Saturday, August 31, 2013

Author Guest Post: Sarah Beth Durst

Today we have Sarah Beth Durst with us.  I have had the pleasure of interviewing Sarah before and thought it would be nice to have her do a guest post.  Today she is writing about her writing process for her new book that is coming out this Tues (Sept 3), which sounds awesome.  It is definitely on my TBR list!  Welcome Sarah!


About the Author: Sarah Beth Durst is the author of VesselDrink, Slay, LoveEnchanted 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. For more information, visit her at www.sarahbethdurst.com. (Goodreads)

About the Book: 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. (Goodreads)


Guest Post

Growing Your Own Lightning Strike

There's a myth that ideas come as lightning strikes.

You're on the treadmill or in the shower or eating dinner or asleep, and bam-pow-wow, it hits you, a fully-formed idea ready to write.  And then it spills out of you onto the page, as if dictated from outside of you.

It's a myth that comes true sometimes.  Some stories do hit you all at once.

But it doesn't always work like that.

Sometimes, you sit down to write and your brain feels empty.  But you know you want to write.

And that's okay.  Really, it is.  Sometimes ideas start out as little seeds.  Pre-ideas.  Such as, "creepy carnival."  Or "witness protection agency."  And then you bury those ideas in words -- brainstorming around them.  You pour water on them.  Take them out in the sunlight.  And they grow.

Or sometimes you have a bunch of different little ideas.  Like a desert with wolves made of sand.  Or gods who walk the earth in human bodies.  Or a girl destined to die.  And those little ideas are drawn to each other, stick together, and become a story.

The trick is to not kill the idea before it has a chance to grow or coalesce or do whatever it's going to do.  Don't shoot it down as not-good-enough too soon.

I love the process of growing ideas.  I do it by typing.  (For some reason, I think best through my fingertips.)  I open up a file, save it with the title "thoughts" or "notes," and then chase the ideas until I reach something that makes me say, "Yes!  I want to write that!"

For my new YA book CONJURED, I started with the idea of a paranormal witness protection agency.  Just that single concept.  No characters.  No story.  And then I began asking myself questions, such as "What kind of person would be a witness?"  I decided the witness would be someone with a terrifying past and bizarre powers... and then I took it further and decided she would have a terrifying past but not remember it.  And that became the story of Eve, 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.

Developing Eve's story was a process of discovery.  And that process -- that growing of an idea, making your own lightning strike -- is one of the joys of writing.




Thank you Sarah!
What do you guys think of the book?  Have you read it yet or will you read it?

1 comment:

  1. This was such a impressive guest post. This book sounds really good. I'm definitely looking forward to read this book.

    ReplyDelete

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