Contortionists are known to be able to bend their bodies in unnatural positions and some might say they are a freak of nature. Well you folks are in for a real treat today because trust me when I say you have never seen someone like Kayla. She can’t bend her body in weird ways but you better believe she can do unnatural things that mold her life into what she wants. Like check your back pockets, is anyone missing a wallet or purse? Kayla is known to be pretty sneaky and one of her extraordinary talents is being able to move things with her mind. She likes to practice on things like wallets, jewelry and anything of value. She has agreed to join us today for a wonderful demonstration of her unique powers. She has promised to be on her best behavior, but be careful to check you have everything when you leave!
*Enter to win a copy of Chasing Power at the end of this post*
*Don’t forget to enter the grand giveaway for your chance to win 2 books featured during the Fall Carnival Event!!! Click HERE for your chance to win!*
DFT: To start things off can you give us a short synopsis of Chasing Power and where you got the inspiration to write it?
Sarah: CHASING POWER is the story of Kayla, a sixteen-year-old girl who can move things with her mind, and Daniel, a boy who can teleport across continents and who lies as easily as he travels. Together, they embark on an Indiana-Jones-style adventure to find and steal an ancient incantation, written on three indestructible stones and hidden millennia ago, all to rescue Daniel’s kidnapped mother. But Kayla has no idea that this rescue mission will lead back to her own family, and to betrayals that she may not be able to forgive… or survive.
This novel started with one of those questions you ask your friends really late at night after you’ve dissected everyone’s personal life and finished speculating on the health of everyone’s relationships. Namely: “If you could have any superpower in the world, what would it be?” And it can’t be ending-world-hunger or something equally impressively selfless.
I chose telekinesis, simply because it would be fun. And that’s where this story began.
DFT: Kayla is a very witty heroine with a smart mouth, but she is also has a really big heart. I loved all the funny things she would say to try and lighten the mood. Do you have a favorite line of hers that you could share with us?
Sarah: I loved writing Kayla. She has a very loose grasp on the concept of personal possessions — with her telekinesis, she’s an excellent pickpocket and shoplifter — and she isn’t close to many people, but the ones she does love (her mother Moonbeam and her friend Selena), she loves fiercely. This is one of my favorite non-spoilery moments with her and her mom:
“You and me, we could do it cheap. Stay in hostels. Camp. Backpack around. I heard you can get a train pass around Europe for not too much. Or maybe we could go to Asia. Or South America. See the rainforests and commune with the medicine men, or whatever you want.”
“Aren’t you supposed to be in some teenage rebellion stage and not want to be seen in public with your highly embarrassing mother?” Moonbeam brought out a canister of tea leaves.
“That’s so eighties. But if you want, we can schedule in some time for me to cringe in between climbing the Eiffel Tower and shopping on the Champs-Élysées.”
DFT: Selena and Kayla have been best friends since the third grade and even though they are unlikely friends they are inseparable. They always have each other’s back no matter what. Growing up did you have a friend like Selena?
Sarah: Yes, I had two best friends growing up, one I met in nursery school and one I met in sixth grade. I named the best friend character in my first book (INTO THE WILD) after one of them, and I dedicated CHASING POWER to the other.
DFT: Daniel was totally a swoon worthy boy that I instantly fell for. I don’t know which one was better his stormy grey eyes or his determination to find his mother! If you can without spoiling anything can you tell us your favorite Daniel moment from the book?
Sarah: I rather love the moment that Kayla first meets Daniel, because he’s trying so hard to be cool and mysterious, but inside he’s completely terrified that she won’t agree to help him save his mother:
“Okay, Danny, now that we’re best buds, how do you know who I am? Have you been stalking me? Because that’s not what friends do.” She tried to ignore the prickly feeling that walked over her skin. He couldn’t know what she did, what she could do. Also, you couldn’t get more public than the center of State Street. She was perfectly safe. This had nothing to do with Dad.
“Daniel. Not Dan. Not Danny. And how about I tell you a story? You can buy me a coffee. It might take a while.”
“I don’t buy guys coffee. You seem to be unclear on how this works. You’re hitting on me. I’m not obliged in any way to supply the beverages in this situation. Besides, I have to meet a friend soon.”
Daniel stood. He blocked the sun, and the light framed him, obscuring his features. She wasn’t certain if he was smiling or smirking. He looked a bit like a dark angel, dressed in all black with the sun halolike around him. “You’ll want to make an exception for me,” he said.
(I should note that Kayla puts up with this attitude for about thirty seconds. If that.)
DFT: The mother/daughter relationship between Kayla and Moonbeam was really sweet. Ideally I think all parents would love to have such a good relationship with their children, but most of the time that’s not the case. Was there a real mother/daughter relationship you used to inspire the one in the book or was it just a figment of your imagination?
Sarah: My mother isn’t anything like Moonbeam, and I’m nothing like Kayla. But I did draw on my close friendship with my mom to fuel the emotions behind Kayla and Moonbeam’s relationship.
In general, I try not to base my characters on real people. In order to sink into the story as I write, I need my characters to feel as if they exist (and could only exist) in their particular world. That said, I do know that bits of myself and my life, things that I think are important or funny or frightening, do sneak into my stories. It’s inevitable.
DFT: The characters in your book have some amazing magical powers that would be fun to have. If you could possess any type of magical ability what would it be and why?
Sarah: I have given this WAY more thought than I should have… Not flight (because I’m not so fond of heights, or crashing down into power lines). Not invisibility (because dangerous — you could be hit by a car). Not talking to animals (because they’d mostly say, “Feed me! Feed me! Feed me!”). Firestarting seems alarming. Ice powers seem cold. Mindreading seems headache-inducing, ditto other forms of telepathy. Teleporting… only if you could guarantee you didn’t appear inside solid rock and instantly die. So that leave telekinesis.
DFT: There are carnivals held all over the world. If you had Daniel’s ability to teleport, where is the one place you would love to visit a carnival?
Sarah: Antarctica. Those emperor penguins know how to party.
DFT: If Kayla, Daniel, Selena, and Sam were to go on a double date to a carnival what one food would each of them want to try?
Sarah: Kayla… cotton candy. It’s light enough for her to control with her mind.
Selena… candy apple. Her nail polish would match the color.
Daniel… fried pickles. I have no idea why I think that, but I’m convinced he’d like them.
Sam… funnel cake with Nutella. And now I’m suddenly hungry…
DFT: Since Chasing Powers is a standalone like most of you works can you tell us what we can expect to see from you next?
Sarah: My next book will be THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT DREAM, coming from Clarion Books (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) in fall 2015. It’s about a girl whose family owns a secret store where they buy, bottle, and sell dreams, but who can’t have any of her own, and the adventure that she and her pet monster go on when someone starts kidnapping dreamers.
Quick Fire Questions:
Favorite movie? You mean besides Star Wars? Because that’s really the only answer. I first saw Star Wars at such a formative age that it pretty much defines the concept of storytelling for me. I also love The Princess Bride, The Dark Crystal, and Labyrinth.
Favorite book? Ooh, this one is tougher. I’m going to cheat and choose three: Alanna by Tamora Pierce, The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley, and Deep Wizardry by Diane Duane. Favorite series is The Belgariad by David Eddings.
Favorite food? Raspberries. And chocolate. Also Raisinets — they’re my writing muse.
Favorite TV show? Of all time… Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Of current shows… So You Think You Can Dance, also Project Runway.
Favorite genre to write? Fantasy. I was the kind of kid who always checked her closet for an entrance to Narnia, so it was kind of inevitable that I’d write fantasy.
Favorite sport? Ice skating. I’m clumsier than a newborn giraffe when I try to do it, but I love to watch it.
Thanks so much for interviewing me!
Sarah Beth Durst is the author of eight fantasy novels for teens and adults. Her YA titles include Conjured, Vessel, Drink Slay Love, Enchanted Ivy, Ice, Out of the Wild, and Into the Wild. Her first book for adults, The Lost, came out in June 2014 from Harlequin/Mira, and her next book for teens, Chasing Power, comes out in October 2014 from Bloomsbury. 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 was born in Northboro, Massachusetts, a small town that later became the setting for her debut novel. At the age of ten, she decided she wanted to be a writer. (Before that, she wanted to be Wonder Woman, except with real flying ability instead of an invisible jet. She also would have accepted a career as a unicorn princess.) And she began writing fantasy stories. She attended 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 two children.
Want to read more from Sarah Beth Durst?
This giveaway is provided by Sarah Beth Durst!
One lucky reader will win a copy of Chasing Power
Available October 14, 2014 from Bloomsbury
About this Book:
Sixteen-year-old Kayla was born with the ability to move things with her mind—things like credit cards and buttons on cash registers—and she has become a master shoplifter. She steals to build up enough money for her and her mom to be able to flee if her dad finds them again . . . which would mean grave danger for them both.
When she’s caught stealing by a boy named Daniel—a boy with the ability to teleport—he needs her help and is willing to blackmail her to get it. Together, they embark on a quest to find and steal an ancient incantation, written on three indestructible stones and hidden millennia ago, all to rescue Daniel’s kidnapped mother. But Kayla has no idea that this rescue mission will lead back to her own family—and to betrayals that she may not be able to forgive . . . or survive.
Click HERE to read an excerpt
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