As someone who grew up surrounded by pines and maples and oaks and firs, I've always thought of deserts as these impossibly-faraway magical places -- the endless sand, the lifesaving oases, the brutal sun. Writing about one was a way to travel there without leaving my trees (or my air conditioner!). Even more, it was a way to travel to my ultimate desert -- a land filled with wolves made of sand, sky serpents of unbreakable glass, monstrous worms, gods and goddesses that inhabit human bodies... In VESSEL, I created a desert world imbued with magic and mythology so that I could travel there -- and hopefully bring readers with me!
Was writing VESSEL notably different from your previous experiences in writing books?
Yes. It was much more immersive. During each writing session, I'd try to sink into Liyana's world so I'd be riding with her on desert horses, dancing with her in the moonlight, and facing down the emperor of the Land of the Crescent Moon.
Would you say that it's very different from your other books? Because I was left with that impression after I read Tamora Pierce's early thoughts on it and I have to say that I'm intrigued by that.
All of my books are fantasy. It's just the way my mind works. If I write about a closet, it's much more likely to hold a gryphon than it is to hold summer dresses. Beyond that, though, all of my novels are different flavors of fantasy. DRINK, SLAY, LOVE, for example, is a snark-filled contemporary novel about a vampire girl and a were-unicorn. VESSEL is my first high fantasy. It's a sweeping, epic adventure about a girl who is destined to sacrifice herself so that her goddess can inhabit her body and save her clan... but her goddess doesn't come.
Being the author of this book, could you share with us any sort of an idea of what this book means to you? Were there any paricular reasons that inspired you to write this story or any themes/messages special to you?
VESSEL is about losing your destiny -- and what happens after. I am fascinated by the conflict between embracing your fate and changing it.
I love my cover! It was designed by photographer Jaime Ibarra and the Simon & Schuster art department. I think it captures the tone of the story perfectly.
Thanks so much for interviewing me!
And thank YOU, Sarah, for taking the time to answer my questions and share all these exciting tidbits about Vessel! And congratulations on your newest release :)
Bonus entry if you tweet about this interview & giveaway: "Check out this interview with Sarah Beth Durst at Esther's Ever After on her release of VESSEL & enter to win a copy! http://bit.ly/UgejL5" Your extra entry will only count if you include the link to your tweet in your comment.
Also, make sure to leave an e-mail where I can contact you & answer this question to be entered:
Why do you want to read Vessel?
Giveaway ends October 8, 2012. Good luck!