Interview with Sarah Beth Durst

InterviewAuthorBannerSarah Beth Durst

Hi everyone! I’m so honored today to have Sarah Beth Durst here on There Were Books Involved! Sarah has written many YA books including Vessel, Conjured, and the upcoming Chasing Power (Oct 2014). Her first adult novel, The Lost, is coming out next Tuesday, May 27th, and Sarah was nice enough to take the time to answer a few questions about this awesome book…


Interview with Sarah Beth Durst
The Lost
The Lost #1

Written by: Sarah Beth Durst
Published by: MIRA
Release date: May 27th 2014
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Magical Realism
Pages: 352
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads
Also by this author: The Lost

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.


Short and sweet: Tell us about The Lost in a tweet!

The Lost is about a woman trapped in a town full of only lost things and lost people.


Was there a specific thing or event that originally inspired you to write The Lost?

One of the least helpful bits of writing advice I’ve ever heard is: “Ideas come from everywhere.” You can’t do anything with that advice. “Everywhere” is too vague.

But it’s absolutely true.

Ideas can sneak up on you when you’re sitting at an intersection, blinker on, waiting for the light to turn green so you can turn left… That’s what happened with me and The Lost. I was at a stop light, waiting to turn, and I thought to myself, “What if I went straight? What if I never stopped?”

In The Lost, Lauren Chase gets into her car to go to work but instead of turning left at the light, goes straight… and drives and drives until she ends up in Lost, a town full of only lost things and lost people.


If the city of Lost were real, what are some interesting things of yours that might’ve ended up there – or maybe, what would end up there most often? Keys? The TV remote? …Socks? (Definitely socks, for me.)

There’s a DVD from the library that’s been lost in my house for about four years. Found the case. But no DVD. And I’m usually really good about keeping track of library items. Clearly, it’s in Lost, along with one silver gecko earring and one blue butterfly earring.


Peter (aka, the Finder) draws much of what he says from an apparently endless arsenal of quotes that are always wonderfully applicable to the situation. What’s one of your own favorite quotes?

“Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working.” — Pablo Picasso

I believe that you shouldn’t wait for the muse to show up. If you just start writing, then the muse will (eventually!) find you. And if you write every day, then the odds of the muse finding you will be greater — she’ll know exactly where you’re sitting. (Warning: she may steal your snacks.)


Lauren at one point compares Peter to J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan (so perfect). Were there any other books, literary characters, or fantastical settings that inspired the town of Lost or the people in it?

I listened to “Hotel California” by the Eagles a lot while I wrote this book. The mood matches the book, plus it’s also about a place you can’t leave. And I reread “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” as inspiration for the feel of the story.

I named Peter after Peter Pan because there’s something ageless and wild about him. And I hoped to also capture a kind of grown-up Wonderland sort of feel, where everything is off-kilter and it’s all curiouser and curiouser.

[Nikki here, just confirming that YES, The Lost totally has a grown-up Wonderland feel – that’s one of my favorite things about it! I’ve been looking for a book with that sort of vibe for a long time, and this one delivered.]


The Lost is your first Adult book, but you’ve mentioned that it also has a lot of crossover-appeal to YA readers – and I wholeheartedly agree! Did you notice many differences in writing in the adult-arena, rather than writing YA? Or, since the crossover-appeal is so strong, was it perhaps not that different?

When it comes to essentials, it really isn’t that different. It’s all about telling a story. The key is to stay true to your characters. If your story is about a sixteen year old, then it will come out YA. And if your story is about a twenty-seven year old, then it will come out adult.


The Lost is the first in a trilogy – but is it true we won’t even have to wait a full year for the sequel?? And the third book by… March 2015 (according to Edelweiss)? Color me excited! Can you tell us anything about this somewhat unusual schedule? Usually there’s at least a year between sequels…!

Yes, you don’t have to wait a full year! The Missing is coming out in late November, and The Found will be out in late March. I’m very excited that the books are coming out so close together, both for the sake of the readers and for my own sake — I don’t like waiting either.   :)

This year, I actually have three books coming out: The Lost, The Missing, and my next YA book, Chasing Power. I am so excited about all of them!


Thanks so much for interviewing me!



Thank YOU, Sarah!! I really, really enjoyed The Lost – it’s a blend of contemporary and magical realism, and though it’s an adult book, it’s got HUGE crossover appeal to the YA audience! I’m beyond excited that the sequels are coming out so close together – although, after the ending of The Lost, November seems like forever away!! But I know it will be worth it. :D

If you’re a fan of any of Sarah’s YA books, or if you just think The Lost sounds good (come on – a town made up of lost things?!), you need to check it out!! The Lost comes out this Tuesday, May 27th, so mark your calendars and schedule your bookstore run, because you don’t want to miss this one. And watch out for my review, which is coming on Monday – 4.5 stars, people! Spoiler: I loved it.


About Sarah Beth Durst

Sarah was born in Northboro, Massachusetts, a small town that later became the setting for her debut novel. At the age of ten, she decided she wanted to be a writer. (Before that, she wanted to be Wonder Woman, except with real flying ability instead of an invisible jet. She also would have accepted a career as a unicorn princess.) And she began writing fantasy stories. She attended 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, her two children, and her ill-mannered cat.

6 thoughts on “Interview with Sarah Beth Durst

  1. Wow, the premise for this one sounds incredibly unique! Ever since I read the blurb I’ve been kind of fascinated about the possibilities with this one!!And I love that it’s an adult read :D The plot sounds absolutely brilliant and the authors answers to your questions only shows how clever she actually is! Thanks for sharing this Nikki ^^

    • It is SO unique, that’s why I was drawn to it — and it totally delivered! I hope you decide to check it out, I think you’d really like it!

  2. Hey! Nice interview. I really like trilogies. They are a great way to connect with characters for a longer haul without going on until things go south. Love the sound of this book and it is always great to get to know the author better.

    • Thanks Stephie! I love that this is going to be a trilogy. There’s so much more to learn about the characters… and the town of Lost, too! I hope you get to check it out soon!

  3. okay, I’m already hooked by her answer to the first question. How intriguing! I have an ARC of this so will have to get to it soon, but may just get a finished copy since I’m sure the cover is gorgeous in person. Also love how the books are all released relatively close to one another. No long waits!

    • It’s an intriguing premise, and it totally paid off for me! I hope you get to read it soon, I can’t wait to see how you like it. The cover really is nice, even just on the ARC. I’m sure it’ll be GORGEOUS in its finished format. The no-waits thing is just icing on the cake, but it’s delicious cream-cheese icing and SO AMAZING. After the end of The Lost, I’m dying for The Missing. Dyingggg.

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