Author Interview: Sarah Beth Durst

Last week was the release date of Sarah Beth Durst's YA epic fantasy VESSEL, and I was so very fortunate to be able to interview her in anticipation of this release! Sarah had some great answers to share with us about Vessel to give us a better idea of what her new book is about - which is great since I'm sure that most of you haven't read the book yet (I haven't either, but you know I'll be picking up a copy of Vessel as soon as I have the opportunity to)!

One of the main reasons I'm really looking forward to VESSEL is because I love the idea of a desert world and fantasy blended together. Could you tell us a little bit more about the kind of world you created and/or why you chose this setting for your newest release?

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.

Lastly, I've been stalking the design of this cover ever since I first saw the original photo on deviantart a few months ago. It really grabbed me, and I've been keeping an eye on VESSEL ever since. How pleased are you with the design? Do you feel that it does a good job representing the content?

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 :)

Because I'm so excited about this book, and my goal as a book blogger is to spread my obsession love with high/epic fantasy books to the rest of you, I'm offering up one copy of Vessel to a lucky commenter! Book is from The Book Depository, so this one's international.

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!


Ntzee said...

Great interview! I love the cover. It's so different and just gorgeous. Thanks for the giveaway!

n_thao06 at hotmail dot com


Henrietta @ Leisure Reads said...

I love reading Sarah's answers!

(Since I've already bought the book, I'm not entering the giveaway but I just wanna say that I love how generous you are, and thank you for sharing your book passion with all of us!!)

Na said...

The world-building is what really appeals to me. It's so different from what I have read. A fantasy, desert world sounds pretty intriguing. I think the experience would be a great one to read about!


Natasha said...

I want to read Vessel because I think it sounds really good and I have heard great things about it. Thanks for the chance to win!
natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

Christina Kit. said...

I want to read Vessel because fantasy is a favorite genre of mine and because I really want to see how she handles the theme of destiny and fate and how it changes. Also, the whole fantasy world sounds awesome:)

Thank you so much:)

I tweeted https://twitter.com/christinafiorio/status/248349580507348992

ccfioriole at gmail dot com

Christina Kit. said...

Tweeted again because the link in the tweet didn't work, so I put in the new link and tweeted again:)


ccfioriole at gmail dot com

curlypow said...

I started reading fantasy when I was a little tyke - do fairy tales count? and it's still my favourite genre. Thanks for the wonderful giveaway.

SweetMarie83 said...

Great interview Brenna and Sarah! I love what Sarah said about writing different flavours of fantasy. I've had my eye on Vessel for awhile (the cover is stunning), and can't wait to read it. Thanks for chance to win a copy!

Tweet: https://twitter.com/SweetMarie83/status/248414214450978816

Jessica said...

Thank you for the interview. I love learning more about the authors. I love fantasy stories and have been waiting patiently to get a copy of Vessel for a while.

88dreamers said...

Oo Looks good, thanks for the interview, I can't wait to read the book, it's got me interested from the cover to the blurb i want to pick it up and read it

gracelo said...

I've had my eye on this one for the longest time! Love the cover and interview!



Mary Preston said...

I'm reading a lot more Fantasy now. VESSEL looks just fabulous.


Erica JD said...

I would love to read this book because I love Sarah's book's. Plus I really wanted to write about sand wolves so I want to see what my 'competition' looks like. Jkk. But anyways I dunno. I like deserts that I've been to in the Middle East!
And I tweeted here:https://twitter.com/EricaJoyDass/status/248910490170961920

Erica JD said...

And my email is erica(dot)joy(dass)@gmail(dot)com

Stella Chen said...

I think the setting is what really draws me to this book. In a desert and Gods? Come on, that is an epic story in the making. I am excited to read this one as well.


Jen R. said...

Interesting interview! I gotta say, it made me all the more excited to read Vessel. Thanks you so much for the giveaway! I love fantasy books, and the summary sounds really intriguing!


jenelleriane at yahoo dot com

Cass said...


This interview just brought my excitement, and perceptions, of Vessel to a whole new level. The desert DOES sound really magical, the way she described it. I can't wait to read this! I'm really kicking myself for not pre-ordering it...

Jade said...

I really wanted to read this book because the premise sounded so different from other YA releases. I guess it just caught my attention right from the start!


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