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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Story Secrets: ICE by Sarah Beth Durst

Welcome to my very first STORY SECRETS, a series which will run throughout 2010 with a spectacular lineup of YA authors, both established and debut!

I'm thrilled to welcome Sarah Beth Durst - Sarah Beth and I met at the winter SCBWI conference the year of her debut novel, INTO THE WILD, and we've been fast friends ever since. Here she'll share some of the story behind the story of her third YA fantasy, ICE, just released this winter. What better novel to kick off in the snow and ice?

Welcome, Sarah Beth!


First, tell us a little about ICE.

ICE is a YA fantasy novel set in the present-day Arctic. It's about a polar bear, true love, and one girl's impossible quest across the frozen North.

I wrote this book as a love letter to my husband. It's about true love... the kind of love where you'd go east of the sun and west of the moon for each other. So this novel is very closed to my heart.

It's also about polar bears, one of the coolest animals ever. No pun intended.

Besides being really excited that it's you (I confess, I'm already a SBD diehard fan), I was thrilled to hear you were inspired by East of the Sun, and West of the Moon. How did the tale influence your story?

I love fairy tales. I think they have tremendous power. For many of us, they're among the first stories we ever hear, and as such, they help form our understanding of what story is. Plus they are a huge part of our culture, and everyone brings such emotional baggage to them. These things make them a great tool for a writer.

So I knew I wanted to work with a fairy tale, but I didn't want one where the girl just slept for the entire tale. Or was stuck in a tower. Or was dead.

I fell in love with East of the Sun, West of the Moon because it's about a fearless girl who saves an enchanted prince, instead of vice versa. In the original tale, she's asked multiple times, "Are you afraid?" And the answer is always, "No, she wasn't." That little exchange was the spark that became ICE...

Read the Full Interview!


Little Willow said...

Hi Sarah! What a cool backstory - nice mix of dedication and mythology - and a very cool idea for a series of posts, Holly.

Melissa Walker said...

Great series, Holly! I love that it starts with Sarah, who's SO much fun and has such a fabulous imagination.

holly cupala said...

I heart Sarah. :)

Misty said...

I have heard so many wonderful things about your new novel and I can't wait to get me hands on it!

Lorie Ann Grover said...

Congrats on the series, Holly. What a beautiful cover, Sarah!

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