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To bring us into the weekend of our Fantastic Fables event, we have an interview today with Sarah Beth Durst . Sarah’s latest release is DRINK, SLAY, LOVE, which will hit shelves on September 13, 2011. Thanks to Sarah and the awesome people at Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry , six of you who comment on this post will win a copy of the book! See details below
SARAH: Pearl is a sixteen-year-old vampire, fond of blood, allergic to sunlight, and mostly evil… until the night a were-unicorn stabs her through the heart with his horn. For most vampires, this would be the end of the story, but for Pearl, it’s just the beginning. (Cue the author, cackling maniacally.)
DFT: If you could describe your main characters with only 3 words, what would they be?
SARAH: Fearless, funny, evil.
DFT: Tell us something about your research process and the choices you make when creating the story.
SARAH: At the start of the process, while I’m in the brainstorming stage, I gorge myself on research books. I take copious notes, and then I meticulously organize my notes with subtitles and bullet-points as if I were about to write a dissertation on the natural history of unicorns, or whatever. I then completely ignore my notes until after the first draft is done, after which I look back to see if I missed anything particularly cool.
My decision making process is as follows: For each scene, I ask myself, “Given what I know of the characters and the situation, what is the most awesome thing that could happen next?” And then I try to write that.
DFT: Can you tell us a bit about the unique aspects of your vampire and unicorn lore?
SARAH: My unicorns are vampire hunters. Seriously, it makes perfect sense. Look at their horns! Built-in stakes! Also, in my world, unicorns are were-unicorns. So it’s entirely possible that the hot guy sitting next to you in English class can shapeshift into a pretty, sparkly horse with a shiny, shimmery horn.
DFT: What comes first in your writing? The world, the characters or the plot?
SARAH: A little bit of everything, really. I think of it like looking through a peephole into a room. At first, when I’m brainstorming, I can only see a bit of a person, a corner of a table, and a few colors. Then as I write, the door cracks open, and I can see more. And then as I revise, the door swings wide… until at last, I am standing inside and can see all the characters in their world living their story.
DFT: Who is your favorite character in this book, and why?
SARAH: I love Pearl. She was surprisingly easy to write, probably because in many ways, she’s the antithesis of me. All I had to do was think, “okay, what would I never, ever do or say if I were in this situation?” and that’s what Pearl would do or say.
DFT: Do you have a favorite scene or line from Drink, Slay, Love?
SARAH: Pearl to the unicorn: “Well, this is all very nice, but I have to run. Go on, shoo. Go… poop rainbows… or whatever it is you do.”
DFT: What should readers know before stepping into your world?
SARAH: Readers should know their shoe size. It’s important to have comfortable shoes before stepping anywhere.
DFT: Tell us about your heroine.
SARAH: In Pearl’s own words: “I’m a bloodsucking fiend of the night. I’m not supposed to be reassuring.”
DFT: Your supernatural world is populated with…
SARAH: Vampires. Were-unicorns. Humans. Fluffy kittens.
DFT: What are you working on now?
SARAH: I am finishing up my next novel, VESSEL. It’s a standalone YA fantasy and will be out in fall 2012 from Simon & Schuster. So excited about it!
DFT: What are your biggest pet peeves with the young adult genre?
SARAH: Not enough were-unicorns.
Seriously, I love the young adult genre. Many of books on my shelf are YA. And most of them are fantasy. I believe that YA fantasy is — or at least can be — a literature of optimism and empowerment.
DFT: If you could be any paranormal creature, which one would you be and why?
SARAH: I’d be a fairy because I want wings and don’t want to give up opposable thumbs. And if I could be a fairy princess, that would be even better. (After all, you never hear anything about the adventures of fairy peasants.) Oh, and I’d like retractable wings so I can go out in public without fear of being caught, tossed into a laboratory, and dissected.
Thanks so much for interviewing me!
DFT: Thanks for taking the time to stop by.
Sarah Beth Durst is the author of young adult novels Drink, Slay, Love,Enchanted Ivy, and Ice from Simon & Schuster, as well as middle grade novels Into the Wild and Out of the Wild from Penguin Young Readers. She has twice been a finalist for SFWA’s Andre Norton Award, for both Ice and Into the Wild.
Sarah was born in Massachusetts as Sarah Angelini and grew up in Northboro, a small town in central Mass 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, her two children, and her ill-mannered cat. She also has a miniature pet griffin named Alfred. Okay, okay, that’s not quite true. His name is really Montgomery.
Want to read more from Sarah Beth Durst?
This giveaway is provided by Sarah and Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry
Six winners will each receive a copy of Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst
Available on September 13, 2011 from Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry
About the Book:
Pearl is a sixteen-year-old vampire… fond of blood, allergic to sunlight, and mostly evil… until the night a sparkly unicorn stabs her through the heart with his horn. Oops.
Her family thinks she was attacked by a vampire hunter (because, obviously, unicorns don’t exist), and they’re shocked she survived. They’re even more shocked when Pearl discovers she can now withstand the sun. But they quickly find a way to make use of her new talent. The Vampire King of New England has chosen Pearl’s family to host his feast. If Pearl enrolls in high school, she can make lots of human friends and lure them to the King’s feast — as the entrees.
The only problem? Pearl’s starting to feel the twinges of a conscience. How can she serve up her new friends—especially the cute guy who makes her fangs ache—to be slaughtered? Then again, she’s definitely dead if she lets down her family. What’s a sunlight-loving vamp to do?
Click HERE to read an excerpt
1. Leave a comment for Sarah, let us know what you think of this interview, book or series.
2. +1 entries for tweeting about this contest, blogging about it, linking via your sidebar etc…(please tell me where!).
3. Giveaway is open to U.S. only.
4. Please include your email address in your comment.
5. All Fantastic Fables winners will be announced on September 7th.
6. The winner will be picked with the help of Random.org.
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