Quick Qs and As with Sarah Beth Durst!

Sarah Beth Durst is the author of an incredible book titled Ice, and today I'm lucky enough to have a Quick Qs and As featuring her!


1) First off, I’m going to give you a couple of categories and I would like you to list your favorite.

Food? Raspberries
Drink? Mango lassi
Book? Beauty by Robin McKinley
Author? Tamora Pierce
Movie? Star Wars
Season? spring

2) Can you describe your latest book-Ice- in three words?

Polar bear fantasy

3) What was the inspiration behind Ice?

I was inspired by the Norwegian folktale "East of the Sun and West of the Moon," which is a Beauty and the Beast variant where Beauty kicks butt. I was tired off all the fairy tales where the girl sleeps through all the action (or worse, is dead). I wanted to write about a girl who saves her prince. So I took the old folktale, set it in modern-day Alaska, changed the Beauty into the daughter of an Arctic research scientist... and the story evolved from there.

4) Are you alike to your main character- Cassie- in any ways?

Cassie is fearless, impetuous, and strong. She leaps before she looks, and she loves the frozen North. I, on the other hand, am a total coward (seriously, I’m afraid of Frisbees) who plans each day with various lists on multiple Post-Its and needs to be temperature-regulated at all times. But we do have one thing in common: both Cassie and I would go east of the sun and west of the moon for our loves.

5) How did the title Ice come to be?

For the first thirty drafts (yes, I do a LOT of drafts), I called the novel The Polar Bear King (or affectionately PBK). But then I decided that sounded too medieval for my modern fantasy. Besides, Bear isn't a king in my story -- he's a guardian of souls. So I went with the most noticeable feature of Cassie's world: ice.

6) I absolutely love the cover Ice has because it’s just stunning and in my opinion shows a glimpse of what’s to come inside. So, this all leaves me to wonder what your thoughts on the cover are.

I love, love, love the cover! The artist is Cliff Nielsen, and I think he captured the tone of the story perfectly! Plus the lovely model (Ashley Bohannon) looks exactly like Cassie should. I danced around my house whooping in an unladylike fashion when I first saw the cover.

7) Is there a specific message you hope readers of Ice take from it?

For me, ICE is about true love, about going to the ends of the earth to make a relationship work. I wrote it as a love letter to my husband.
In general, I try not to write with a specific message in mind. What I want most is for my story to sweep you away from whatever is worrying you and let you escape into an adventure.

8) Do you have a favorite scene or line in Ice? If so, would you mind sharing a glimpse of it with us?

Looking up again, she saw a blue wall of ice around an opalescent castle. "Oh," she said faintly. It was not fata morgana. She tilted her head to see the banner-crowned spires that rose behind the wall.

"Welcome to my castle," the bear said.

9) What type of setting do you usually write in?

I like writing about magic in the real world. This is probably because I've always wanted magic in the real world. I was the kid who always put "magic wand" on her list for Santa, who checked all closets for entry to Narnia, and who never wanted her own pony (because I held out hope for a friendly telepathic dragon instead).

10) What’s you absolute favorite thing about writing for teens?

Best thing about writing for teens is that they are more willing to email authors than adult readers are. I love reader email!

11) What’s up next for you book-wise?

My next book is coming in fall 2010 from Simon & Schuster. (No title yet.) It's about getting into college. You know, taking the campus tour, talking to the gargoyles, flirting with the were-tigers, riding the dragons... :) I'm very excited about it.

12) Is there anything else you would like to add?

Thanks so much for interviewing me!


You're very welcome, Sarah! :)

Other Links:

My review of Ice
Sarah's website
Sarah's books on Amazon/ Barnes and Noble/ Indie Bound
Sarah's blog
Sarah's twitter


  1. I loved this book! Awesome interview! Her next book sounds super awesome!

  2. Awesome review. I really want to read this book, and her next book sounds exciting!

  3. I enjoyed reading the interview! I've always wondered what Ice was about. A girl with a polar bear, it's somewhat similar to The Golden Compass but the storyline's entirely different!

    Anyway, Ice is a really cool title. Short and catchy. :) Gonna add this book on my to-buy list.

  4. I also lovex1000000000000 the cover! I can't wait to read it.

  5. I'm really excited to read this book - first, I love re-imagined fairy tales. Second, it's based on one of my favorite. Third, the author loves Robin McKinley! I don't think I need any more impetus to pick this one up. Great interview!

  6. LOVED the book and LOVED the interview just as much!!!! Can't WAIT to read the next book!!


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