I am so excited to be able to welcome Author Sarah Beth Durst to the blog for an interview today, which just so happens to be her book THE LOST‘s release date.
THE LOST is the first book in a new series by the author and it sounds absolutely amazing. I can’t wait for my Kindle copy to download so that I can meet Lauren Chase and learn more about this utterly fascinating world the author created.
And I’m thrilled that I was able to learn just a little bit more about the book and its characters in today’s interview with the author. Though I’m even more delighted to be able to share this interview with all of you.
Because I love this author’s writing and I’m so excited about this new book and series, I am offering up a copy of THE LOST for giveaway at the end of this post.
But first – because I just can’t wait to share it – is…
Q. If you had to describe THE LOST in 15 words or less, how would you describe it?
THE LOST is about a woman trapped in a town full of only lost things and lost people.
Q. You’ve written several books for a Young Adult audience. What made you decide to write a novel (and series) aimed at an adult audience with THE LOST?
The story decided for me.
Okay, yes, I know that sounds kind of mushy artsy. But I wanted to write about loss (and hope), and to tell this story, I needed a protagonist who felt empty, who had lost, who was at that point in her life where her dreams had failed to happen. So I made her in her late twenties, and that automatically made it an adult novel.
Q. Already a successful YA author, were there any challenges in finding a home for your non-YA series? Do you feel it was more or less difficult to break into a market different from the one you were already established in?
I feel very fortunate that I found a wonderful home for my non-YA series and a wonderful editor whom I adore. My editor, Mary-Theresa Hussey, had already read some of my YA books when I approached her with THE LOST. I submitted a chunk (I think it was 50 or 70 pages?) of the manuscript so she’d be able to see what I had in mind for the voice of the story. And luckily, it clicked with her!
Finding the right home for any book is always a mix of research and luck.
Q. Was the writing experience, or the approach you took, any different than how you write for YA? And if so, how?
No different. I try very hard not to worry about whether the story is YA or adult or whatever. I find if you think about the reader too much, you can lose touch with the world you’re creating. I try to approach each story as its own world and tell it as true to the character’s voice as possible.
Q. The description only gives a hint about the town, Lost, and its residents. What more can you tell us about Lost and the people trapped there?
Lost is filled with only lost things and lost people… which means it doesn’t have anything that isn’t lost. So to live, people need to scavenge through the mounds of lost keys and lost socks, and then barter for what they need. I loved creating all the little details of living in a town like this. Ice cream, for example, is nearly impossible to find. But there’s no shortage of half-eaten sandwiches. Mail piles up in the post office but has no place to go. Dogs roam the alleyways. And a single red balloon always floats over the town.
Q. Who was the most challenging (or interesting) character to write in THE LOST? And why?
The most fun character to write was Claire, the six-year-old girl who shows up holding a teddy bear and a very sharp knife.
The most challenging… probably Peter, the Finder. He’s been in Lost for a very long time, and he doesn’t want to care about the lost souls who come and go, but he can’t help but care. Since he’s been in Lost the longest, he is the most changed by it. In a way, he is both the most inhuman and most human of all of them.
Q. What was your favorite scene to write in THE LOST and why?
Probably the one where Claire first shows up, walks blithely through the mob that’s ready to kill Lauren, and guides Lauren out. I loved writing a character that’s unfazed by all the creepiness around her.
Q. What is your favorite quote from this first book in the series? And why?
I don’t know my favorite, but I’m fond of this moment from the first chapter, because I think it says a lot about Lauren:
I feel like I could drive for hours… and hours and hours until the car runs out of gas in the middle of nowhere and I slowly die of dehydration while the cows lick the remaining moisture from my limp body.
That would make for a humiliating obituary.
Half my funeral audience would consist of family and friends, a few aunts and uncles I’d never met, neighbors who had never spoken to me (except to complain about how I always parked my car askew), friends I’d meant to have lunch with… The other half would be heifers.
One of the joys of writing is that moment when a character’s voice just clicks for you and suddenly you know this nonexistent person. She’s real. When I wrote those rather-inconsequential lines, Lauren came to life for me.
Q. What role does fate play in THE LOST?
Not much, really. I believe you choose your fate.
THE LOST is, quite literally, about being lost and finding yourself. And I think that has everything to do with what’s in a person’s heart and soul. You shape… or fail to shape… your own destiny.
Q. As THE LOST is a series, can you give us a hint as to what we can expect not only in THE LOST but in the coming books, THE MISSING and THE FOUND?
I don’t think you’ll expect what happens in THE MISSING and THE FOUND. I didn’t, and I wrote it. 🙂
Seriously, these were books that didn’t follow their original outlines. They evolved as I wrote them. In THE MISSING and THE FOUND, you can expect a widening of the world inside the void. You can expect a lot more questions… and you can expect answers.
Thanks so much for interviewing me!
Thank you so much for answering all of these questions about your writing, your book and series. The idea of this town filled with lost people and things is so intriguing. And I love that this story is about finding oneself. I really hope that happens for Lauren.
Claire sounds so interesting. I cannot wait to meet her. And I can’t wait to see what happens in the next two books, especially as you promise more questions and more answers.
And I hope that today is the happiest of book birthdays for you and THE LOST.
Sarah Beth Durst is the author of eight fantasy novels for teens and adults. Her YA titles include Conjured, Vessel, Drink Slay Love, Enchanted Ivy, Ice, Out of the Wild, and Into the Wild. Her first book for adults, The Lost, came out in June 2014 from Harlequin/Mira and will soon be followed by The Missing, in December 2014, and The Found, in April 2015. Sarah’s next book for teens, Chasing Power, comes out in October 2014 from Bloomsbury.
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 lives in Stony Brook, New York, with her husband and children. Visit her at sarahbethdurst.com.
Series: The Lost #1
Release date: May 27, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Formats: Paperback, eBook
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.
To read an excerpt, CLICK HERE.
THE FOUND (The Lost #3) – releasing in 2015 – GOODREADS
A paperback copy of THE LOST to ONE (1) Winner
Enter in the Rafflecopter below…