Author Interview with Sarah Beth Durst

Sarah Beth Durst is the author of ICE and as part of the Traveling to Teens book tour Sarah is stopping by today. In case you don't know about ICE, here is a brief synopsis:

When Cassie was a little girl, her grandmother told her a fairytale about her mother, who made a deal with the Polar Bear King and was swept away to the ends of the earth to become a prisoner of the trolls. Now that Cassie is older, she knows that this was a nice way of saying her mother had died. Cassie lives with her father at an Arctic research station, she is determined to become a scientist, and she has no time for make believe.

Then, on her eighteenth birthday, Cassie comes face to face with a polar bear who speaks to her. He tells her that her mother is alive, imprisoned in the troll castle. And that he can bring her back--if Cassie will agree to be his bride.

That is the beginning of Cassie's own real-life fairytale, one that sends her on an unbelievable journey across the brutal Arctic, through the Canadian boreal forest, and on the back of the North Wind to the land east of the sun and west of the moon. Before it is over, the world she knew will be swept away, and everything she holds dear will be taken from her--until she discovers the true meaning of love and family in the magical realm of Ice

It is an amazing novel full of fairy tale and wonder set upon the ICE of the artic but will truly melt your heart :) and with out further delay here is my interview with Sarah.


RR: If you could be one of your characters – Who would you be? And why?

Cassie. She's fearless. She races across the sea ice, jumps off a mountain, walks through a blizzard... I, on the other hand, am afraid of a million things, including bodily harm, Frisbees, and skunks.

RR: What’s your favorite genre to read?

YA fantasy. Give me a book with a girl and a wolf, girl and dragon, girl and ghost/vampire/werewolf, and I'm happy. I am drawn to the optimistic worldview that pervades most of YA fantasy -- the idea that the little guy can defeat the massive evil if he/she simply tries hard enough and is nice to small woodland creatures.

RR: Who or what influences you when you write?

Everything I see, hear, and feel influences me. Probably smell and taste too but not quite as much. You know, the one super-power I've never wished for is super-smell. But seriously, I believe that everything you experience shapes your writing.

RR: What do you do on a typical writing day?

I try to make every day a writing day. I think that helps demystify the process -- if you do it every day (successfully or not) then it becomes more of a habit (like brushing your teeth) than an overwhelming undertaking.

RR: When you have writer’s block how do you break free?

If I feel blocked, I write in my journal. Basically, I talk to myself (but by typing, not talking out loud). I talk through the story, I give myself pep talks, I vent about whatever is bothering me... The important thing is to continue stringing words together. Also, eating chocolate helps.

RR: Can you please give us a sneak peek of your upcoming YA book?

Ice is about a polar bear, true love, and one girl's impossible quest across the frozen North. If you're interested, I've posted the first two chapters here on my website:

RR: You are a successful author of the paranormal genre, what made you decide to go into YA?

It's what I read. It's what I love. I think it's extremely important to write what you love. (Note: this is not the same as "write what you know." You can learn facts; it's harder to learn passion.)

RR: How did you come up with the idea for ICE, it was quite unique and an enthralling read?

Thanks! Ice was inspired by the Norwegian folktale East of the Sun and West of the Moon, as well as the memoirs of many Arctic explorers. I think of it as Beauty and the Beast meets Arctic adventure.

RR: Can you please tell us what you have planned next?

My next book is called TIGERLILY. It's coming from Simon & Schuster in fall 2010. It's about applying to college, meeting college boys, talking to gargoyles, flying on dragons, saving the world... you know, the usual teenage experience.

RR: What do you do for inspiration?

Talk to my husband. Take walks. Read books. Listen to music. Eat chocolate. But most importantly, I write. The act of writing often leads to inspiration -- it doesn't have to be the other way around.

RR: Do you have a favorite character from your ICE novel?

I love them all.

RR: Is there a genre of book you would like to write but haven't yet?

Nope. I only want to write fantasy. I'm happy to write any age level, but I want my books to always have magic in them. I think that's a wonderful and meaningful thing that a writer can do: add wonder to the world.

RR: What kind of research do you do for your books? Do you enjoy the research process?

I love research, and I do tons of it for my books. It's such a great excuse to immerse yourself in other worlds.

RR: Do deadlines help or hinder your muse?

Neither. I write the same with or without a deadline. Writing is just what I do and who I am.

RR: What would you like to tell your readers?

Thank you for reading!

RR: Do you outline your books or just start writing?
I always outline. It helps me feel out the shape of the story and keeps me from being distracted by shiny objects (or "plot bunnies" -- ideas so appealing that you can't help hopping after them even if they're leading you to a seedy part of town filled with zombies...).

RR: What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group?
Yes, I have a website (, a blog (, MySpace (, Twitter (, Facebook ( and you can email me at I check them all incessantly. :)

RR: How can readers find out more about you and your books?

You can either visit my website or my author page on the Simon & Schuster website (

RR: Thank you so much for this fabulous interview. It was a great pleasure as was reading your book, ICE.

Thanks so much for interviewing me!

Tomorrow head on over to Ticket to Anywhere blog for another day filled with Sarah Beth Durst awsomeness!!

4 comments on "Author Interview with Sarah Beth Durst"

Alaine - Queen of Happy Endings wrote: October 19, 2009 at 12:57 AM

What a great interview! I see so many books I want to read when reading my Google reader and I usually just add them to my wish list. This time however, after reading your review I went straight to Book Depository and ordered this book. It sounds wonderful!

Alaine - Queen of Happy Endings wrote: October 19, 2009 at 12:58 AM

I meant after reading your interview, but you probably figured that out LOL!

brizmus wrote: October 19, 2009 at 1:19 AM

What an awesmoe inteerview! That's so cool that writing and fantasy are such a major part of her life.
And chocolate. Yum1
Maybe I should try writing everyday to make it more natural.

RKCharron wrote: October 19, 2009 at 6:49 AM

Hi :)
Thank you for the great interview with Sarah Beth Durst & thanks to Sarah for sharing. I loved learning more.
All the best,
PS - Sarah Beth Durst is on Twitter!
She's @sarahbethdurst

Post a Comment

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“Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I've accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficit disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it's a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it's a way of making contact with someone else's imagination after a day that's all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.”

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