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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Interview with Sarah Beth Durst, author of Drink Slay Love

Y'all, I just finished a fantastic book (Drink Slay Love) that I can't wait to tell you about - but I am going to wait, because that review is set for tomorrow... (hee hee).  For today, I have an awesome interview from the book's author, Sarah Beth Durst!
So, with no further ado, I give you:

Where did the idea for Drink, Slay, Love come from, namely the comic elements (like a vampire having to hide from her family that she was attacked by a unicorn)?

All of it flowed from one idea: Unicorns are vampire hunters. Seriously, look at their horns! Built-in stakes! All of that sweet, sparkly stuff is a cover for their true purpose...

Given that my unicorns are hunters, I wanted my vampires to be worth hunting. So they're evil... which made them very, very fun to write.

Tell us a little bit about what it was like creating Pearl, a vampire with an accidental conscience.

I loved writing Pearl. She's fearless and funny, and she does and says things that I would never in a million years do or say. And she's rather pissed off about the whole conscience thing. She LIKES being evil.

Is Pearl's story going to be a standalone, or is it the beginning of a series/starting point for companion novels?

I wrote it as a standalone, though I have to admit that I do miss Pearl...

Can you tell us a bit about your favorite scene from the novel?

Here's the moment where everything changes for Pearl:

The unicorn didn't speak. She supposed she shouldn't be surprised -- horses didn't speak, and he was horselike. He paced toward her. She eyed his shimmery neck and wondered what a unicorn would taste like. "Thanks, but I'm stuffed," she said.
He bumped his nose against her shirt.
"Hey, no equine drool on the blouse," Pearl said. Did he expect her to pat him? She wasn't an animal lover. She'd never been the type to plaster her bedroom walls with posters of horses or of fluffy kittens dangling from limbs above the caption Hang in there. "Well, this is all very nice, but I have to run. Go on, shoo. Go... poop rainbows... or whatever it is you do." She wiggled her fingers at him to wave good-bye, and then she turned her back on the unicorn and started to walk away.
Ow! She felt a sharp sting between her shoulder blades. Her breath hissed out. That hurt! And then the pain intensified until it buzzed through her head. She heard a wet slithering sound, and a burning sensation spread through her lungs.
Pearl looked down at her chest. Two inches of unicorn horn protruded from between her ribs. Red blood dripped from its point. She stared at it. The buzz in her head increased to a steady pounding as loud as a bass drum. Slowly, her brain caught up with her eyes.
He staked me.
The pretty sparkly horse had staked her.
"Crap," she said.
She clutched at the bloody horn, and the world went dark.

And here is one of my favorite (non-spoilery) bits from later in the novel:

Behind her, she heard two voices.
"Dude, you ask her."
"Nuh-uh, you ask."
"Rock paper scissors?"
"You cheat, man," Matt said.
"How is it possible to cheat at rock paper scissors?" Zeke asked.
"You game the system," Matt said.
"It's not my fault you always choose rock."
"My manly strength will not allow me to choose a less unyielding material," Matt said. "I have rocks for muscles. You fear my strength."
"Whatever," Zeke said. "You never choose scissors."
"Sometimes I choose paper," Matt said. "You can't predict me. I'm cagey."
"You always choose rock or paper," Zeke said. "So long as I always choose paper, I can't lose."
"See, I knew you gamed the system."
Pearl did not turn around.
"On the count of three?" Zeke asked. Together, they said, "One. Two. Three." There was a brief pause. "You should have chosen scissors."
"That would have been too obvious," Matt said. "You just said I never choose scissors so you had to know I would choose scissors so I couldn't choose scissors because you'd know it. Hence, the rock."
"Hence the paper, covering your rock. You ask her."
"Well played, my friend," Matt said. "Well played."

What are some of your writing influences?

I write under the influence of chocolate...

Oh, wait, you mean artistic influences. Tamora Pierce, Charles de Lint, Diana Wynne Jones, Star Wars, Buffy the Vampire Slayer...

Follow up: Which books or authors did you love growing up, and which books or authors do you wish more people knew about?

I loved and still love the Tortall books by Tamora Pierce, The Blue Sword and also Beauty by Robin McKinley, Deep Wizardry by Diane Duane, Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede, The Princess Bride by William Goldman, the Belgariad by David Eddings, Dreams Underfoot by Charles de Lint, Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones, and many more.

I LOVE Tamora Pierce!  Alanna and all of Tortall holds a special place in my heart! 
Do you listen to music when your write or make book playlists, movie casts, etc?

Yes, I often listen to music when I write. I find that it distracts my brain so that my fingers are free to write. :)

Drink, Slay, Love was actually the first book that I made a playlist for. I'll be posting that on my blog soon!


Drink, Slay, Love in 1 sentence:

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.

Favorite side character:

Antoinette. She's a vicious yet perky vampire who is devoted to Molly Ringwald 80s movies.

Mythological/fantastic creature you'd most like to meet?

Friendly telepathic dragon.

Sunrise or sunset?


Sunrise is gorgeous, but every time I see one, I'm dismayed to be up so early.

Brownies or french fries?

Brownies. Always go with the chocolate!

Super-strength or super-intelligence?

Super-intelligence... because how often do I need to pick up a car in my ordinary life?

Would you rather:
-- be a vampire with a pesky conscious or a dumpster-diving were-unicorn?

Were-unicorn. I really don't like the taste of blood.

-- never see the sun or never see the moon again?

Ooh, tough one... Never see the moon, I guess. I love the moon, but sunlight makes me happy. I think I have chlorophyll in my blood.

Thanks so much for interviewing me!

Thank you for stopping by!
Remember, you can check out my thoughts on Drink Slay Love, as well as some of my favorite bits (I tabbed a lot of favorite bits in this book... tomorrow!

Click here to be taken to the Helluva Halloween Main Page!


  1. I loved this book so much. Great interview! :)

  2. The interview was as much fun as the book.

    I like to think that I was named after the Tamora Pierce characters, but I know that's not the case. Maybe I can say they were named after me? hmm...


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