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Interview with Sarah Cooke - Author of No Spell Lasts Forever #1-2!

One year ago I was able to do an interview with author Sarah Cooke , and she gave me some insight on what inspired her to create No Spell Lasts Forever. NSLF is a comic blend of noir and the supernatural, which is a perfect fit. I did a review of her first issue as well, and it was great! Sarah just launched her kickstarter for issue #2, so I asked to interviewed her again and she was awesome enough to agree! Go check out her book, kickstart it if you can, and here is the interview!

1) No Spell Lasts Forever #1 was a very fun Noir story, with some pretty dark twists and turns. Can we expect a different tone in #2 with the introduction of the Queen of Hell?

I'd say the tone is pretty similar in Issue #2. But introducing Lucifer definitely shakes things up! I had a lot of fun writing her. She's a little bit of a cheeky version of the Queen of Hell and she likes to toy with our main character, Rosette. Also, [SPOLIERS] at the end of Issue #1, Rosette gets shot and dies, and that's how she finds herself in Hell. But Lucifer makes a bargain with her. She'll let Rosette return to Earth and, if she can corrupt one truly good soul before the next new moon, she'll be allowed to live. So the introduction of Lucifer and her bargain forces Rosette to start to grapple with the ethical ramifications of her actions in a way she hasn't really done in the past.

2) You have a new artist, Eze Di Savino, working on this comic. What challenges (if any) have there been working with a new creative team?

As far as our working relationship, there haven't really been any challenges. Eze is great to work with! I think creatively the main thing we had to deal with was staying true to the style and overall tone that Aimee Hawley created in Issue #1 while also highlighting Eze's style and artistic strengths. But he pulled it off and the art is gorgeous

3) How did you meet/enlist Eze to the cause?

I first connected with Eze through Fiverr a few years ago. He did some promotional art, as well as the back cover art for Issue #1. And he did the Zatanna variant for this issue back when Aimee and I were still working on Issue #1. So he was the natural choice to take over. I already knew I loved his work, and he knew the comic and really understood tone and mood.

And just a quick note, Aimee exited the comic because her schedule was pretty overwhelming. She was working and taking classes and honestly, I don't know how she juggled it all for Issue #1! But she has continued to do a little promotional art for the comic and she also did the colors for a short I wrote over the summer. So I've been lucky to have great experiences both with Aimee and with Eze.

Variant cover (left) by Eze Di Savino

4) What was the most significant thing you learned from the previous Kickstarter campaign?

I think there are a couple of things. There are all the technical and logistical details -- how to effectively promote it, how to use BackerKit to manage the fulfillment on the back end, what kind of bonuses and stretch goals to set, etc. And the other thing I learned is how much personal engagement matters. Whether it's reaching out to previous backers or responding quickly to potential backers who message you with questions on Kickstarter, direct communication with people who may back the campaign makes a difference. And it's also about engaging with other creators, being a part of a community of creators and promoting one another's work.

5) I asked a similar question last time, but in your dream world who would you cast to play the Queen of Hell?

I'd love to see her played by a young Alex Kingston, who plays River Song in Doctor Who. I think she could really pull off the confident, always slightly amused demeanor. Or if she were still with us, Majel Barrett of Star Trek fame. Lucifer definitely has Lwaxana Troi energy.

6) What part of issue #2 are you most proud of?

I think the part I'm most proud of as a writer is a scene where Rosette and Jimmy are sitting on the fire escape outside her apartment, drinking beers and talking. It's shortly after she strikes the bargain with Lucifer, and it's the first time she starts to ask herself what kind of person she really wants to be. Growing up, Rosette was constantly being told there was something fundamentally bad about her, and she believed that message. That's why she has been able to use her magic in the service of criminals without a second thought. But now that she's being told to actively hurt a good person for her own gain, she's questioning everything she believed about herself and starting to wonder if maybe what she was told as a kid isn't true -- maybe she does have the capacity to be a better person. That's the crux of her entire emotional arc over the course of the six issues, and we see the first glimmers of it in this fire escape scene.

7) If you had to name three other works of fiction your book is similar to, what would they be?

I'd say the ones that were rattling around in my head the most when I was writing it were probably the novel Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo, Brian Michael Bendis's Alias, and the old noir movies Rosette loves so much, especially The Big Sleep.

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