mentioned, and will have to adjust to this new way of life. I was shocked by what you did here, but in a good way. Can you give us a hint as to how the characters will cope in their new roles?
Rick: Fighting a threat, adjusting to changes, finding an old enemy, and emotional roller coasters? You’ll have to tune in to see.
Q: Your brother, Dan Pipito came up with the art for the cover again. Tell us about that process.
Rick: We kept with the theme for this trilogy. It was very simple, but has three of the main artifacts involved in the story: The Crown of Thorns, The Spear of Destiny, and The Sword of Eden. We went back and forth a few times on color, and detail possibilities. We agreed that it would be better to have less detail, as to not focus on those objects before reading the novel. It’s always a pleasure for me to see what Dan does next.
Q: Is Jason Black going to be a secondary character again in the next novel or will you bring him in as a main villain?
Rick: He will be brought in as the main baddie in the future, but not quite yet. He will have a little more of a role than he did in this one; as we will finally see what it is that he is up to.
Q: How much research went into the angels and demons, and where did you get the names for God and the Devil?
Rick: They were more difficult than the religions themselves. I looked into angels and demons for each of the seven deadly sins and the virtuous counterparts. Angel names were by the plethora, but demon names associated with particular sins were not. I decided to take different names for the Devil himself to be the demonic names, and closely researched each one. As far as God and the Devil, I’d rather call them what they are in the book (Light and Darkness). I wanted them to be something godly, and equal counterparts. Tehum literally means formless darkness in Hebrew. In Latin, Lux Lucis means light. Those were the only logical decisions for names of “God and the Devil”.
Q: You also have a new artist doing some amazing interior art. Was this your decision?
Rick: Yes. I was halfway through writing this book and realized it was the first in the series that I hadn’t planned at least some form of art in one of the pages. We were underway with the next graphic novel, and I didn’t have enough room for everyone with new artists on board. Sakura Jones is an impressive artist with a great style. She had done 2 graphic novels with us, so I asked if she could do three pieces for this book; One each for the beginning, middle and end of the story. I’m thrilled to work with her again.
Q: What have been the biggest writing challenges with this novel and the series?
Rick: It gets harder as I go. The first novel was a learning experience. Then I planned out the whole series, and I have to wrap things up and transition for each one. The closer I get to the real end of the series becomes difficult. I have to keep it interesting and try to top the one prior to it. If I can’t do that, then there is no point for me as a writer to continue on with it. I have it planned in a way so that each book focuses on something different. I don’t want to do the same thing twice. Making each one “better” than the prior, is the biggest challenge. I feel I’ve come a long way since the first book, and I’ve received feedback from readers that love each installment better than the last.
Q: You mentioned hints in previous books. Are there any little “easter eggs” in this one?
Rick: Haha. Yes. I of course included my own Twitter account into the story to see if anyone will chime in with their thoughts for the topic discussed in the book. It works into the story, but this way it is as if the reader is part of the universe itself. Also, the end of the epilogue has a zeroes and ones code. Something is hidden within that.
Q: What will the sCrypt Comics graphic spinoff be called?
Rick: The spinoff will be sCrypt comics issue #5, and titled “Devil’s Dessert: Demonic Entities”. Look for it sometime early next year (2014)
Q: Do you have a projected release on the next novel in this series?
Rick: “Techno Feast” will come out 4th quarter this year. A perfect gift for the holidays.
Q: Any major sponsors or Hollywood ?
Rick: Not yet. I’m still trying to get the word out there, but having to support my family and working 50 hours a week NOT doing writing, makes it hard to find the right connection.
Q: Where can anyone get a copy of “Devil’s Dessert”?
A: Devil’s Dessert is available on www.lulu.com in print. Or you can get it for the Kindle on www.amazon.com . My other novels are in both those places as well, so check them out, and spread the word.