Interview with Sarah Beth Durst!

Interview with Sarah Beth Durst!The Lost by Sarah Beth Durst
Series: The Lost #1
Published by Harlequin MIRA on May 20, 2014
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon

Lost your way? 

Your dreams?  


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. 

Describe The Lost in 140 characters or less!

THE LOST is about a woman trapped in a town full of only lost things and lost people.

You’ve written a lot of YA in the past. How do you think The Lost will appeal to your YA fans? Is there crossover potential?

For THE LOST, I wanted my main character to feel like she’s at a point in her life where her dreams have failed to come true. Her life feels empty, and nothing has turned out the way she wanted it to. So she gets in her car one day and instead of turning left to go to work, she drives straight… and drives and drives until she runs out of gas in a town called Lost.

So that’s why I made Lauren twenty-seven. Really, though, there’s no reason that a YA reader couldn’t read it. Loss and finding yourself are universal experiences.

How is it different, writing for teens and writing for adults?

It’s all about staying true to the character. If your character is sixteen and you stay true to her worldview, then the resulting story will be YA. If your character is twenty-seven, then it will be a book for adults.

Which of your characters from The Lost would be the easiest to kill off? Which would be the hardest?

Death isn’t the problem in Lost. You can die in Lost, but you still can’t leave. The only way you can escape is if the Missing Man sends you on… and he can only send you if you find what you’ve lost.

That said, the hardest to kill off for me would have to be Claire. She’s a six year old girl who always carries a teddy bear and a very sharp knife. I love her.

And the easiest to kill off would be Tiffany for one very spoilery reason. 🙂

What is your favorite part of being a writer?

Getting to write every day!

Seriously, the best part of being a writer is writing. Writing makes me happy. If I skip a day of writing, I feel grumpy and unbalanced. But if I write, then all is right with the world.

Do you find it more difficult to start a series or to finish a series?

Ooh, great question! Actually, the hardest part of any novel is the mushy middle, and I think the same holds true for a series. When you start, it’s great because anything is possible. It could be brilliant and perfect and shine like the brightest star in the sky! And when you finish, there’s a lovely feeling of pieces clicking together. But the middle, when you’re far from the perfect potential of the beginning and also far from the yay-it-all-works at the end… *shudder* That’s the hardest. You just have to give yourself a lot of pep talks, eat a lot of chocolate, and keep writing. And then you can go back and fix everything.

Speaking of series, do you know how a series is going to end when you start it?

Nope. I always think I do. I write a lovely synopsis that shows how the whole arc is going to go. I write outlines with neat, organized bulletpoints. But then once the characters start coming to life and tromping around the world of the story… well, they don’t always tromp the way you expect them to.

THE LOST trilogy kept surprising me. For example, Claire… She wasn’t in the original outline. She just showed up while I was writing, held out her hand, and guided Lauren through an angry mob. She then became a major character.

It’s somewhat disconcerting when you discover that your subconscious is knows more about the story than you do.

What’s next for you? Is The Lost going to be a series or standalone?

THE LOST will be a trilogy. The second book, THE MISSING, will be out in December, and the third book, THE FOUND, will be out in April 2015. It’s going to be so hard to resist giving spoilers!

I am also working on my next YA novel, CHASING POWER. It’s an Indiana Jones kind of adventure about a girl with telekinesis and will be out from Bloomsbury in October.

Thanks so much for interviewing me!


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 by 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. She is a graduate of 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

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