A big welcome to Sarah Beth Durst who is here to answer some of our questions and celebrate her most recent release, The Lost, The Lost #1 (published on May 27, 2014 by Harlequin Mira).
Interview with Sarah Beth Durst
All Things Urban Fantasy: Your books have a haunting quality, like the old fashioned fairy tales with consequences and possibilities liberally mixed. Did you have any favorite books or stories growing up that shaped the types of worlds you now want to create?
Sarah Beth Durst: I love books that make you feel like magic has leaked into our world. You close the book, and you find yourself checking for impossible things lurking around corners, in closets, under beds, behind trees, within trees…
One of my favorite authors has this quality in spades: Charles de Lint. I read his books like I eat chocolate, both slowly and all at once. My favorites by him are DREAMS UNDERFOOT (a collection of short stories), JACK THE GIANT-KILLER (which is a modern retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk, starring a girl named Jackie), and SEVEN WILD SISTERS (his newest YA).
With THE LOST, I wanted to create that kind of feeling: a world that is both real and unreal and that feels as though it folds around you and sucks you in.
THE LOST starts off in such a dark place, both emotionally and with the almost post-apocalyptic town of Lost. It is this darkness that makes it possible to explore some very powerful themes in the book, and ultimately brings the reader along through the process of healing. Was there an experience or event that inspired you to delve into the many ways people deal with (or avoid) grief?
THE LOST is about a woman trapped in a town full of only lost things and lost people, and the emotional heart of the story centers around her fear of losing her mother, who is very sick. My own mother is fine, but this is one of my greatest fears, because we are very close.
If THE LOST were to be cast for a movie or television, do you have a “dream cast” in mind to play Lauren or Peter? What about Tiffany or Claire?
Usually, no. But for THE LOST, I did think about it. For Lauren, I picture Amanda Seyfried. For Peter, I picture someone who’s a cross between Johnny Depp and Jason Momoa. For Claire… Elle Fanning at age six. As for Tiffany… I kind of pictured the singer Tiffany, as she was in the 80s, crossed with Abby from NCIS.
THE LOST was a very satisfying story all on its own, but knowing it’s part of a trilogy makes me unbearably curious about where the story will go next. Are there any teasers you can share about THE MISSING or THE FOUND? For example, are all three books from Lauren’s point of view?
All three books are from Lauren’s point-of-view, and they pick up only minutes from where the prior book ends. You’ll learn a lot more about the void and Lost, as well as… Okay, I can’t say anything without giving major spoilers! I can say that the story and the world grows and goes places that even I didn’t predict. This was definitely one of those discover-as-I-write stories.
One tiny hint for THE MISSING: someone very important to Lauren goes missing, and someone unexpected is found…
The town of Lost accumulates people and places and things that have been left behind by our own world. Is there something you’ve lost that you wish you could find, safely gathering dust in an abandoned house in Lost?
Somewhere in Lost, there’s a stash of single earrings that I’d love to find. I have kept their matching earring for years, just in case, because I am that kind of optimist… How about you? What have you lost that you wish you could find, buried under the piles of socks and umbrellas and beach towels in Lost?
Thanks so much for interviewing me!
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 Wild from 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. For more information, visit her at www.sarahbethdurst.com.
The Lost by Sarah Beth Durst
Available on May 27, 2014 by Harlequin Mira
Lost your way?
Welcome to Lost.
It was supposed to be a small escape. A few hours driving before turning around and heading home. But once you arrive in Lost…well, it’s a place you really can’t leave. Not until you’re Found. Only the Missing Man can send you home. And he took one look at Lauren Chase and disappeared.
So Lauren is now trapped in the town where all lost things go-luggage, keys, dreams, lives-where nothing is permanent, where the locals go feral and where the only people who don’t want to kill her are a handsome wild man called the Finder and a knife-wielding six-year-old girl. The only road out of town is engulfed by an impassable dust storm, and escape is impossible….
Until Lauren decides nothing-and no one-is going to keep her here anymore.
Read an excerpt
Interested in being a guest on All Things Urban Fantasy? Fill out our Guest Request Form