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Interview: Sarah Beth Durst, author of Drink, Slay Love

>>Friday, December 9, 2011

In October I had the chance to read a book called Drink, Slay, Love (review) about a vampire who gets stabbed in the heart with a unicorn horn and starts to develop a conscience, despite wanting to stay evil.

Here's the blurb from Goodreads:

Pearl is a sixteen-year-old vampire... fond of blood, allergic to sunlight, and mostly evil... until the night a sparkly unicorn stabs her through the heart with his horn. Oops.

Her family thinks she was attacked by a vampire hunter (because, obviously, unicorns don't exist), and they're shocked she survived. They're even more shocked when Pearl discovers she can now withstand the sun. But they quickly find a way to make use of her new talent. The Vampire King of New England has chosen Pearl's family to host his feast. If Pearl enrolls in high school, she can make lots of human friends and lure them to the King's feast -- as the entrees. 

The only problem? Pearl's starting to feel the twinges of a conscience. How can she serve up her new friends—especially the cute guy who makes her fangs ache—to be slaughtered? Then again, she's definitely dead if she lets down her family. What's a sunlight-loving vamp to do?

Naturally, after reading this fun novel I had to ask the author to stop by for an interview!

Sarah Beth Durst is the author of young adult novels Drink, Slay, Love, Enchanted Ivy, and Ice from Simon & Schuster, as well as middle grade novels Into the Wild and Out of the Wild from Penguin Young Readers. She has twice been a finalist for SFWA's Andre Norton Award, for both Ice and Into the Wild.

Sarah lives in Stony Brook, New York, with her husband, her two children, and her ill-mannered cat. She also has a miniature pet griffin named Alfred. Okay, okay, that’s not quite true. His name is really Montgomery.

1. Thank you for taking the time for this interview! Firstly, I'm dying to ask: where did you come up with the idea of sparkly unicorns and a vampire turned good for Drink, Slay, Love? 

So there I was, an ordinary Saturday night, sitting on the couch, eating tortilla chips, thinking about unicorns...  Yeah, that's pretty much a Saturday night for me.  Anyway, it suddenly occurred to me, "Unicorns have a built-in stake!  They're natural vampire hunters!"  And that's the moment when Drink, Slay, Love was born.

As for the idea of a vampire-turned-good...  I'd read about vampires who try to be good, and I wondered what would happen to a vampire who didn't want to be good but had to be... an evil vampire who LIKES being evil.

2. With so many other vampire young adult novels out there, how did you want this one to be different (if you did at all)?

I actually didn't intend to write a vampire novel, though I love them.  But once I had the idea of unicorns as vampire hunters...  It felt so right that it would have been wrong not to write it!

I also knew that I wanted it to be funny -- there aren't enough funny vampire/unicorn books out there.  I knew I succeeded when a friend that I've known for at least a decade and a half said, "Wow, Sarah, I didn't know you had a sense of humor!"  *facepalm*

3. Are you team were-unicorn or team vampire and why?

Team were-unicorn.  They're less likely to eat me.

4. Could you tell us about any upcoming projects you might be working on?

I am putting the finishing touches on VESSEL, my next YA fantasy novel.  It's coming from Simon & Schuster in September 2012, and I'm really, really excited about it.  I recently posted the cover art on my blog, along with this description:  In a desert land where serpents made of unbreakable glass fly through the sky and wolves made of only sand hunt within storms, Liyana is destined to be a vessel, to sacrifice herself so that her clan's goddess can inhabit her body... but her goddess never comes.

Thanks so much for interviewing me!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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