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July 21, 2010

Sarah Beth Durst Author Interview

Ice I recently read Ice by Sarah Beth Durst and absolutely loved it. Now it helps that my favorite fairy tale is Beauty and the Beast, but I absolutely fell into the story. So today I have with me the author of that fantastic book         Sarah Beth Durst!                                                                      * Please describe Ice in 5 words or less

Beauty and the Beast meets Arctic adventure.  Okay, that's more than five.  How about: girl, true love, frozen North.

* Cassie goes through some really big mental changes, and has to go through so many difficulties to survive. What inspired you to create such a feisty and resilient character?

I love stories about girls who kick butt.  For one thing, I think they're fun.  For another, I think they're empowering.  When you read about girls like Alanna in the Tortall books by Tamora Pierce or Harimad-Sol in The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley, you internalize the idea that you can achieve your dreams.

For this story in particular, I needed a VERY resilient character.  Cassie is alone in the Arctic and faces some pretty serious life-or-death situations.  It would have been a bummer if my protagonist had died halfway through the novel.  :)

*Definitely! Ice is a love story but it is more than that, what was the feeling you were trying to convey?

I wanted to show a specific kind of love: real love, the kind that takes work and sacrifice and requires life choices, the kind that changes you and causes you to grow up.

* Was there a defining point or time in your life when you realized you wanted to be an author?

Yes.  I was ten years old and reading authors like Tamora Pierce, Robin McKinley, Diana Wynne Jones, Diane Duane, and so forth, when I thought to myself, "I want to do this."  Picture a cartoon light bulb blinking on over my head.  It was that sudden.

*Wow, that is really cool! Those are some of the most inspiring authors to me as well. Is there a particular reason that you write Young Adult fiction?

It's what I love to read.  I think I'm drawn to the energy of it, as well as the sense of optimism that pervades a lot of it.  I believe it's important for writers to write the kinds of books that they love. 

* What do you hope people get from reading your books, especially Ice?

I hope they get a journey.  For however many hours it takes them to read, I hope they get the chance to plunge into another world and escape from whatever is hurting them in the real world.  People talk about escapism as if it's a bad thing, but I think it's a noble and important goal for a writer -- I want to cast a spell and take readers someplace else.

* Is there anything you can tell us about your upcoming book Enchanted Ivy which comes out in October?

Enchanted Ivy is a story about getting into college. You know, taking the campus tour, talking to the gargoyles, flirting with the were-tigers, riding the dragons...  I'm very, very, very excited about it!  It's set at Princeton, and it's about a 16-year-old girl named Lily who discovers a magical gate to a secret realm.

*Finally what is your advice for any aspiring authors?
Write what you love.  Finish what you write.  Don't wait for the muse.  And most importantly: don't give up!  I firmly believe that the most important trait a writer can have (beyond intelligence, eloquence, talent, sense of humor) is stubbornness.
Thanks for doing this interivew! 
Make sure to check out Ice as well as all her other books. A keep an eye out for Enchanted Ivy in October!

Find Sarah:
Website: http://www.sarahbethdurst.com/
Blog: http://sarahbethdurst.blogspot.com/
Twitter: @sarahbethdurst


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