Author: Sarah Beth Durst
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Publication Date: September 11, 2013
Synopsis: In a desert world of sandstorms and sand-wolves, a teen girl must defy the gods to save her tribe in this mystical, atmospheric tale from the author of Drink, Slay, Love.
Liyana has trained her entire life to be the vessel of a goddess. The goddess will inhabit Liyana’s body and use magic to bring rain to the desert. But Liyana’s goddess never comes. Abandoned by her angry tribe, Liyana expects to die in the desert. Until a boy walks out of the dust in search of her.
Korbyn is a god inside his vessel, and a trickster god at that. He tells Liyana that five other gods are missing, and they set off across the desert in search of the other vessels. For the desert tribes cannot survive without the magic of their gods. But the journey is dangerous, even with a god’s help. And not everyone is willing to believe the trickster god’s tale.
The closer she grows to Korbyn, the less Liyana wants to disappear to make way for her goddess. But she has no choice: She must die for her tribe to live. Unless a trickster god can help her to trick fate—or a human girl can muster some magic of her own.
Sarah Beth Durst is the author of Vessel, Drink, Slay, Love, Enchanted Ivy, and Ice from Simon & Schuster, as well as Into the Wild and its sequel Out of the Wild from Penguin Young Readers. 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.
1. Describe Vessel as a tweet (140 characters or less)!
In a harsh desert land, a girl is destined to sacrifice herself so her clan's goddess can inhabit her body... but her goddess never comes.
2. How did the idea for Vessel come to you?
One night, I had a dream about a girl who was dancing barefoot on the desert sand and who knew when the dance ended, she'd die. I woke up wondering who she was and why she was going to die.
3. If you could re-title Vessel what would you call it and why?
VESSEL is the only novel I've written so far that hasn't had a myriad of titles. (INTO THE WILD was first THE WISHING WELL MOTEL and then RAPUNZEL'S HAIR SALON. ICE was originally THE POLAR BEAR KING. DRINK, SLAY, LOVE went through about thirty somewhat-bloody titles before the final one.) But I really can't imagine VESSEL having another title. It just... fits. Liyana is a vessel, a human whose body will be inhabited by a goddess.
4. What inspired you to start writing?
I've always wanted to be a writer. It's the only thing I've ever wanted to be. (Except Wonder Woman. I really wanted to be Wonder Woman when I was five. I would also have accepted Unicorn Princess.)
I was inspired by all the books I read that I loved, the books that transported me into other worlds and other lives, that introduced me to fictional friends, that made me laugh and made me cry. I wanted to craft stories like that too.
5. Which one of your books has been your favorite to write so far?
DRINK, SLAY, LOVE was the most fun to write because the protagonist (my vampire girl Pearl) is fearless, full of snark, and totally evil. And VESSEL was the most immersive experience because it is set in a lush, harsh, faraway place. Really, though, I have loved writing all of them. Writing a novel is such an intense experience that you have to love your story.
6. What kind of research, if any, did you do for Vessel?
I researched various deserts: the Sahara, the Gobi, and several in the southwest United States. I love to mix fantasy and reality so I try to include as many real details as I can and then weave in the magic.
7. Do you have a specific place where you write?
My desk. I'd love to be able to write on a mountaintop or in a cafe or some exotic locale, but truthfully, I'm most comfortable just at my desk with easy access to my fridge!
This or That...
Ebook or Real book?
I read both, but my heart belongs to real books.
Twitter or Facebook?
I'm on both, but my heart belongs to Twitter.
Chocolate or Vanilla?
Past or Future?
And just for fun- What is the strangest thing on your desk right now?
A carving of a polar bear. (My husband always buys me presents that are thematically linked to my novels. The bear is for ICE, my Arctic adventure novel.)
Thanks so much for interviewing me!
And thank you, Sarah, for stopping by my blog!