Fantasy Worlds & Clever Girls: Author Sarah Beth Durst


chasing power sarah beth durstWho doesn’t want telepathy? The power to move things with your mind would turn chores into a breeze, make you a superhero, something of comic book legend. But sometimes, telepathy comes with limits.

And for Chasing Power’s Kayla, that limit is simple: the ability to lift things as light as a feather.

“This was actually one of the very first things I decided when I sat down to write Chasing Power. In the world of the book, there are (rare) people with very powerful telepathy — enough ability to toss a car around like Jean Grey. But Kayla isn’t one of them. Her power is very, very small. She can only lift light things, like a feather or credit card or ball of tin foil,” said Sarah Beth Durst. “The thing that made the book so much fun to write is that Kayla is clever. She figures out how to use her limited power for maximum effect. In other words, her power might be limited, but her imagination isn’t.”

Clever girls in imaginative worlds might as well be Durst’s calling card. From clever Liyana in the desert lands of Vessel to to Lily in the magical college campus of Enchanted Ivy, Durst’s fantasy worlds sing of strong ladies tackling magic in new and creative ways.

“I love creating worlds! And I love injecting magic into our world. That’s one of the best parts of being a writer. You get to take what you love, make it more wondrous, tear it apart and toss it around for a while, and then put it back together again.”

Durst’s fantasy worlds take time to create. She figures out the rules of the world first – and then dedicates a revision entirely to focusing on how the magic works, and making sure it holds together. And while she’d love to visit her worlds – the sky serpents of glass in Vessel, the castle of frozen snow in Ice, everywhere but the vision-filled world of Conjured – fans want to keep her writing.

And who can argue, with a novel like Chasing Power about to come out? Kayla’s use of her telepathic powers to steal money and avoid her murderous father leads to meeting Daniel – a boy who can teleport, and who blackmails her for his assistance on a quest.

sarah beth durst

Author Sarah Beth Durst.
Courtesy of Sarah Beth Durst.

“He lies as easily as he travels,” says Durst.

While Durst will admit that Daniel and Kayla may banter, and may fall for each other, she’s mum on whether or not blackmailing Daniel may betray Kayla – and hey, with the first two chapters of Chasing Power already up on her website, fans can start trying to piece it together.

Is Kayla’s father her biggest threat – or is it the boy she falls for?

Chasing Power releases on October 14th. For more, visit Sarah Beth Durst’s website or follow her on Twitter or Facebook.


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Nicole Brinkley

Nicole is the editor of YA Interrobang. She has short hair and loves dragons. The rest changes without notice. Follow her on Twitter at @nebrinkley or Tumblr at nebrinkley. Like her work? Leave her a tip.

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