Trivia & Side/Fun Facts
As is Sarah’s way, the following quotes and facts are often to be understood with a wink and a smile. ;)
Joe Carr in The Demon’s Lexicon was named after one of Sarah’s friends.
Referring to her →”Snacks Theory” Sarah considers both Nick and Alan Sandwiches, but admits Nick might also be a Muffin.
Olivia’s family cut her off when she left her husband and childhood sweetheart.
Gerald’s family weren’t magicians, but they knew that magicianing ran in their family and thought it a curse.
Arthur and Nick are related to John Dee, Elizabeth I’s magician.
Gerald is a descendant of the Wizard Earl of Kildare.
Replying to a fan saying “Merris Cromwell makes me think of Thomas and Oliver, and wonder if one of them was a magician.” Sarah said, she may be onto something.
Alan would love to be a college professor, and wear tatty brown cardigans and spend years in the library.
As the Goblin Market’s location and existence are usually kept secret, the “tourists” there are mostly people like Mae and Jamie who need help and find it or people like Mae, looking for that kind of thing, who sometimes get cautious invites. Sarah said that by the time Mae first comes to the Market it was “conceivable that she would have got an invite in a few months”.
Alan’s hair is dark red, not carroty.
Jamie’s birthday is October 15th. Mae’s is also in autumn, she is a bit over a year older than Jamie.
The Goblin Market in the book was inspired by Christina Rossetti’s poem The Goblin Market.
In The Demon’s Lexicon Alan is 19, Nick 16, Gerald 20.
In book 1 Alan calls Sin Cynthia (her full name) because “they don’t get on, and he’s being very politely rude”.
Demon’s all have favourite things in the human world. Liannan’s all about ice, Anzu’s all about birds, Nick about shadows and storms/rain, as shown, for example, in that driving rain when Nick finds out the truth about his parentage in Lexicon.
The book Nick has to write about in Lexiconis Jane Eyre.
Alan has a lot of military issue guns, slimlines; he doesn’t really have a favourite, though, not being as enamoured of weapons as Nick.
Merris helps out paying Nick and Alan’s rent if they alone can’t afford it.
Jamie’s not very academic (although he tries and is definitely better than Nick), so Mae help’s him out with schoolwork.
Jamie listens to music and watches a lot of movies, and sometimes tags along with Mae’s friends, but doesn’t have any of his own. He used to, but never close, and then the hassling at school (due to a mixture of his sexuality and other things, but not his family situation) escalated and people sheered off from him.
While Nick has real trouble with words, he is a lot better with numbers, and doing okay in maths, but he’s not brilliant.
Alan’s and Nick’s last name Ryves, rhymes with “knives”, not “leaves”.
Magicians generally don’t get possessed since they know how to avoid it, and what it would be like. A magician that got possessed, though, would be much like any other possessed person, a shell with a demon inside, and someone yelling in the back.
Jamie’s earring is in his right ear.
The US Edition of The Demon’s Lexicon features a “secret cover”: Underneath the picture of the boy with a magical talisman (Nick), there’s a shining sword, lying on some muddy herringbone tiles.
Iron’s meant to be the best for holding magicians.
Mae’s best friens in school are called Rachel and Erica, but of course they do not have lots of information about her life.
Sarah visited all the real life locations in the Demon’s Lexicon trilogy.
Alan sings very well.
When Nick is vulnerable he harks back to when he was younger and Alan made him hold his hand crossing the street.
The password to Mezentius House from Lexicon, “My name is one”, refers to a quote in the Bible where a possessed man says “Our name is legion”. According to Sarah it is “sort of an affirmation of the rights of the individual one to not get possessed”.
Ruth, the name of the wife of the possessed man in Mezentius House, is a synonym for loyalty.
In the first draft of Lexicon Philip the Necromancer got “a whole spiel about how people think necromancy is awful, but it’s working with the living that gives you real power”.
With a third tier mark demons get to possess you, but can’t just enter the human world; a magician has to release the demon again before he can possess his victim.
The documentary that first inspired The Demon’s Lexicon was about the wolves raising a human girl incident Arthur discusses at the end of book 1.
Natasha Walsh is named after one of Sarah’s best friends, who is also her roommate.
In the first draft of Lexicon it takes Nick even longer to notice Alan is not his real brother, as he is sidetracked thinking about how Sin is only her siblings’ half-sister, but she and her editor felt that slowed the story down.
Sin’s siblings have a Swiss father and are very blond while Sin’s own father is a British-Caribbean accountant, which makes her biracial (Caribbean/Welsh). Sarah says, in her head she looks a bit like →Samantha Mumba.
Marie’s death was natural: cancer. Just one of those awful things that happens: she was sick from the time Alan was a baby.
Nick went mountain climbing with his dad for his eigth’s birthday.
May tends to be overconfident as she’s very smart and attractive.
There’s a mistake that was forgotten to be edited out in the first US edition of Lexicon: At the end when they’re in Arthur’s house, at first there is a gun being held to Jamie’s temple, then later it becomes a knife at his throat.
When at the end of Lexicon Jamie tells Nick that he’s pretty sure without Alan he’d be a monster, and that he reminds him of someone he once knew, he is talking about Anzu in his demon dreams.
According to Sarah, magicians “get insidiously warped by feeding people to demons”.
The name Nick is from Old Nick, a name for the devil.
Hnikarr is a Norse name. The initial h is silent, the emphasis on the second syllable.
Demons have a lot of contempt for humans, partially because they’re so used to seducing and using them. Human emotions really are just pathetic to them, because they’re the tools used for possession.
At the end of Lexicon Nick in demon form flies over Tower Bridge cause Sarah loves Tower Bridge.
While writing the last chapter in Lexicon, Sarah listend to →Vienna Teng’s Harbour on loop and made her flatmate listen, too. Sarah said “these pages are born from her pain”.
For Covenant Sarah wrote out three synopses for her editor to pick from, Gerald’s POV, Nick’s again, and Mae’s – she chose Mae’s. Sarah says the story bent a little with which character got to be the focus, and more makeout scenes got allotted to POV characters, but the end result was the same. From Gerald’s POV, she also explained, the book started off with him rescuing a kitten from a tree, and then proceeded onto him committing many senseless murders – “because that’s how she rolls”. Also, on a more serious note, she said that with Gerald as the POV character, she would have written about Nick’s development and his and Alan’s relationship by means of Gerald being fascinated by it and testing it for weaknesses.
Alan’s language skills are self-thaught, like his Sumerian. Most accurate texts on demons are in Sumerian.
Gerald is Arthur’s official heir.
There’s a deleted scene for Lexicon in which Seb grabs Nick’s talisman and impugns his masculinity.
Referring to the US and UK covers of Lexicon Sarah stated that “if US and UK Nick had a baby somehow, it would look like my mental image of Nick, because UK Nick has the air of danger, and the hair falling into his eyes, and US Nick has the ‘wow, he’s awfully good-looking oh my god there’s something very wrong with his eyes’ shiny-to-alarming look”.
One of the early titles Sarah thought of for Lexicon was A Lullaby in the Dark.
Sarah says she likes the Japanese Lexion cover best, because it has all the characters on it.
Possible alternative titles for Surrender included The Demon’s Talisman and The Demon’s Tempest.
After Sarahs little brother read The Demon’s Lexicon he asked her whether she based a character on him. She told him Jamie was a little like him and he was shocked, saying he thought he was Nick. While working on the other books in the series Sarah wrote: “My baby brother now sneaks onto my computer and writes little snippets where all the other characters say ‘Jamie, you have got so handsome over the summer. And you have been working out!’”
Sarah actually has a pink “Romeo and Juliet wouldn’t have lasted” t-shirt like the one Mae wears in the series.
The music that’s playing on the boat in Lexicon that sounds like goblin market drums Sarah imagines as →Voodoo Child by Rogue Traders.
According to Sarah, Surrender from Jamie’s POV would have been 20255024 pages long and an Alan POV book would go “This is my plan. Let’s wait for the others to catch up… How have you been?”.
Sarah says she imagines Nick’s voice to sound like →Chuck Bass in Gossip Girl, if less posh.
Burnt House Lane in Exeter actually exists. Sarah called the tourist office asking where a good place to buy crack was… They hung up on her. She kept calling and eventually they told her, “THEY DIDN’T KNOW PERSONALLY, BUT THEY HAD HEARD THE PLACE TO GO TO WAS BURNT HOUSE LANE.”
Sarah’s editor wanted to cut the ‘learned to dance’ game in Covenant but Sarah felt it was vital to Mae and Jamie’s relationship, so it stayed.
Seb and Jamie have known each other since they were fourteen.
The dance lessons Mae and Jamie took were mixed, but they started off with ballroom.
Sarah cut a scene between Nick and Annabel in which she is basically like “I just have trouble with feelings and I don’t want to hug my kids” and Nick was obviously secretly all over “I WISH YOU WERE MY MOM.” She also cut an Expulsion Scene in Covenant, in which Annabel made a scene on Nick’s behalf. She, rather typically, stood up for Nick, her “rough diamond” and accused the principal of homophobia. “Alan was very, very puzzled. Jamie said ‘MUM’. Nick said ‘Quiet. Sweetheart.’” Sarah says, it was again, a scene which had no purpose but to be funny. ;) So Nick gets expelled offscreen. “It was cut because Annabel is an indomitable lady, and I could not work out how to get Nick expelled with her onteam. ;)”
Sarah originally wanted to call the Demon’s Lexicon Trilogy the World Inverted Series, but her editor didn’t like it.
On how the first magician summoned a demon Sarah says: “I imagine the system evolved together a really long time ago – there were probably unfortunate mistakes and lots of deaths early on.”
Sarah and her editor were swapping back and forth between grey and blue for Gerald’s eye colour, as Sarah wanted them to parallel Alan’s eyes, and her editor wanted people to stop having blue eyes so much. In Covenant Sarah misremembered where they ended up and described them as blue. When she noticed, she decided to keep it instead of changing a later edition, as she thinks it is weird how definite people are about eye colour in fiction in a way they are not in life, so in book three there was a mention that Gerald’s eyes look different according to the light, which is shifty in a way that is pretty like Gerald, which pleased Sarah.
If a magician switched circles, his old sigil would disappear as he gets the new one.
Sarah’s song for Alan for Surrender is →Book of Love by Peter Gabriel.
Laura never says so but loves Gerald, just like Anzu loves Nick.
Sarah says (about Anzu) that she thinks “it’s fun to have as a minor character the demon who might typically be the main character – the one who was always different and had so many feeeeeeelings” (as opposed to Nick, who was as demonically evil and uncaring as they come).
Sarah’s titles hold a lot of meaning in themselves: “Lexicon” refers to the words the demon knows, which is obviously important in Nick’s case, but also means “secret history”, which is appropriate. She says, “Lexicon” can also be taken pretty literally to mean Alan, who is the one who taught the words. “Covenant” is a “bargain, a legal agreement the breaking of which involves serious penalties” which fits as book 2 is very much about keeping promises, breaking them and the consequences of both.
When choosing the Alan model for the US edition of Surrender Sarah’s favourite model had just got a truly tragic haircut, so they had to go with her second favourite.
Sarah liked the model for Sin on Covenant‘s US cover so much, she sent →this picture of her to her UK publisher for them to base their Surrender cover drawing on her looks. Unfortunately they decided to go for a model cover, too, instead of finishing the series with a third drawn one.
In Covenant there was a deleted scene in which Jamie was inducted into the human lessons with Nick and Mae and got Nick a puppy as his contribution. Nick was wondering what he had gotten himself into, but eventually he and the puppy warmed to each other. Sarah’s comment: “That part of the book was so crazy, I actually knew it was crazy and cut it before my editor told me to.”
About when Nick and Jamie have their “friend moments” with each other, Sarah says, Jamie’s is when in Covenant Nick gets wounded fighting for him and Jamie’s like “He got stabbed in the liver, I guess we are friends!”. Nick’s, she says, she wasn’t sure about, but then realised, Nick never says anything he doesn’t mean, so it was right at the beginning, when he’s declaring Jamie his friend.
Sarah wrote all of Daniel’s diary in one night, out of order, except for the last entry.
Alan and Nick still cut each others’ hair. Saves money!
Demons don’t have acutal genders, it’s a matter of preference, and can be changed up.
The “song made of nonsense words” in Covenant was actually the names of the rivers in the area surrounding, Rivers Taw, Cenio and Tamar.
With the boundaries set by Alan, when human Nick dies, he/Hnikarr will go back to the demon world, like all demons do, instead of living as a human forever.
Sarah, being asked about whether the demon world was always harsh: “It’s meant to be a bit mysterious, but yes, in my head it’s always been harsh. Humans get nicer, shorter lives, but less power.” She futher says, there are many demons there who just don’t possess humans at all, too. “The just live in the demon world, doing their demon thing. They don’t really herd like humans – Liannan, Anzu and Hnikarr’s alliance would be seen as unusual.” Also there could be yet other worlds, but neither demons nor humans are aware of them.
Sarah actually wrote Covenant twice. The first version (also dubbed Throb), she says was “a whole other book, a ROMANCE sequel, and it was really shaming”. She says there were scenes in it along the lines of “You should know about plot. In other new, KISS ME.” It was also told from Mae’s POV.
Sarah on demon names: “Humans make them up, but then think they’re of significance: like holy names, but profane.”
→Winter Song by Sara Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson is Sarah’s song for Nick and Alan in Covenant.
According to Sarah, “Alan as raised by Daniel and Marie would have been either extremely well-adjusted and one of those perfect shining guys, or due to his intelligence have become so bored he went off the rails with a crash”.
Sarah says “Seb being observant is mostly due to him being an artist and a product of an environment where a comprehensive sum-up of said environment is important”.
In Throb (see above) Gerald gave Anzu a kitten.
Sarah thinks, had Daniel lived, Nick and Daniel would have actually got along better than Alan and Daniel, eventually.
Black Arthur’s parents were both magicians, and he was born handsome, rich, and super powerful. Sarah says she also sees him as a kind of frat boy, allowed to believe nothing was more important than what he wanted.
Nick can only give whole, three tier marks, no first or second tier ones as the degrees of marks are degrees of power and one tier at a time is as much as a normal demon can mark someone. Nick’s power is up at full, so only full marks – and it should be a plus that he can just slam on the full mark.
When writing Annabel, Sarah says she occasionally thought of →Cate Blanchett.
Shakespeare’s Ariel was an influence on Sarah’s demons.
The scene in Covenant in which Jamie is drunk was supposedly “a zillion pages long” before it got edited.
Matthias is South Asian, but he’s adopted, so he hasn’t got much knowledge of his own culture. Sarah says, she also has a strange love for him, considering how minor he is. His name’s pronounced “Math-high-us”.
There originally were sex scenes between Nick and Sin as well as Alan and Sin (implied), but both were cut.
Sin and Alan have known each other since Alan was five and Sin was two, but Sarah thinks Alan didn’t make a big impression until Sin was eight, and starting to train to dance for demons, and along comes a Suddenly Disabled Kid, which must have been scary.
When a demon directly marks a person (like Nick does with Mae), there was no magician involved – thus nobody even could die to have it removed, making it permanent.
According to Sarah, Roger (Crawford) ran off basically because he thought they (Mae, Jamie and Annabel) were “alllll crazy”.
At the end of Covenant, when Nick is bound, Liannan cuts his power in a bit less than half.
Sarah said that, if she ever wrote a Lexicon spin-off, it would be about Anzu, told from a magician girl’s POV (and guest-starring Matthias).
Sarah says, when writing the books, she didn’t really have any actors in mind, but she always thought Mae might look a bit like a younger, much curvier →Rachael Leigh Cook and Arthur like →Rufus Sewell.
Matthias has two lovely mommies.
Nick is very, very bad at French (as one might expect ;)).
Summoned demons know the answers to questions once they are asked. It’s part of the magic of the circle, though, so it doesn’t work with, for example, Nick (when he’s not in one).
In chapter 12 of Surrender, the book Sin is studying is Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.
Sarah’s favourite secondary characters are Matthias and Annabel.
Sarah about whether Nick (after the end of Lexicon) feels more like the demon he used to be or the human boy he thought he was, only with all his prior memories: “Nick wonders that himself, actually. He’s not sure what or who he is… until the tests come, which is really the point of Covenant and Surrender.”
The rough word count for the books are 95k for Lexicon, 120k for Covenant, 105 for Surrender - which lines up with the POV char’s wordiness.
Sarah says, she always feels bad for Anzu because had she been writing a traditional paranormal romance, he would have been the hero.
Demons were around before there were proper people.
According to Sarah, her favourite scenes in the books are the ones where people suffer the most, like Nick’s three pivotal scenes in the three books, which are: TDL: Nick telling Alan he won’t leave, doesn’t want to, TDC: The scene in the rain on the roof and nick storming down to Alan afterwards and him explaining Mae, he let’s them touch him cause he’d let them hurt him, in TDS: The scene where Anzu tells him about Alan’s thoughts – and Nick’s line with “Who knows, maybe I did.”. For Sarah they represent “very much the nature-and-stages-of-love: ‘I won’t leave you’ ‘Don’t leave me’ and then, even when left, what remains”.
Sarah thinks Jamie is the most attractive of her Lexicon Trilogy characters (she likes blonds ;) ).
Sin’s sports bra is pink and black.
Anzu possessed Sin’s mom, and has fond memories of that time, thus his soft spot for Sin.
There is an excerpt from Insomnia by Elizabeth Bishop Sarah considers the perfect epigraph for the series, except that she doesn’t use them:
Into that world inverted
Where day is always night
Where the shadows are really the body
Where we stay awake all night
Where the heavens are as shallow as the seas are now deep
And you love me
Sarah finished Lexicon‘s first draft Christmas 2006.
The title of Surrender‘s chapter 13 is taken from a line in Theodore Roethke’s poem “In a Dark Time” that goes: “I know the purity of pure despair.”
In Surrender, freeing Alan and defeating the magicians were originally two seperate scenes.
A demon who’s currently in a body can’t be summoned (or even hear a summon).
Sarah on naming Nick: “I think Arthur would have called him either John [after John Dee - a famous ancestor of Arthur's] or Arthur. Olivia might have wanted Daniel, but she was not going to get her way.”
Sarah on Anzu’s and Nick’s relationship after Surrender: “I think Nick and Anzu probably make up a few centuries later when everyone else is dead and Liannan has knocked their heads together being like ‘BOYS DON’T FIGHT HE WON’T POSSESS YOUR STUFF AGAIN ALL RIGHT, JEEZ’”