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Preview: Sarah's Journal

Sarah's Journal

Random Thoughts of Writer Sarah Beth Durst

Last Build Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2018 23:48:50 +0000


Sunshine State Young Readers Award List

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 23:48:00 +0000

Thanks so much, Florida librarians! I'm so thrilled, honored, and grateful to see that THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT DREAM has been nominated for the Sunshine State Young Readers Award! And I love the amazing video they made listing all the nominees! Congrats to all!

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Starred Review in Booklist for THE QUEEN OF SORROW!

Mon, 16 Apr 2018 14:08:00 +0000

Eeeeep!!! So happy to be able to share another STARRED REVIEW for THE QUEEN OF SORROW, Book 3 of my Queens of Renthia epic fantasy trilogy, out 5/15 from Harper Voyager!!! Thank you, Booklist!

My C2E2 2018 Schedule

Thu, 05 Apr 2018 20:13:00 +0000

I'll be at C2E2 (Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo) this Friday and Saturday (4/6-4/7). Can't wait!!! Here's my schedule:

1:45-2:45pm Panel "Strong Female Voices in Speculative Fiction" in Room S405b with Rachel Aaron, Sarah Beth Durst, Tricia Levenseller, and Laura Sebastian
3-4pm Signing at Table 35-36
5:15-6:15pm Panel "Harry Potter 20th Anniversary Panel: Two Decades of Magic" in Room S401 with Joe Dragunas, Sarah Beth Durst, Lucy Knisley, and Veronica Roth

11-11:30am Signing at HarperCollins booth #518 (free copies of THE QUEEN OF BLOOD)
1:30-2:30pm Panel "Join the Rebellion: Kickass Heroines Shake-Up the Status Quo" in Room S405b with Sarah Beth Durst, Christina Henry, Justina Ireland, and Rebecca Ross
3-4pm Signing at Table 35-36  

If you're going to be at C2E2, stop by and say hi!

THE STONE GIRL'S STORY comes out today!!!

Tue, 03 Apr 2018 14:12:00 +0000

I am beyond thrilled to announce that today is the pub day for THE STONE GIRL'S STORY, my fifteenth book!!! It's a fantasy adventure for kids, published by Clarion Books / Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.  

Makya is a girl made of living stone.  Forever twelve years old, she has outlasted the father who carved her and engraved her body with the stories that gave her life. But now the magical marks that animate her and her stone friends are fading, and she must leave her home for the first time to find help if she wants her story -- and those of her friends -- to continue.

This book is very special to me, because it's a story about stories.

I spent my childhood telling myself stories: every Barbie doll was given a quest, every paper airplane had its own family, and every stuffed creature I could cram onto my crowded bed had a backstory, dramatic adventures, and a redemption arc. 

When I realized at age ten that writers are people -- ordinary people -- my world changed. I began obsessively chasing stories, collecting cool names for characters as if hoarding Halloween candy, squirreling away scraps of paper and spending hours drawing maps of fantastical lands. And I wrote story after story after story, at first filling notebooks decorated with Lisa Frank unicorn stickers and later filling the hard drive of my laptop…until eventually, through the sheer stubbornness of not stopping, I became a writer. It is the only thing I have ever wanted to be.

Stories are as essential to life as food, water, and shelter. They’re how we understand the world and ourselves. They comfort, challenge, and change us. They have the power to save us in dark times, and they can give us the tools to save ourselves. I wrote THE STONE GIRL'S STORY for everyone who wants to shape the story of their life, who chooses to control the narrative of their destiny, who believes that stories have power. And at its heart, this book is the story of a girl learning to become a writer. Which is why it means so much to me.

For more about THE STONE GIRL'S STORY, including the first two chapters, please visit my website. I had so much fun writing Mayka's story and am so happy to be able to share it with you!

5 Days Until Pub Day!

Thu, 29 Mar 2018 14:23:00 +0000

5 days until pub day for THE STONE GIRL'S STORY! I'm getting excited! And nervous. And terrified. And mildly nauseous. But mostly excited!


Excerpt of The Stone Girl's Story

Mon, 26 Mar 2018 14:12:00 +0000

Excerpt of THE STONE GIRL'S STORY now live! Just posted the first two chapters of my forthcoming middle-grade fantasy book, coming out on 4/3 from Clarion/HMH! Click through for a sneak peek and meet Mayka, a girl of living stone!


Starred Publishers Weekly Review for THE QUEEN OF SORROW!

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 14:32:00 +0000

Eeeeeeeee!!! A starred review for THE QUEEN OF SORROW, the 3rd (and final) book of my epic fantasy trilogy The Queens of Renthia (coming 5/15 from Harper Voyager)! Thank you, Publishers Weekly! I'm so thrilled and so grateful and so excited!

Cover Reveal for FIRE AND HEIST

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 14:21:00 +0000

COVER REVEAL!!! I am so excited to share with you the cover for my next YA novel, FIRE & HEIST!!! Thank you to cover artist Stuart Wade from Diligence Studio, cover designer Ray Shappell, and all the awesome people at Crown / Penguin Random House for creating such awesomeness!

FIRE & HEIST is a YA contemporary fantasy -- Think Ocean's Eleven with were-dragons!  It comes out on Dec 4, 2018. Here's the official description:

Fans of Cassandra Clare and Julie Kagawa will devour this contemporary fantasy about a teen were-dragon who must steal her first treasure. But a dark discovery during her heist could put her family in incredible danger.

In Sky Hawkins's family, leading your first heist is a major milestone -- even more so than learning to talk, walk, or do long division. It's a chance to gain power and acceptance within your family, and within society. But stealing your first treasure can be complicated, especially when you're a wyvern -- a human capable of turning into a dragon.

Embarking on a life of crime is never easy, and Sky discovers secrets about her mother, who recently went missing, the real reason her boyfriend broke up with her, and a valuable jewel that could restore her family's wealth and rank in their community.

With a handpicked crew by her side, Sky knows she has everything she needs to complete her first heist, and get her boyfriend and mother back in the process. But then she uncovers a dark truth about were-dragon society -- a truth more valuable and dangerous than gold or jewels could ever be.

Can't wait for everyone to meet Sky!!!

A Lovely Gift from My Editor

Fri, 09 Mar 2018 21:18:00 +0000

Got the loveliest gift from my wonderful editor Anne Hoppe at Clarion/HMH! A shiny new hardcover of my next MG book, THE STONE GIRL'S STORY, hot off the presses!!! This is the first time I've held a copy in my hands, and I just want to sit here and pet it! Comes out 4/3/18!


Mon, 26 Feb 2018 16:18:00 +0000

Eeeeep!!! A 2nd STARRED REVIEW for my new middle grade book, THE STONE GIRL'S STORY! Thank you, Publishers Weekly! This is very happy making.


Tue, 13 Feb 2018 03:47:00 +0000

Over the next 2 weeks, the ebook of THE QUEEN OF BLOOD is super cheap, just $1.99! This is Book 1 of my epic fantasy trilogy, The Queens of Renthia. If you've ever wanted to dive in, now is a great time. Trilogy concludes with Book 3 in May!


Paperback Release Day for THE RELUCTANT QUEEN!!!

Tue, 30 Jan 2018 15:13:00 +0000

So excited that today is the paperback release day for THE RELUCTANT QUEEN, Book Two of The Queens of Renthia!!! My cat Gwen is excited too!

Kindling Words 2018

Mon, 29 Jan 2018 19:30:00 +0000

I had such an amazing time at Kindling Words!!! I was a guest author this year, and it was a true joy to talk about what I love to people I adore and admire. Loved every second!

Off to Kindling Words 2018

Wed, 24 Jan 2018 16:18:00 +0000

Off to Vermont today for Kindling Words writing retreat. Can't wait! KW is always wonderful, and I'm especially excited this year as I was invited to be one of the guest speakers! Here's hoping I manage to say something quasi-intelligent, and don't start clucking like a chicken in the middle of my talk.......

Starred Kirkus Review of THE STONE GIRL'S STORY!

Mon, 22 Jan 2018 15:31:00 +0000

Well, this totally made my day. The first trade review came in for my next middle grade book, THE STONE GIRL'S STORY (out 4/3/18). From Kirkus. And it's a STAR!!! When I saw it, I made a sound much like the sound my cat makes when she sees a bird out the window. Eeeeep!!!


Cover Reveal for THE QUEEN OF SORROW

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 17:13:00 +0000

Cover reveal!!! I'm so very excited to share with you the cover for my next epic fantasy novel, THE QUEEN OF SORROW, Book Three of The Queens of Renthia, coming May 2018. I love it so much! Huge thanks to the amazing artist, Stephan Martiniere, and everyone at Harper Voyager.

YALLFest 2017 Schedule

Thu, 09 Nov 2017 18:49:00 +0000

Very excited for YALLFest this weekend in Charleston, SC!  My schedule for Sat Nov 11:

12pm Signing at the Charleston Museum

2pm Panel "Genre Wars: Sci-Fi vs. Fantasy" with Joelle Charbonneau, Dhonielle Clayton, Sarah Beth Durst, Marissa Mayer, Brendan Reichs, Marie Rutkoski, and Laini Taylor at the Charleston Music Hall

4pm Panel "Found Family and/or Shared Blood" with Zoraida Cordova, Sarah Beth Durst, Jennifer A. Nielsen, Nic Stone, Lisa Williamson, and Jeff Zentner at the American Theater - Cinema

6pm YA Smackdown in the Charleston Music Hall

There will also be an ARC drop of my new MG fantasy, THE STONE GIRL'S STORY, at the HMH booth at 3:45pm.  :)

I've heard such awesome things about this book festival and am really looking forward to it!  If you're in the Charleston area, hope to see you there!

THE LOST optioned to Selma Blair!

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 01:12:00 +0000

So excited to finally be able to share my big news!!! Amazing actress Selma Blair (best known for her roles in "Cruel Intentions," "Legally Blonde," and "Hellboy") optioned my novel THE LOST for film/TV!!!

Princeton Children's Book Festival and B&N B-Fest

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 20:25:00 +0000

This Saturday, Sept 23, from 11-4, I'll be at one of my favorite book festivals, the Princeton Children's Book Festival, along with tons of other authors and illustrators.  

And then at 7pm, I'll be with Leanna Renee Hieber at the Barnes & Noble in the Neshaminy Mall in Bensalem, PA, talking about books and writing during B-Fest!

DRINK SLAY LOVE Movie Viewing Party

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 15:41:00 +0000

Photos of the vampire-themed treats from my recent celebration of the #DrinkSlayLove movie premiere!  We had Buffy Brownies, The Count's Cookies, Edward Cullen Cupcakes, Vampire Donuts..... and of course, in honor of Pearl, plenty of mint chocolate chip ice cream!

I just learned that the movie is now available On Demand!  So if you missed it last weekend, you can watch anytime within about a month of today, either via your cable box,, or the Lifetime app.

ETA: For those of you who don't have cable, it's now also available on iTunes!

Based on the novel by...

Sun, 17 Sep 2017 15:40:00 +0000

Thanks so much to everyone who watched the DRINK SLAY LOVE movie last night!!!  You all SLAY!!!

I had such an amazingly awesome and totally surreal night!  Is it possible to have a dream come true when you didn't even know it was one of your dreams?  #DrinkSlayLove

Thank You!!!

Sun, 17 Sep 2017 04:44:00 +0000

I am in tears. Good tears. Thank you to the cast and crew of the DRINK SLAY LOVE movie. You brought my book to life brilliantly. I feel so honored and grateful.

And thank you to everyone who watched! So happy you met Pearl, Jadrien, Evan, Bethany, Antoinette, Matt, Zeke, & everyone!!!


Sat, 16 Sep 2017 16:00:00 +0000

I love the fangs so much!!! Drink Slay Love movie premieres TONIGHT 10/9c on Lifetime!!!

Less than 24 hours!

Sat, 16 Sep 2017 02:27:00 +0000

Less than 24 hours now until the Drink Slay Love movie airs! Eeeeeeeep!!!

Commercial during Project Runway!

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 03:25:00 +0000

Just saw a Drink Slay Love commercial while watching Project Runway!!! #LifeGoalUnlocked #PageToScreen