Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Interview: ICE by Sarah Beth Durst

1. What is ICE about?
ICE is a modern Arctic fantasy about a polar bear, true love, and one girl's impossible quest across the frozen North. I wrote ICE as a love letter to my husband. It's about true love. And a talking polar bear.

Not to imply that my husband is a talking polar bear...

2. What inspired you to write ICE?
I was initially inspired by a picture book of the Norwegian folktale "East of the Sun and West of the Moon" illustrated by P.J. Lynch. Specifically, there's one illustration in there of the "lassie" where she has her hand on her hip and she's wearing this you-won't-stop-me expression. As soon as I saw that illustration, I knew I wanted to write about that kind of girl -- a fearless girl who won't be stopped.

I have to confess that I veer pretty far from the original folktale. It's a modern story, for one thing, but at the heart there is that girl who is bound and determined to save her prince...I named my protagonist Cassie, in honor of the lassie from that original inspiring story.

3. How was it to write?
I loved writing this book. Okay, it wasn't easy. Writing a book is never easy. There's always a point where you want to bang your head against your desk and make pathetic noises. I think that's true for every writer, and it happens at different stages for every book. But still, I loved working on this novel. Cassie is a million times braver than I am so I got to live vicariously through her. And Bear's castle...that place comes straight out of all my best dreams. I loved bringing that place to life.

4. What do you think of the cover?
I love, love, love the cover. It reflects the characters and the mood of the book perfectly. (I'm not bragging here. As you may know, the author typically has zero say over his/her cover so I can't claim any credit whatsoever. The extent of my involvement was to shriek with glee when I saw it.) The art is by Cliff Nielsen, and the jacket design is by Debra Sfetsios. And I think they're brilliant.

5. What's next for you?
My next book is called TIGERLILY (edit: different title now). It's coming from Simon & Schuster in fall 2010. It's about applying to college, meeting college boys, talking to gargoyles, flying on dragons, saving the world...you know, the usual teenage experience.

Wow, ICE sounds incredibly awesome (as does Tigerlily)! Make sure to check it out--it's in stores now!

And thanks for the interview Sarah!



  1. it seems very sweet :)thanks for the interview ;)

  2. Great interview. Ice sounds really good =)

  3. Great interview. I'm looking forward to Tigerlily now!

  4. I feel like I'm going to relate to this character more than to a lot of other YA characters.
    Thanks for the awesome interview!

  5. Awesome interview, Ice sounds incredible

  6. Ice does sound really good! Yet another book I need to read, lol