The Pact is a story about a woman desperate for justice—so desperate, she binds her soul to a demon. The story, in fact the whole series, has to do with giving up parts of ourselves, sometimes for good, sometimes for evil, but at the heart of it, because we must do so, to preserve the things which matter to us.
Perhaps it's appropriate, then, to say I’ve bound a bit of my own soul to this story. It contains much of me: my characters, my fears, my epiphanies about who we are, and who we can be.
I see it most clearly in the fact that almost all the characters are directly based on friends of mine, in some way or another. Some are the characters created as part of our role-playing groups, and characters we traded together in art, writing, and word. This is why the first book is dedicated to my first role-playing group of friends, “the original River Rock posse”. Each of them started out as folks across the table from me, rolling dice and scarfing pizza, and each of them is still, to this day, a beloved part of my life. They even stood by me and my husband as groomsmen and bridesmaids on our wedding day.
Other characters are simply based on the people I love. The character of Jonah is a reflection of my husband, and the sometimes jaded but always appropriate wisdom he brings to my life; In Book 2, a bandit leader named Bowen is based on my oldest brother, one of the funniest people I know, and someone I deeply admire.
And some of the characters are reflections of me. Or rather, they are reflections of who I hope to be. Mostly, the women who fight. Serenity Walker is a companion in my journeys, a view of gifts gone awry, and the pitfalls of hubris...but she is also a woman of determination and guts, and deep down, she can truly be a hero. I hope to be the same kind of woman myself.
The Pact is an important story to me because I’ve woven so many loves into it. I’ve painted a world of great people, based on the great people I know, and I’ve painted them into some bigger-than-life adventures, because that’s what these people have given me. On the surface, this is a tale of action, journeys, heroes and villains, a battle between good and evil in a dusty street at high noon. But I’ve bound a bit of my soul to it, and that, hopefully, makes it something more.