Sarah Beth Durst’s Journey to Publication, Plus THE LOST Giveaway

Sarah Beth Durst isn’t a newcomer to IceyBooks, and while I’m really excited to read her foray into adult fiction, THE LOST, I’m equally excited to have her here again with a guest post on her journey to publication, and a giveaway for THE LOST. Read on!


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.

I started on my journey when I was ten years old. That’s the year I decided I was going to be a writer.

Not so coincidentally, it’s also the same year I read ALANNA by Tamora Pierce, THE BLUE SWORD by Robin McKinley, and SO YOU WANT TO BE A WIZARD by Diana Duane. I didn’t know anyone who was a writer — in fact, I subconsciously assumed that all writers were either dead or mythical. But I figured that if Alanna could become a knight, Harimad-Sol could defeat an army single-handedly, and Nita could be a wizard, then by golly, I could be a writer.

Except I didn’t say “by golly.” I’m reasonably certain I’ve never said “by golly” in my life.

Anyway, once I decided I wanted to be a writer, I did what any slightly-overachieving ten year old would do: I went to the library and took out every book in the 808 section — that’s the how-to-write section. I poured over them. I begged my parents for a subscription to Writer’s Digest and read every issue cover to cover. I even read the phone book, marking down interesting names for characters on index cards and then assigning them superpowers and magical talking animals (because everyone should have a telepathic dolphin or two). And of course, I wrote.

I continued to write through middle school, high school, and college. But though I wrote about a million story openings, it took me until after college before I finished my first full-length novel manuscript.

After that, I entered what I call my rinse-lather-repeat stage. Write a manuscript, send it out, get rejected, write another, send it out, get rejected, write another… Until at last, the stars aligned, and I signed with my wonderful agent Andrea Somberg. And within a matter of weeks after that, I had multiple offers on my debut novel, INTO THE WILD.

Since then, I’ve published a book a year: OUT OF THE WILD, ICE, ENCHANTED IVY, DRINK SLAY LOVE, VESSEL, and CONJURED. And this year, for the first time, I have three books coming out: THE LOST, CHASING POWER, and THE MISSING. THE LOST is my first book for adults, the first in a new trilogy, and will be out on May 27th from Harlequin/Mira. It’s about a woman who is trapped in a town full of only lost things and lost people.

So that’s my overall journey. Looking back, I can see that I did four things that were key: (1) wrote a lot, (2) researched reputable agents who represent work like mine, (3) submitted my work to them, and (4) by golly, I didn’t give up.

Sarah Beth Durst is the author of seven fantasy novels for teens. Her latest, Conjured, came out in September 2013 from Bloomsbury/Walker. Prior to that, she released 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. Her first book for adults, The Lost, comes out in June 2014 from Harlequin/Mira. She was awarded the 2013 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature and has been a finalist for SFWA’s Andre Norton Award three times. Sarah has been writing fantasy stories since she was ten years old and holds an English degree from Princeton University, where she spent four years writing about dragons and wondering what the campus gargoyles would say if they could talk. She lives in Stony Brook, New York, with her husband and children.

Thanks to Harlequin, I’ve got one copy of THE LOST for one lucky US reader!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Find Sarah on Twitter | Goodreads | Website
Add THE LOST to Goodreads | Buy THE LOST on Amazon


Hafsah Faizal is a YA author, designer, and blogger. Her designs have graced the sites of New York Times bestselling authors, bloggers, and more. She resides in Texas, with her family.



  1. Reply

    Claire @ Bitches With Books

    May 19, 2014

    This sounds quite interesting… The publication process is interesting and terrifying, but this post is great because it shows a balanced perspective. Rinse-Wash-Repeat. Just always remember to repeat!

  2. Reply


    May 19, 2014

    This really sounds excellent!!! I am so excited for another SBD novel :D

  3. Reply

    Sara (of The Page Sage)

    May 19, 2014

    I LOVE Sarah Beth Durst’s writing, so this guest post is AWESOME. Lost sounds great (which is to be expected). :)

  4. Reply


    May 19, 2014

    I haven’t written in years, sigh

  5. Reply


    May 19, 2014

    This book sounds awesome. I want to read it super bad now just from reading that summary. It sounds a bit like EverLost which was completely awesome too.

  6. Reply


    May 19, 2014

    My bookshelf is full of Sarah Beth Durst books, Vessel, Conjured and Drink, Slay, Love. Looking forward to The Lost.

  7. Reply


    May 19, 2014

    I’ve only heard good things about this book!!! Can’t wait to read it.

  8. Reply

    Michelle Willms

    May 19, 2014

    I must read this. It sounds so Stephen King-ish. I can imagine myself going for a drive and ending up in a place like this. While there, I would try to find all those socks that have vanished over the years and perhaps we could have 2 socks that match in this house again.

  9. Reply


    May 19, 2014

    Haven’t read any of her books yet, but I will now…sounds a little Stephen King-esque!!!

  10. Reply

    susan beamon

    May 20, 2014

    interesting sounding book

  11. Reply

    Beverly Archer

    May 20, 2014

    I love Sarah’s other books. Really looking forward to the new book. Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

  12. Reply


    May 20, 2014

    congrats to Sarah on the new release!! Thanks so much for sharing!

  13. Reply

    Amanda @ Late Nights with Good Books

    May 20, 2014

    Ever since I read Durst’s Vessel in 2012 year, I’ve been itching to read more of her books. It’s fascinating to read about her journey to publication and I’m definitely itching to read her newest book. Thanks for the giveaway!

  14. Reply

    Carol Riggs

    May 21, 2014

    My, you started early and determined in life, Sarah Beth! I love the sound of this new book of yours. Off to add it to my Goodreads to-read list!!

  15. Reply


    May 22, 2014

    Sounds like an interesting book. Can’t wait to read it!

  16. Reply


    May 24, 2014

    This books sounds really awesome. Thanks for the giveaway :)

  17. Reply


    May 26, 2014

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  18. Reply

    Ellie Ann

    May 27, 2014

    Wow, intriguing premise!

  19. Reply

    Kate I.

    May 31, 2014

    As I’ve only recently started reading YA again, I’ve not yet read any of SBD’s previous titles. However, I’ve heard so many good things about them that I’m excited for this adult title! I’d like to ask SBD whether she has more YA stories percolating in her mind?