Author: Sarah Beth Durst
Publisher: Bloomsbury, 368 Pages (October 14th, 2014)
Add to: Goodreads
Order here: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository, Amazon UK
Synopsis: 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.
Hi Sarah! It’s great to have you back on the blog for a chat again. And a HUGE congrats on your latest young adult title – Chasing Power releasing today!!!
Thanks so much for having me here! And thanks for the congrats! I'm so excited!!
A lot of people say that having a book published feels like having a baby. I think it feels a bit more like having a baby unicorn. You spend several months muttering to yourself (at least through your fingers, if not out loud), trying to cast some kind of magic spell that will create a story capable of living on its own. And eventually, you finish and move on to other stories... and then all of a sudden, pub day! Your unicorn is born!
Okay, that came out much cheesier than it sounded in my head.
Also, there are no unicorns in CHASING POWER. But there is a girl with telekinesis...
So, can you tell readers in your own words what Chasing Power is about?
CHASING POWER is about a girl named Kayla, who can move things with her mind. She meets a boy, Daniel, who can teleport -- and who lies as easily as he travels. Together, they go on an adventure to save his 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.
What was the one of the most memorable moments you had while writing this book?
I decided very early on -- in fact, it was probably the first thing that I decided -- that Kayla would have very limited powers. She can only move very light objects, no heavier than a pencil. So the most fun writing moments were figuring out how to, for example, rob a jewelry store with just a ball of tin foil.
What are three things, three funny or quirky things you can tell us about your two main characters – Kayla and Daniel?
Kayla has telekinesis, a loose grasp on the concept of personal property (a.k.a. she's a thief), and a mother who is not nearly as flighty as she pretends to be.
Daniel can teleport, has papered the walls of his room with maps and photos of places he wants to visit, and has never been to Wyoming -- because he wants to keep one place in the world that he's never been.
If you had a secret ability, what would you wish it was? And what on the flip side of this question, what secret ability do you think would be a nightmare to have?
Telekinesis would be fun, and teleportation would save a lot on airfare. But I think what I'd want is really, really good luck.
On the flip side... I think the ability to understand animals could beless wonderful than it seems. It would be like being inside that bacon snack dog commercial, where all you hear all the time is "Feed me! Feed me! Feed me!" You'd wake up every morning to birds cursing each other out for invading their territory, and fall asleep every night to the sound of your beloved cat contemplating your demise...
Let’s say you get the call from Hollywood and they are making a movie or TV show out of your book. Who could you see playing Kayla and Daniel – along with any of the other characters we might meet while reading?
I picture Kayla as that girl in the Imagine Dragons "Radioactive" music video. Except her hair is pink and black. As for Daniel... I picture a teenage Josh Hartnett. Not sure about Selena and Moonbeam... Any ideas?
What was the most challenging thing you faced while writing this book?
Every book has its challenges -- and most of them come from inside your own brain, that little voice of doubt that whispers to you at unhelpful moments. The trick is to silence that voice long enough to get the pages written, and then bring it out again to help with revision. Giving yourself pep talks helps. Also, chocolate.
And lastly, what do you hope readers take away from Kayla and Daniels story after reading?
I hope to take readers on a ride. That's one of the things that I think makes books magical -- the ability to pluck people out of their lives and take them away from whatever is bothering them for at least a few hours. I hope to do that. I hope readers race through the pages and then finish with smiles on their faces.
Sarah, as always it’s a pleasure chatting with you. Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. I hope you’ll drop in again!
Thanks so much! Pleasure to be here!
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
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