“I have finished reading The Sainted…It is a work of creative genius and spiritual insight. BRAVO!”
-Father Raymond Maher
Mother Angeline McCrory Manor
LOS ANGELES, CA, February 22, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ —
There is a place you will never have to see. A place where evil reigns supreme and the light of goodness cannot penetrate. This is the domain where Satan dwells and the one and the only person who has seen it, is the only hope for mankind.
The epic journey of The Sainted Trilogy is a supernatural suspense thriller and love story seen through the eyes of Chris Pella. He was raised in a close Italian family and attended Catholic school, and for him, the battle between good and evil is part of what he learned in class. But these lessons come horrifyingly to life as he is taken on a miraculous journey and, in one moment, his life is changed forever. Chris has a secret he has kept since childhood; he can communicate with The Sainted. Chris is transported back in time where through vivid and sometimes frightening visions, he learns from the lives of men and women who have become blessed icons of the Church.
All three books in The Sainted Trilogy, “Evil Awaits”, “Revelations” and “Megiddo” build on the major theme of the eternal struggle between good and evil. The narrative exemplifies the consummate goodness of the Sainted at Chris’ side against the ultimate evil of Satan and the forces of hell. This comparative is illustrated through dark, disturbing passages where drugs, child prostitution, serial murders, and violence and evil of such extreme magnitude, that the nations of the world cannot fathom its cause.
As the narrative continues to unfold, the reader is introduced to many memorable characters. Beth Della Russo, a beautiful nurse; Chris’ Uncle Al Barese, Suffolk County Chief of Detectives; the demonic presence of Satan in human form, Julian, as well as many others that enter into Chris’ life.
In the end, there is the final battle between good and evil as foretold in scripture; an Armageddon that pits the forces of Heaven against the demons of Hell and it all takes place on the ethereal third level of the Jerusalem Plain in the shadow of “Megiddo”.
It took more than six years to complete the research, develop the initial drafts, and rewrites and I consider The Sainted Trilogy as a personal journey that brought me closer to the beliefs and traditions after having lapsed in my faith over the years. The three books of The Sainted Trilogy were written to entertain readers and not preach to them about what to believe…they can decide that for themselves.
Let’s discuss “Faith” as it served as a strong inspiration in the writing of The Sainted Trilogy. Do you believe that is instrumental in managing today’s challenges and making sense of today’s chaos?
Without faith, there is only skepticism; a deep distrust of anything that does not conform to our predetermined thoughts and emotions. I think that distrust of institutions, doubts of long-held beliefs and traditions, as well as preconceived notions about people we know or don’t know. These appear to me as contributing factors that give rise to suspicion, disbelief, and cynicism. Perhaps a look back at the saints and their lives and abiding faith might inspire a change in attitudes, but that is a very personal decision each of us needs to make.
Catholicism plays a central figure in your story from good versus evil but you positioned your lead character as a normal law-abiding citizen with religious values but surely not a “holy man” selected by the Sainted—was this intentional to have a so-called normal character confronted with today’s chaotic challenges?
Yes, the premise of having the protagonist as a ‘Mr. Everyman’ was intentional. I wanted the reader to be able to put themselves in his place and become empathetic with all the aspects of his life, loves, and confrontations with evil. That was one of the reasons that the main character, Chris, was written in the first person and all others written in the third person so the reader can place himself or herself in the role.
People have left the church in great numbers, but ironically many remain spiritual. Your character, a millennial remains a devout practicing Catholic-–was this important for you in the storyline?
It was important to me. I was born into a household where a number of my family were practicing Catholics. I went to Catholic parochial and high-school and grew up learning the precepts of the Catholic faith and traditions. Over time, I lapsed in my faith and it was not until recently that I wanted to return to the religious legacy and traditions of Catholicism. That is part of the reason I wrote The Sainted Trilogy.
Chris Pella is unapologetic about his faith because his upbringing taught him to be. I think he is far braver than I am and I think, in order to battle the evil Chris has to confront, he needs to completely rely on his faith. The Sainted Trilogy is not a religious tome, but the saints will give readers a reason to pause and contemplate. The three books of The Sainted Trilogy were written to entertain readers and not preach to them about what to believe…they can decide that for themselves.
Where the saints surely play a prominent role in your story, was the intent to question oneself—”what would I do if confronted by the Sainted to carry out a mission?”
That is the main reason the only character that I wrote in the first person is Chris Pella was that I wanted the reader to put themselves in his place. I wanted the reader to try and understand what he was being told, what he was asked to do, and how he would deal with the enormous responsibility of carrying out his purpose in life under the Heavenly banner of God, Christ and The Sainted.
Do you present the saints as super-heroes?
I don’t believe the saints are superheroes, well maybe St. Michael the Archangel.
The Sainted are extraordinary and exceptional people who, I believe, have been touched by God. These are men and women who have done so much for their faith; they teach, they inspire and they perform miracles and this is what they have done for, and witnessed by, the main character, Chris Pella.
You’ve given “conversational” personalities to your saints, crafted around a bit of their history, this gives us a unique image of “saints” whom, if raised in the church, you would formally pray to them…not have conversations with them. Did you find giving voice, personality, and character to these saints challenging?
I was able to do a lot of research online regarding the Saints and their lives and miracles. When you read about their faith and what guided their lives, you also realize many of them were just like you and me. They had families or lived alone, they had jobs and got sick or angry or depressed or happy because the saints were human. They had many of the same problems that we, as mortals, experience all the time…jealousy, pain, sadness, joy, tragedy and so much more. Some were kings or queens, some were sinners, many were martyrs, some were paupers, some were fabulously wealthy, or some just tried to scrape by, but all were bound to their faith and lived with that blessing and confidence.
Equally noticeable is the graphic detail of the Saints who have experienced horrific acts as martyrs—we see this through your lead character—you have created scenes and dialog that bring sainthood to the forefront—was this a difficult decision in your story planning?
The is an interesting question in that when I read about the Saints, I was convinced that, aside from their holiness, they were like you and me, flaws, and all. By taking what I learned about their lives and miracles I was able to imagine the situations and locations they were in. From there the next step was to surmise how they would react given the faith that guides them. The people who persecuted the Sainted were also a product of their times. The ‘all-powerful Emperor’ who condemned many Christians to death acted in a way that you would expect a despotic, murdering tyrant to act…to preserve power and maintain control at all costs.
Your character had to lie about information being received from the Saints—in a world of conspiracy theories, was this a challenge for you in writing the story?
I don’t believe he had lied. I think he withheld the truth of his situation for other reasons; that is to protect himself from those who would assume he was crazy. Who would believe that he could speak to the saints…except for his Uncle Al? Even his uncle, however, needed to have Chris prove his special power to him in a way that would be unimpeachable.
GOOD vs. EVIL
Before we talk about the Julian character, the modern-day Satan, according to a recent survey, 10 years ago the majority of Americans did not believe that Satan exists. In 2020 it has flipped to the majority of the nation believing that Satan is real and alive in our daily lives. Your response?
In my opinion, the only explanation for the increasing belief that there is a Satan is due to the fact that so much of what seemed impossible is really happening. Lives have become worthless and people are murdered for no reason at all and many cannot comprehend why. Throats are slashed by terrorists, old people are cheated out of their savings, child molestation is getting more and more common, substance abuse is rampant, long-held facts and traditions are set aside for new forms of orthodoxy such as socialism, secularism, communism and now Christians are the most persecuted religion in the world. Mass murder has been and continues to be common under totalitarian regimes around the world and the silence is deafening. I believe that most people look around in complete and utter bewilderment and they are now ascribing these horrors to men and women who are unwitting acolytes of Satan.
Satan plays a key role in the novel, Julian—was this a difficult character to create and maintain his presence in Chris’ life?
I received a review for the first novel in The Sainted Trilogy” where the reviewer wrote;
“One character, though, Medico must be applauded for and that is Satan. He gave Satan the perfect personality: just the right amount of attitude and sass…Satan is perhaps one of, if not THE, hardest character to write in any genre and Medico nailed it on his first try.”
It was also important to me that Satan be a character that would be engaging, funny as well as totally evil and ruthless. Throughout the books of the Sainted Trilogy, Satan lures his victims to the point of total corruption. It is at this point that these people believe they cannot be redeemed. All the while Satan would be laughing and joking as he drags these souls to his hellish domain to suffer eternal damnation.
In the past few years, lies seem to be an accepted practice of law, government, even within organized religions. Your books seem to present the hypothetical; if you could restore honesty, integrity, etc. back by challenging “evil”, would you, do it?
The idea that lying is an accepted practice in so many of the institutions in our social order, is very disturbing. It appears that as a society, many people have given up on the long-held values of integrity and honesty in favor of expediency, greed, exploitation, fraud, and other corrupt practices. I believe that in order to return our principled instincts, we must all take pride in the need to reject evil and I realize that at times it is very hard to do. I wrote a line in “Evil Awaits” that can sum up what people need to confront in their decisions regarding lying and honesty. Satan said to Chris Pella, “…the freedom of evil is easier to accept than the constraints of good.”
The love story plays a central theme. Is this our saving grace from a divided country filled with hate?
I don’t believe that the love between Chris and Beth is of the variety that will cause the planets to align, and love will reign overall. Theirs is the kind of love that we all experience when we meet someone who we think, is perfect for us. Like all relationships, Chris and Beth have their ups and downs, unspoken passions, mistakes, jealousies, and other emotional reactions as part of just living and being in love. There are also temptations that will cause them to veer away from what is truly important and become immersed in the pleasures and excesses of the world.
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