Excitement for VESSEL + Michelle Interviews Sarah Beth Durst

Fellow bookaholics, one of my most anticipated releases this year comes out TOMORROW!! Eeeppp!! I'll give you three guesses-- nevermind, I'll just show you:
book cover
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.
Yup! Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst. I **heart** Sarah's books; everything I've read by her I've enjoyed so I always look forward to her releases. I did a short interview with Sarah in anticipation of the release of Vessel.

book coverHi Sarah! Welcome to our blog! Did any part of your writing/revision process change since writing your first novel? If you could give one advice to your old self who was writing that first novel what would it be?
Yes, it absolutely has. When I wrote my first novel, I didn't outline. Outlining doesn't work for every writer, but for me personally, if I don't outline, I tend to be distracted by shiny things (my favorite term for it is "chasing plot bunnies") and then end up having to backtrack. Outlining lets me see the shape of the story before I fully commit to it. Saves me a lot of time.

If I could give myself one piece of advice, I'd tell myself to finish the first draft as quickly as possible. For me, finishing that first full draft was a major turning point. Once I'd done it, I knew I could... and that made every novel since then easier to write.

How was creating Liyana's character (the main character in Vessel) different from creating Pearl (Drink Slay Love) who was so funny, snarky and awesomely evil?
Very different! For Pearl, I simply asked myself, "What would I never, ever do or say in this situation?" and then I knew what she'd do or say.

For Liyana... I wanted to create a real heroine. Someone ordinary who was expected to do extraordinary things -- and who was willing and ready to do them, as soon as she knew how.

Was there a scene in Vessel that made you cry or made you feel a strong emotion while you were writing it?
I cried when I wrote the scene where Liyana says goodbye to her four-year-old brother Jidali. Liyana doesn't cry in this scene. She's brave for her brother, so I cried for her.

You have some very exciting projects coming up, including selling your first adult series. Please tell us a little about them.
*happy dance*

I'm working on a YA novel called SWEET NOTHINGS. It comes out in fall 2013 from Bloomsbury/Walker, and it's about a girl in the paranormal witness protection program. And I've started work on my first trilogy for adults -- THE LOST, THE MISSING, and THE FOUND. It's coming out from Luna and is about a woman who is trapped in a town full of only lost people and lost things. I'm really, really excited about both projects!

Thanks so much for interviewing me!

Thanks to Sarah for answering my questions.

Fellow book lovers, if you haven't read a book by Sarah, I recommend you start with either Ice (my review here), which is an epic retelling of East of the Sun, West of the Moon, or Drink Slay Love (my review here), a laugh-out-loud funny vampire and unicorn mash up with an unforgettable deliciously-evil-turned-semi-good heroine.

Have a great Monday and happy reading everyone! And don't forget to check out Vessel when it becomes available in stores tomorrow.

<3, Michelle

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