Today on WinterHaven Books we have the sensational Sarah Beth Durst with us! She has stopped by to answer some of are questions and talk about her new book, The Lost!
1)To write such imaginative and creative stories must go through a process. Do you have any writing rituals that gets you into the zone?
I wish I did something quirky and awesome like repeat a mantra in Elvish or spin three times widdershins before every chapter. But really, I just sit down at my desk, open a Word file, and remind myself not to spend too much time on Twitter.
Sometimes I listen to music that reminds me of the book. (For THE LOST, I often listened to "Hotel California" by the Eagles -- it captures the mood of the book perfectly. Both are about a place that you can enter but can't leave.)
In general, I try to write whether I'm in the zone or not. The muse is much more likely to show up if you're already at your desk writing.
2)The Lost is your first adult book and a planned trilogy. How different was it to write for adults compared to YA? And what made you want to do this as a series?
The trick is to see the story through the eyes of your protagonist. If your protagonist is sixteen, the book will come out as YA. If she's twenty-seven, it will come out as adult.
I originally pictured THE LOST as a standalone, but my editor and I realized very early in the process (before the first draft was written) that there was more story to tell and more world to explore. Now, I can't imagine it ever being one book.
THE LOST focuses on the town of Lost, which is filled with only lost things and lost people. THE MISSING and THE FOUND expand far beyond the town and deal with Lauren discovering her destiny.
3)The Lost sounds like a very mysterious, dark and unique escape compared to your other books. What inspired the idea of a world filled with lost things?
It was inspired by... Okay, I have no idea. Most likely it was originally inspired by people joking about lost socks and so forth. But I can't pinpoint the exact origin or the exact moment that I knew I wanted to write about it. It crept up on me. Ideas do that sometimes.
Once I seized the idea, though, I ran with it, taking it to the extreme and then twirling it around to see what it would be like to really live in a town filled with lost things and only lost things. (For example, fresh food is difficult to find. You have to scavenge meals from lost crackers and half-eaten apples. Socks are plentiful, but nice, clean clothes are rare.)
4)You've written so many amazing characters. What is your favorite book that you've written and do you have a favorite character amongst your fictional children?
Oh, don't ask me to choose between my children! I love them all!
INTO THE WILD (which was about fairy tale characters in my hometown) was my very first published novel so that makes it special to me. ICE (basically Beauty and the Beast meets Arctic adventure) is close to my heart because I wrote it for my husband. DRINK, SLAY, LOVE (vampire girl and were-unicorn) was the most fun to write. And THE LOST is my newest...
I do especially love Claire, one of the characters in THE LOST. She's a six year old girl who is fond of teddy bears and knives. She saves Lauren from an angry mob by blithely walking through the crowd, taking Lauren's hand, and walking calmly out again.
5)My favorite thing about reading your books is that you’re not afraid to tackle different genres. Is there a particular genre that you wouldn't ever consider and what genre would you want to tackle next?
I love fantasy. All fantasy: magic realism (like THE LOST), epic fantasy (like VESSEL), paranormal psychological thrillers (like CONJURED), fractured fairy tales (like INTO THE WILD). So long as there's something impossible, something magical, something wondrous, then I'm in.
For me, fantasy is a literature of empowerment and hope. It has the power to restore your sense of wonder. And the power to take you away from whatever is hurting you, at least for a little while. That's why I love reading it and why I love writing it.
I think it's extremely important to write what you love to read.
6)Your next book, Chasing Power comes out in October. The thought of having supernatural abilities has always completely fascinated me. So I have to ask, if you could have one super power, what would be and why?
I wrote CHASING POWER because I want to have telekinesis. And it was immensely fun to write for that reason. It's basically an Indiana Jones kind of fantasy adventure but starring a girl who can move things with her mind. Given a choice of your standard superpowers, I think I'd have to go with that.
Thanks so much for interviewing me!
Your very welcome Sarah, thanks so much for stopping by!
Released- May 27th 2014
Brilliantly riveting. * Thought-provoking and stirring. ** Award-winning author Sarah Beth Durst has been praised for her captivating novels that merge the darkly imagined with very real themes of self-discovery and destiny. In The Lost, we'll discover just what it means to lose one's way.It was only meant to be a brief detour. But then Lauren finds herself trapped in a town called Lost on the edge of a desert, filled with things abandoned, broken and thrown away. And when she tries to escape, impassible dust storms and something unexplainable lead her back to Lost again and again. The residents she meets there tell her she's going to have to figure out just what she's missing, and what she's running from, before she can leave. So now Lauren's on a new search for a purpose and a destiny. And maybe, just maybe, she'll be found.Against the backdrop of this desolate and mystical town, Sarah Beth Durst writes an arresting, fantastical novel of one woman's impossible journey and her quest to find her fate.
Sarah Beth Durst is the author of seven fantasy novels for teens. Her latest, Conjured, came out in September 2013 from Bloomsbury/Walker. Prior to that, she released Vessel, Drink Slay Love,Enchanted Ivy, and Ice from Simon & Schuster, as well as Into the Wild and its sequel Out of the Wildfrom Penguin. Her first book for adults, The Lost, comes out in June 2014 from Harlequin/Mira. She was awarded the 2013 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children's Literature and has been a finalist for SFWA's Andre Norton Award three times. Sarah has been writing fantasy stories since she was ten years old and holds an English degree from Princeton University, where she spent four years writing about dragons and wondering what the campus gargoyles would say if they could talk. She lives in Stony Brook, New York, with her husband and children.