Friday 9 October 2009

Featured on Friday: Sarah Rees Brennan

Sarah Rees Brennan was born and raised in Ireland, but moved to New York after her degree. Now she’s back home in Ireland to write. The Demon’s Lexicon is her first novel and the sequel, The Demon’s Covenant, will be released in the UK and the US next year.

1. Is there a specific time or place that you do your best writing in?
I write really badly in the morning. I tend to need breakfast and caffeine and a nice relaxing email check before I can muster up creative energy! On the other hand, I can stay up all night writing - and have. My very favourite place to write is with other authors, so we can pause to gossip, look up and fume about a plot point, or say in agitation 'I need an evil name!' and get an answer instead of a very strange look...

2. Who were your favourite authors as a teenager? Are they different to your current favourites?
I almost never stop loving an author - I just add to an ever-expanding list. I loved Diana Wynne Jones and Margaret Mahy and Jane Austen as a kid, and I still love them, but there are so many fantastic new authors as well: Holly Black and Megan Whalen Turner, for instance. Love their books!

3. If you were only allowed to take three books to a desert island, what would they be?
I would take Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen because it is my very favourite book, and I would take A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth because I like it and because it is unholy long, which will help me on the desert island! I might also take Beautiful Creatures, by Kami Garcia and Margi Stohl, a co-written and awesome new YA fantasy book which isn't out yet, but which I happen to have read... It is also nice and long!

4. How does it feel to know that authors such as Cassandra Clare and Scott Westerfeld have been quoted on loving your book?
Awesome, naturally! But I was extremely nervous about both of them reading it. I spent the entire time they were reading it on my fainting couch. But this was made up for by the great joy of receiving the blurbs!

5. I love both the UK and the US cover of The Demon’s Lexicon. Do you have a favourite?
Thank you! Well, my very favourite cover is my Japanese cover ( I like both my US and UK covers as well: the US cover is changing in paperback, actually, so I'm waiting on tenterhooks to see the new cover, and will choose the UK cover as my favourite for now - I like its dark, noir look. But the US paperback cover may beat it out! I'll have to wait and see.

6. The Goblin Market was one of my favourite elements of The Demon’s Lexicon. Understanding the reference to Christina Rossetti’s poem made me feel very clever! Why did you decide to do this?
Well, I always get very annoyed by characters having phantom incomes - spending all their time fighting crime, yet able to live in style. So I thought about having an underground magic trade that held a market every month, and once I was thinking of magic markets Christina Rossetti came irresistibly to mind. It all fell into place from there - people with good intentions who still want to make a profit, fever fruit which lower inhibitions and act something like a spell and something like a cocktail, and a place for those craving magic and adventure to belong.

7. Nick is a very cold and closed off character, yet he was my favourite. Was this something that you intended to achieve?
With Nick, my concern was to get him right: not to let him be one of those 'bad boys' who are just a little edgy, waiting to find the right girl, but someone who was genuinely troubled and had very dark impulses. So I was aware I'd be alienating some people with this furious, chilly boy, but I did hope that people would find him compelling just the same: would see something in him that makes them want to stick around. That's pretty much how the other people in the book feel about him, too!

8. Are you working on anything at the moment? Can you tell us anything about it?
I am! I'm writing the third book in the Demon's Lexicon series, The Demon's Talisman, and having a lot of fun with it. I just made up a Goblin Market lullaby. I'm also writing several short stories, one of which is called 'Peter Pan: Secret Agent' and involves ninja fairies. I'm co-writing a romantic comedy with a friend, and I'm working on another book about imaginary friends who fight crime.

Thank you very much, Sarah! You can visit Sarah at her website here and read my review of The Demon’s Lexicon here.

If any authors would like to take part in Featured on Friday, send me an email at and we'll sort something out.


  1. That was a really interesting interview for me. I've read Demon's Lexicon and found Nick really hard to get with in the beginning but I'm really glad that I stuck with him until the end.

  2. Great interview! I really want to read The Demon's Lexicon.

  3. Excellent interview. I really enjoyed reading that. Thanks!

  4. Superb interview. I want to read "The Demon's Lexicon" now. I have it but have an order in which to read books at the moment.

  5. That's interesting that the US cover is changing - can't wait to see it. Great interview as always!

  6. Oooh, great interview, I loved The Demon's Lexicon so much. I'm also curious to know what the US paperback will look like, since I'm a big fan of the hardcover. I might be forced to buy both for my permanent collection! *gasp*

  7. Great interview! She's really pretty!

  8. Fab interview! I've got The Demon's Lexicon in my TBR pile, and now I'm determined to make time for it soon. And the Japanese cover is *really* awesome.

  9. Congrats on a great interview! I've got The Demon's Lexicon sitting in my TBR pile, but haven't gotten to it yet. Thanks!

  10. Great interview! I don't like the US cover and definitely prefer the UK.


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