Author: Sarah Beth Durst
Publisher: Walker Childrens, 368 Pages (September 3rd, 2013)
Add to: Goodreads
Order online here: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository, Amazon UK
Synopsis: Eve has a new home, a new face, and a new name—but no memories of her past. She’s been told that she's in a witness protection program. That she escaped a dangerous magic-wielding serial killer who still hunts her. The only thing she knows for sure is that there is something horrifying in her memories the people hiding her want to access—and there is nothing they won’t say—or do—to her to get her to remember.
At night she dreams of a tattered carnival tent and buttons being sewn into her skin. But during the day, she shelves books at the local library, trying to not let anyone know that she can do things—things like change the color of her eyes or walk through walls. When she does use her strange powers, she blacks out and is drawn into terrifying visions, returning to find that days or weeks have passed—and she’s lost all short-term memories. Eve must find out who and what she really is before the killer finds her—but the truth may be more dangerous than anyone could have ever imagined.
Hi Sarah! It’s a pleasure to have you stopping by the blog today. A HUGE congrats to you on your latest release Conjured!
Thanks so much! And thanks for having me here! *shares cupcakes*
It's very cool having CONJURED out in the world! Also, odd/exciting/scary/wonderful. It feels a bit like, if I were a potter, spending months and months lovingly crafting a vase and then flinging it out of a moving car and hoping the right person catches it and puts flowers in it.
Can you tell us how writing this book differed to your other previously released titles?
This book is, by far, the creepiest and wildest book I've ever written. It's a psychological thriller/fantasy about Eve, a girl with zero memories and tons of bizarre powers, who must figure out who she is and why she's having creepy visions of a carnival before a serial killer hunts her down.
My other titles were, in order, two fractured fairy tales (Into the Wild and Out of the Wild), a modern Arctic fairy-tale adventure (Ice), a getting-into-college contemporary fantasy (Enchanted Ivy), a vampire girl and were-unicorn comedy (Drink, Slay, Love), and an epic desert fantasy (Vessel). All fantasy, but all different subgenres of fantasy. I like to play with magic in a whole variety of ways.
Writing this book involved getting inside Eve's head and trying to capture that feeling of disorientation and claustrophobic chaos that she experiences. I broke a lot of writing rules to tell the story through her eyes, and it was really an exhilarating writing experience.
What were the hardest and easiest parts in writing Conjured?
Easiest part for me is always dialogue. I hear characters before I see them. Just a personal thing. Every writer is different.
Hardest part (but also the most rewarding) was writing Eve herself. Eve is a true blank slate character. She has no memories, but more than that, she has no identity. So instead of the reader discovering who she is, the reader needs to come with Eve as she creates who she is.
Could you tell us three things about Eve that we might not learn from reading her story?
The reader knows everything that Eve knows... which starts off as very, very little. She's not even sure what a seat belt is. You only ever see things through her eyes, even though other characters know much, much more.
Without giving too much away would you mind sharing with us a favorite line or two from the book?
Eve raised her hand toward the birds on the wallpaper. "Fly," she whispered. The birds detached from the wall. The air filled with rustling and crinkling as the paper birds fluttered their delicate wings.
"There's no other food with a sent more perfectly designed to trigger the appetite than bacon. You could pump the smell of bacon into a room full of vegetarians after a veggie-burger-eating contest, and every one of them would crave cooked pig before the end of an hour. So explain to me exactly why you are rendering my no-bacon sacrifice moot by giving me an aneurysm."
"Don't be afraid, Eve. Not of this. You can be afraid of spiders or snakes or airplane crashes or a zombie apocalypse... but don't be afraid of yourself."
The Magician catches my wrist. "Not for you." His voice is soft, nearly a purr in my ear, and I want to ask why not. No sound comes out of my mouth. I touch my throat. I feel bumps in my skin, even, in a row, straight across my neck. My scream is silent.
As someone who has yet to read Conjured what would you tell future readers in your own words what Eve’s story is about?
It's about defining who you are and choosing your own path, regardless of other people's expectations.
Before the first book signing event for CONJURED, I agonized a lot over what catchphrase to use. (I like to sign more than just my name.) I eventually settled on, "Be the true you." I think that's pretty much the core of the book.
If you could wish three things for Eve what would they be and why?
I wish... well, my wishes for her would be spoilers. So let's just say I wish her peace and happiness in her chosen path.
And lastly, what are you currently working on and when might we have a chance to read it?
I am working on two projects right now: THE LOST and MIND OVER MAGIC. THE LOST is my first novel for adults. It's the first in a trilogy, and it will be coming out from Harlequin/Mira in June 2014. MIND OVER MAGIC is my next YA novel, and it will be coming out from Bloomsbury/Walker in fall 2014. I'm really, really excited about both of them!
Thanks SO much for the chat! It’s always a pleasure to have you here on the blog. Looking forward to our next visit Sarah!
Thanks so much for interviewing me!
Sarah Beth Durst is the author of Vessel, Drink, Slay, Love, Enchanted Ivy, and Ice from Simon & Schuster, as well as Into the Wild and its sequel Out of the Wild from Penguin Young Readers. Her next book for teens, Conjured, comes out in September 2013 from Bloomsbury/Walker. Her first book for adults, The Lost, comes out in June 2014 from Harlequin/Mira. Her book Vessel won the 2013 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children's Literature, and she has been a finalist for SFWA's Andre Norton Award three times. She has been writing fantasy stories since she was ten years old and holds an English degree from 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 www.sarahbethdurst.com
Find Sarah Online:
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