CHASING POWER and Q+A with Author Sarah Beth Durst

Hello everyone,
TGIF! Today, we welcome back author Sarah Beth Durst. I love Sarah's books! None of the books I've read by her  She writes these amazing standalone reads that are always so different and unique.

Sarah's new book Chasing Power, which came out on Tuesday and I am so excited to read it. Actually, I would've read it already because it's waiting on my shelf except it's first quarter report cards and parent-teacher conference week crunch time at work. Sigh. But it will be my treat as soon as I'm done with all the things.

Anywho, here's the synopsis in case you need it.

Lies, secrets, and magic — three things that define Kayla's life.

Sixteen-year-old Kayla plans to spend her summer hanging out on the beach in Santa Barbara and stealing whatever she wants, whenever she wants it. Born with the ability to move things with her mind — things like credit cards, diamond rings, and buttons on cash registers — she has become a master shoplifter. She steals to build up a safety net, enough money for her and her mom to be able to flee if her dad finds them again. Well, that, and the thrill of using her secret talents.

But her summer plans change when she's caught stealing by a boy named Daniel — a boy who needs her help and is willing to blackmail her to get it. Daniel has a talent of his own. He can teleport, appearing anywhere in the world in an instant, but he lies as easily as he travels. Together, they embark on a quest to find and steal an ancient incantation, written on three indestructible stones and hidden millennia ago, all to rescue Daniel's kidnapped mother. But Kayla has no idea that this rescue mission will lead back to her own family — and to betrayals that she may not be able to forgive... or survive.

Author Sarah Beth Durst
Would your rather have Kayla's power (telekinesis) or Daniel's power (teleportation)? Why?

Telekinesis. I've wanted telekinesis ever since I read (and reread) The Girl With the Silver Eyes by Willo Davis Roberts and watched (and rewatched) Escape to Witch Mountain.

I admit, though, that teleportation is probably the more practical choice, given how much you'd save on airfare.

How was writing Chasing Power different from writing your previous novels? Did you run into some challenges that you didn't have when writing your previous books?

Every book is the same in essentials -- you sit down with an idea that feels wonderful, you panic that you won't be able to match that wonderfulness, you start writing and fall in love, you worry you've made horrible mistakes, you fix the mistakes, you fix more mistakes, you eat some chocolate, you make a lot of sentences prettier, you add and delete and tweak and whine and exalt and laugh and cry and eat more chocolate... and then all of a sudden, you're done and weirdly sad and empty because you miss it.

The difference is what point you feel doomed and what point you feel victorious. That varies from book to book.

With Chasing Power, the primarily challenge was continually ramping up the adventure. I really wanted it to feel like a roller coaster ride, complete with moments to catch your breath and other moments where your breath is ripped away. I spent a lot of time on pacing.

What is your favorite scene or line from Chasing Power? Why?

Pretty much loved writing every scene with Selena. And every scene in which Kayla uses her power. I have two favorites: the jewelry-stone scene from the first chapter (because that's when I wrote that, it was the moment that Kayla came alive for me) and the catacombs scene (which I can't describe because spoilers). But if you're curious and want to read the first scene, it's posted on my website here:

Time for some Kiss, Marry, Kill! Who would you kiss, marry and kill:

Bear, Korbyn, Daniel
Marry Bear (because Ice is, at its heart, about marriage -- in many ways, it's a love letter to my husband. Plus the ice castle!). Kiss Daniel (but in a motherly way, because he's too young for me and not my type -- he's perfect for Kayla). Kill Korbyn (because he's a god, and he'll be fine -- sorry, Korbyn!).

Edward Cullen, Harry Potter, Percy Jackson
Kill Edward (absolutely nothing against Twilight, but broody isn't my type -- besides, he's completely obsessed with Bella, so it really wouldn't be right). Marry Harry (but only if we can have a pet hippogriff). Kiss Percy (again, age difference issues).

Mr. Darcy, Mr. Knightley, Mr. Wentworth
Kiss Mr. Darcy, marry Mr. Knightley, and kill Mr. Wentworth. Or maybe swap Darcy and Knightley. Actually, my all-time favorite couple in literature is Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner. They're so wonderfully stable. So many books, including Austen's, are full of bad examples of married life that it's refreshing to see a couple that isn't dysfunctional.

Dumbledore, Gandalf, Obi Wan Kenobi
Marry Kenobi (but only if we could work out the whole ghost thing), kiss Gandalf, and kill Dumbledore (because it's necessary in order for Harry to defeat Voldemort).

Whew -- that was hard. What would you have answered?

Thanks so much for interviewing me!


A big thank you to Sarah for answering our questions. Guys, Chasing Power is already out in your favorite bookstore and public library.

For more info about Sarah and her novels, stop by her website, Twitter and Facebook. Look for my review of Chasing Power next week.

Happy reading,

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  1. How funny! Just the other day, the four of us were discussing what superpowers we would want, and telekinesis was high on the list. Sounds like a really interesting story!

  2. i have to choose teleportation... i would save so much time on travel and i can sleep in in the morning if i can just teleport to work :)


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