Last Build Date: Thu, 22 Sep 2016 12:44:37 +0000
Tue, 20 Sep 2016 13:08:00 +0000I'm so excited to share THE QUEEN OF BLOOD with you! It's the first in a new epic fantasy series from Harper Voyager called THE QUEENS OF RENTHIA, and it's set in a world filled with nature spirits. But these aren't your sweet, frolicking pastoral sprites... These spirits want to kill all humans, and only certain women -- queens -- can control them.
Mon, 19 Sep 2016 21:30:00 +0000THE QUEEN OF BLOOD comes out tomorrow!!! Woohoo! *checks stash of chocolate, eats stash of chocolate* The first three chapters are now online:
Thu, 15 Sep 2016 22:12:00 +0000Very excited to announce the sale of my next middle-grade book, THE STONE GIRL'S STORY, to Anne Hoppe at Clarion Books / Houghton Mifflin Harcourt!!! Huzzah!!!
Tue, 13 Sep 2016 20:38:00 +0000THE QUEEN OF BLOOD comes out one week from today!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! The first two chapters are now online:
Tue, 06 Sep 2016 22:01:00 +0000It's exactly 2 weeks until THE QUEEN OF BLOOD comes out! Eeeep! You can read Chapter 1 here: https://www.facebook.com/notes/harper-voyager/the-queen-of-blood-chapter-1/1096449987091362
Thu, 25 Aug 2016 01:16:00 +0000So excited to share the news that my book DRINK SLAY LOVE is going to be a TV movie!!!!! It will star Cierra Ramirez (Freeform's The Fosters) and Gregg Sulkin (MTV's Faking It) with Bella Thorne serving as co-executive producer! Sepia Films and Just Singer Entertainment started filming this week, and the movie will air on Lifetime in 2017! Eeeep!!!!!!!
Wed, 27 Jul 2016 16:53:00 +0000So excited to reveal Brandon Dorman's gorgeous cover art for my next MG book from HMH/Clarion Books, JOURNEY ACROSS THE HIDDEN ISLANDS!!!
Wed, 27 Jul 2016 14:12:00 +0000THE QUEEN OF BLOOD got its 2nd starred review, from Publishers Weekly!!! So happy!!!!!
Tue, 05 Jul 2016 14:32:00 +0000Just found out that THE QUEEN OF BLOOD got a starred review in Library Journal!!! Eeeeeep!!!
Thu, 16 Jun 2016 17:51:00 +0000Eeeeep! Excited to share blurbs from Terry Brooks and Tamora Pierce for my upcoming epic fantasy THE QUEEN OF BLOOD! Double eeeeep!
Mon, 02 May 2016 01:44:00 +0000Last week, Barnes & Noble revealed the cover for my upcoming epic fantasy novel, THE QUEEN OF BLOOD!
Wed, 06 Apr 2016 14:13:00 +0000Exactly 10 years (and 10 books!) ago, I signed with my amazing agent, Andrea Somberg. I know this because I have the letter she sent me framed on the wall beside my writing desk.
Tue, 03 Nov 2015 05:18:00 +0000I am delighted and thrilled and completely ecstatic to announce that my 10th book, THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT DREAM, comes out today!!!THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT DREAM is a fantasy novel for kids, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt / Clarion Books. It's about a girl whose family owns a secret dream shop where they buy, bottle, and sell dreams, and the adventure that she and her best friend -- a loyal and cupcake-loving monster named Monster -- go on when someone starts kidnapping dreamers. (That's Monster right there on the cover, the one with the tentacles next to a pink ninja bunny.)This book was born from a wish. Or maybe I should say... a dream.When I was six, I had a reoccurring nightmare: a robot from outer space who looked exactly like Gonzo would invade the Earth and shoot M&M-sized beetles out of his curved nose, killing people. Freaked. Me. Out. So every night at bedtime, I'd chant, "Dream about dragons. Dragons, dragons, dragons!" Sometimes it worked, and I'd get a fun dragon dream. Other times, killer robot Muppets. I used to wish I could bottle the fun dreams and save them for scary nights. The truth is I still wish that.That's where this book came from. It started with an image of a secret shop, filled with blue bottles that stored swirling, shimmering dreams. You drink a bottle; you dream the dream. Flying through the clouds, picnicking with pink bunnies, befriending monsters… everything in the infinite world of the imagination is available to you, if you dare.I wrote the first scene four years ago, while I was supposed to be working on an entirely different book. It sneaked up on me, the way Monster sneaks out of the closet and becomes part of Sophie's life. I knew someday I'd write about this girl and her best friend, a six-tentacled monster who may or may not like to eat small children with ketchup, but I didn't tell anyone. Sophie and Monster waited patiently, my secret, tucked away in a file on my computer, until it was time to write their story.About halfway through writing THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT DREAM, I had an epiphany, one of those so-obvious-why-didn't-I-think-of-it-before kind of epiphanies: that this is why I'm a writer. I'm trying to create my own dream bottles.I've always thought of books as magic, and I believe that being a writer is the closest you can get to being a wizard -- to creating a spell that takes people out of their own lives and brings them into a shared dream.So here it is, my story, bottled in book format, and I am inviting you to drink. I hope you enjoy it and that it keeps the killer robots away. Happy reading! And happy dreaming!You're Invited!I'm having a book launch party, and I'd love it if you could come! The party will be on Saturday, November 14th, from 1 to 3pm, at Books of Wonder in Manhattan, one of my absolute favorite bookstores, and I'll be joined there by Bruce Coville, one of my absolute favorite authors, who has graciously agreed to play emcee and lead our discussion of the book, writing, and lots more. Please feel free to bring the whole family, as well as anyone else for that matter. The more the merrier! Here's the info:BOOK LAUNCH PARTY FOR THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT DREAM BY SARAH BETH DURST, IN CONVERSATION WITH BRUCE COVILLESaturday, November 14th, from 1pm to 3pmBooks of Wonder18 West 18th StreetNew York, NY For more about THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT DREAM, including the first two chapters, please visit my website.[...]
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 15:18:00 +0000Absolute best moment in "Back to the Future" is when George McFly opens up his box of books. I remember thinking as I watched it in 1985, "I want that." To this day, whenever that box of first copies arrives, I always call it my Back-to-the-Future box.
Thu, 15 Oct 2015 02:43:00 +0000I had SO MUCH FUN on my panel at New York Comic Con last Thursday! Best panel topic ever. It was called "Fantasy Draft League," and we were asked to create an all-star fantasy team that included a wizard, a warrior, a cleric, a thief, and a wildcard, drawn from our favorite books.The authors drafting teams were Bradley Beaulieu, Zac Brewer, Sarah Beth Durst (me!), and Eleanor Herman; the judges (to decide who created the best team) were Naomi Novik and Sam Sykes; and the moderator was David Pomerico from Harper Voyager.Here's who I picked:1. ClericSo when I first started to think about this panel, I sat down and whipped out a list of the best wizard, warrior, thief, etc... and then I looked at what I'd written and realized that every character was from a David Eddings novel.There are two reasons for this: one is that I adore all those books. Between the ages of ten and twenty, my mom and I reread the Belgariad so many times that we wore out three sets of paperbacks. After that, the Elenium and the Tamuli have become my comfort food reading.But the second and more important reason is that David Eddings's characters are the best of the best. The best warrior in the world. The best thief of his generation. The best wizard ever. He doesn't tell the story of the unlikely hero. His heroes are VERY likely. He picks the most competent people as his protagonists... and pits them against the biggest bads imaginable.So for my cleric, I chose one of the strongest Eddings characters out there: Sephrenia, the High Priestess of Aphrael.Sephrenia is the most powerful sorceress ever. There's no spell she can't do, and she will do it better than anyone else around. She is also accompanied by Aphrael, the childlike goddess who can manipulate time and persuade anyone, including other gods, to assist her. In short, with her, I pretty much don't even need anyone else.2. WizardI toyed with choosing a classical wizard: Gandalf, Merlin, Allanon... But I've already got the spell-casting kind of magic covered with Sephrenia, plus Gandalf and Allanon are overbooked. They'd probably flit off mid-quest to go defeat an evil demon-possessed druid or something. And Merlin has way too much emotional baggage, with all that happened in Camelot.So for my wizard, I picked someone with an entirely different magic: wild magic. Daine, from the Immortals quartet by Tamora Pierce.Daine has animal magic. She can talk to any animal, transform into any animal, and adopt any animal attribute (like bat hearing). I know that doesn't sound all that impressive when you say it like that, but hear me out... Daine isn't limited by distance or quantity. She can summon any number of animals over any distance. Imagine you're in a city and every rat, every pigeon, every pampered pup decided to attack you at once. You won't be having a very good day. Now imagine you're out on a quest in the woods... Yeah, Daine is awesome.She also has the bow skills of Katniss Everdeen.3. ThiefI wanted to choose Silk from the Belgariad by David Eddings, but I'd already chosen Sephrenia and the rules said no repeat authors. (True story: in sixth grade, I had to write an essay on "the person I admire the most," and I picked Silk. I have no idea what my teacher thought of this choice.)Anyway, I next thought about choosing Locke Lamora from the Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch. Locke Lamora is the quintessential thief. But he also gets beat up a lot, so I thought that maybe he's not actually that good at his job...So I decided to go with Kelsier, fro[...]
Mon, 12 Oct 2015 22:07:00 +0000I was one of the guest authors at NY Comic Con this year. If you've never been to Comic Con, here's what you need to know:They have battle pigs.And lots of Lego minifigures. And Ghostbusters, to keep you safe on the off chance that the battle pigs and the Lego minifigures become possessed by angry ghosts and attack.The best part about the above photo was that as I was passing, the Ghostbuster was explaining to the cops how all his ghost busting equipment worked, presumably trying to recruit them. The cops looked interested.I also took this shot of a man dressed as every character every played by Johnny Depp all at once: And here is Voldemort, hailing a taxi: I don't know whether a taxi stopped for him, but when I looked back, he was gone.I had such a fantastic time at Comic Con! Saw and met so many great people, plus I was on one of the best panels I've ever been on. It was called Fantasy Draft League, and in it, each panelist had to choose a warrior, wizard, thief, cleric, and wildcard character to make up the most awesome fantasy quest team ever. So much fun. I'll write about it more in my next blog post. Here are photos of me and my fellow panelists (from left to right in the top photo: Naomi Novik, Sam Sykes, Bradley Beaulieu, Zac Brewer, Sarah Beth Durst, Eleanor Herman, and David Pomerico) at the panel and at our autographing: And lastly, here's the Empire State Building, looking lovely in pink:[...]
Tue, 06 Oct 2015 18:14:00 +0000New York Comic Con is just two days away!!! Woohoo!!! I'm going, so if you're going, please stop by to see me -- I'd love to say hi!
Wed, 06 May 2015 13:02:00 +0000I am very, very, extremely, stupendously thrilled to announce that I've sold my next middle-grade novel!!! It's called THE HIDDEN ISLANDS, and it's a book that I've wanted to write for a long time. It's one of those books that started as a little tiny seed of an idea and then grew and grew inside me until it finally burst out.
Wed, 15 Apr 2015 13:07:00 +0000Cover art!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!*runs in circles, shrieks, and flails arms like a Muppet*I am extremely excited to share with you the cover art for my upcoming middle grade novel, THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT DREAM, coming in November 2015 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt / Clarion Books:I love it so very much! Look at Monster! Seriously, look at him! He looks exactly the way he's supposed to look -- lemur eyes, tentacles, even the golden tongue -- and the artist (the amazing Andrea Femerstrand) really captured his spirit. He's Sophie's loyal best friend who may or may not like to eat small children with ketchup. I can't wait for you to meet him and Sophie and Ethan, not to mention the ninja bunnies...THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT DREAM is about a girl whose parents own a secret dream shop. Here's the description from the jacket flap:Sophie's favorite place in the world is the hidden shop beneath her parent's bookstore where dreams are bought and sold to select and secretive strangers. Sophie is fascinated by dreams -- weird, scary, or magical -- in part because she has never had a single dream of her own.When the shop's dreams are stolen and her mother and father go mysteriously missing, Sophie must unravel the truth to save her parents. Together with her best friend -- a wisecracking and fanatically loyal monster named Monster -- she must decide who to trust with her family's carefully-guarded secrets. Who will help them, and who will betray them?I am also thrilled, honored, and very grateful to be able to share with you these lovely blurbs from two of my all-time favorite authors, the magnificent Bruce Coville and the fabulous Jessica Day George:"Boy, do readers have a treat in store for them! Funny, scary, and endlessly inventive, this is the kind of book I would have adored as a kid." -- Bruce Coville, author of Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher"A perfect combination of adventure, humor, and pure imagination!" -- Jessica Day George, New York Times best-selling author of the Tuesdays at the Castle seriesComing November 2015!!!!! [...]
Mon, 02 Mar 2015 03:18:00 +0000I am so very, very excited to announce that I've sold a new trilogy of books for adults!!! An epic fantasy trilogy!!!!!!!!!!! In the biggest book deal of my career to date! Series title is THE QUEENS OF RENTHIA and they will be published by HarperCollins / Voyager in 2016 and 2017. Here's the announcement from this week's Publishers Weekly Book Deals:
Tue, 14 Oct 2014 13:06:00 +0000I am thrilled to announce the release of my new book, CHASING POWER!!!
Fri, 10 Oct 2014 13:15:00 +0000
Tue, 07 Oct 2014 13:32:00 +0000My new YA novel CHASING POWER comes out from Bloomsbury in exactly one week!!!!!!!!!!