A lot of people have been asking me where I got the idea for Mytro. I remember it vividly: we were in Madrid and I was under a statue of Lucifer falling from heaven when inspiration struck like a bolt from above.
Allow me to explain.
When my wife Joanna and I were in Spain in 2007 we visited Barcelona and Madrid. I fell in love with both cities – Barcelona with its sinuous architecture and great food and Mardid with it’s martial streets and amazing cafes. We wandered the streets with my son Kasper, who was about two then. It was amazing.
One afternoon in Madrid we visited the Parque del Buen Retiro and found the only public statues of Lucifer in the world. He’s falling from heaven, his face full of fear and anger, his wings breaking around him. He howls up at heaven and a serpent begins to pull him down.
The plinth was made of white stone and I wondered what would happen if there was a secret door under that statue… into what? A hideout? A secret cave?
A metro station?
A few moments later, as if the statue said the word, I thought: “That’s where the Mytro starts.” Mytro, like mythos, like mythical metro. Pronounce it any way you like, but in my head I hear “mih” as in “myth” and “tro” as in “troll.”
We walked away from the statue and the word echoed in my head. Mytro. Mytro.
I began writing the book that year but didn’t finish it until 2012. It took another two years to work up the courage to pass it around. Now i’ve sold 600 copies and climbing. It’s been an amazing journey. And that’s how the devil inspired my first fiction book.
Bonus: Want to see where Agata lives? I’ve imagined her on Carrer de l’Argenter, down the street from the beautiful baroque little Catalan Music Hall off of La Rambla in Barcelona. We stayed on that street years ago in a beautiful apartment overlooking a quiet cobblestone street where old women hung their washing and swept their front steps. You can visit her there if you like, but she might not be home.