Sarah Beth Durst is the author of Vessel, Drink, Slay, Love, Enchanted Ivy, and Ice from Simon & Schuster, as well as Into the Wild and its sequel Out of the Wild from Penguin Young Readers. Her next book for teens, Conjured, comes out in September 2013 from Bloomsbury/Walker. Her first book for adults, The Lost, comes out in June 2014 from Harlequin/Mira. She has been writing fantasy stories since she was ten years old and holds an English degree from Princeton University, where she spent four years studying English, writing about dragons, and wondering what the campus gargoyles would say if they could talk. Sarah lives in Stony Brook, New York, with her husband and children.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?
Or a Unicorn Princess.
After that, when I was ten years old, I decided I wanted to be a writer. Since then, it’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted to be (though if the unicorns decide to crown me, I won’t say no).
What inspired you to want to become a writer?
I think books are magic. They have the power to transport you out of your own life, away from whatever is bothering you, and take you on a journey. I’ve always wanted to be a part of that magic.
Who are your favorite authors of all time?
I am a sucker for all girl-with-magic-power, girl-with-talking-wolf, girl-with-sword, girl-with-dragon, and girl-who-faces-incredible-odds-and-wins stories. My favorite authors include Tamora Pierce, Robin McKinley, Mercedes Lackey, Diana Wynne Jones, Diane Duane, Patricia C. Wrede, and Charles de Lint. For pure beauty of prose, I also love Patricia McKillip and Guy Gavriel Kay.
What’s the craziest writing idea you’ve ever had?
My new YA novel CONJURED is the craziest thing I’ve ever written. It’s a paranormal thriller, if a paranormal thriller fell down a rabbit hole and hit its head. 🙂 I really loved writing it.
It’s about a girl in the paranormal witness protection program, who, haunted by visions of carnival tents and tarot cards, must remember her past and why she has strange abilities before a magic-wielding serial killer hunts her down.
This or That
TV or Movies?
TV. Except for Star Wars. And the Princess Bride. And Labyrinth. And the Dark Crystal. And pretty much every animated Disney movie ever, except for the Fox and the Hound, which I vaguely remember as depressing or possibly scary.
Hot or Cold?
Cold, but I prefer to be just right. I’m Goldilocks when it comes to thermostats.
Night owl, or early bird?
Early bird, so long as “early” starts after 8am
Print or Ebook?
Print. But I read more ebooks because I can keep them in my pocket.
Chocolate or Vanilla?
Chocolate. Definitely chocolate. I can’t write without chocolate.
Regular or Diet?
Coke or Pepsi?
Horror or Romance?
Romance with a touch of horror.
Action or Drama?
Pizza or Pasta?
Pizza. I adore pasta, but I could eat pizza for every meal and be happy.
Skittles or M&Ms?
Sweet or Salty?
Sweet. Especially chocolate (see above).
Summer or Winter?
Summer, so long as there’s air conditioning. I don’t like to be hot, but I love, love, LOVE the longer days.
City or Country?
Country. But I like visiting the city.
Harry Potter or Twilight?
Gum or Breath Mints?
Breath mints. When I was a kid, some well-meaning adult told me that if you swallowed gum, it would stay in your stomach forever and possibly grow into a gum tree. Haven’t liked gum since.
Spontaneity or Planning Ahead?
Planning ahead. I’m the kind of person who arrives at the airport three hours early because I’d rather wait for the plane in the airport than wait at home and worry that I’m going to miss it. I can actually tell if I’m stressed about something in my life because I’ll dream about missing planes or trains. Or, you know, giant spiders chasing me.
PC or Mac?
PC, though I love my iPhone.
Beach or Pool?
Fall and spring: beach. Summer: pool.
Shoes or Sandals?
Cats or Dogs?
Cats. Mine is evil, but I love her anyway.
Apples or Oranges?
Apples, so long as they’re not mushy.
Cause or Effect?
Cause. Unless the effects involve rainbows or unicorns.
Heads or Tails?
Tails. For some reason, I’ve always thought the coin tails are cuter than the heads.
Facebook or Twitter?
Twitter. I’m @sarahbethdurst.
Truth or Dare?
Truth. In truth, I’m kind of a coward. That’s part of why I write. I can be as brave as I want to be on the page.
Text or Talk?
Introvert or Extrovert?
A shy extrovert. Or a people-loving introvert.
Thanks so much for interviewing me!
Eve has a new home, a new face, and a new name—but no memories of her past. She’s been told that she’s in a witness protection program. That she escaped a dangerous magic-wielding serial killer who still hunts her. The only thing she knows for sure is that there is something horrifying in her memories the people hiding her want to access—and there is nothing they won’t say—or do—to her to get her to remember.
At night she dreams of a tattered carnival tent and buttons being sewn into her skin. But during the day, she shelves books at the local library, trying to not let anyone know that she can do things—things like change the color of her eyes or walk through walls. When she does use her strange powers, she blacks out and is drawn into terrifying visions, returning to find that days or weeks have passed—and she’s lost all short-term memories. Eve must find out who and what she really is before the killer finds her—but the truth may be more dangerous than anyone could have ever imagined.
1 copy of Conjured
Open to US only