Sarah Beth Durst
August 11, 2007
About Sarah Beth Durst

Sarah Beth Durst grew up in Northboro, MA, a town in
central Massachusetts which (she claims) was temporarily
transformed into a fairy tale kingdom for several days in
1986. These events later inspired her novel,
Into the Wild,
as well as her paralyzing fear of glass footwear.

At age 10, she decided she wanted to become a writer. Her
first story was a cross between the
Wizard of Oz and G.I.
Joe
. With lions. She wrote a lot more after that without
lions, including a stageplay for her senior thesis at Princeton
University. Not a single lion in that. But there were dragons.
Yes, in a stageplay.

She then spent a year living and writing in Cambridge,
England, until the walls of her flat molded from all the rain
and she decided to move back to the Northeast. Sarah
currently lives in Stony Brook, NY, with her husband, their
daughter, and their cat Perni, whose name was Copernicus
until they discovered that he was a girl cat.
Post Meeting Write-up

Saturday's Face the Fiction was quite fun.  Our guest
speaker,
Sarah Beth Durst, was delightful - not only did she
manage to capture the imagination of the audience, but she
also threw in practical tips for aspiring writers.

Ms. Durst began her presentation, as Steve mentioned, by
discussing the hows and whys of her becoming a writer, and
how her book
Into the Wild was published.  Her delightful
retelling had many in the audience shaking their heads in
agreement (particularly about Raisenettes being "healthy"
because the raisins balance out the chocolate - lol) and at
other times flat out laughing.  She then switched over to
reading experts from her book
Into the Wild that would get
to a certain point of suspense and then she'd stop reading!  
You just had to have that book to know what happens to
Julie.

The book,
Into the Wild, is about a young girl named Julie
who finds out that her mother is actually Rapunzel (yep, of
fairytale fame), grandma is a witch and brother is
Puss-in-Boots.  Everything she knew about fairy tales has
become reality.  Julie must venture deep into the "Wild" to
save her family.  This "Wild" though, is more similar to the
original adaptations of fairy tales - dark and full of wicked
things.  Will Julie be strong enough, brave enough to save
her family?  
Ms Durst's readings sure had you wanting to
find out.  In fact,
Remi grabbed a book before we officially
took a brief break!

Around 9, we took a break for people to purchase the book,
signings, etc.  The original display of a dozen books had to
be replenished.  Of the 35 books, only 4 remained!  
Ms.
Durst
also was thoughtful enough to provide beautifully
laminated postcards and bookmarks that she gave out - how
nice is that.  We then gathered everyone back up.  
Sarah
Beth
read another chapter from the book involving a Griffin,
an ill-fated flight, and our heroine in the middle of the
ocean!!  After this, the floor was opened up to questions.  
Hands flew and the variety of questions was great.  Some
asked about the practical aspects of the writing process -
where do you like to write, when do you write, etc.  Others
asked about inspirations, favorite books/authors, sequels.  
Sarah Beth answered the questions with the same wit she
gave her presentation.  We heard how she had envisioned
herself in a dramatic beret in a coffee house writing - didn't
happen.  We then heard about the attempt to write
outdoors in the mountains - did you know there are bugs
and wind in the great outdoors not conducive to writing?!  
Ms. Durst provided some very good tips for the aspiring
writers - ways to improve your odds of getting published to
writing what you love.  We wrapped up around 10 with a
round of applause for a great guest that we can't wait to
have back when her sequel to
Into the Wild is out next year.

The majority of us headed over to the diner for food (
Liz B
headed home - she was tired, and a few others headed
home).  Close to twenty of us went off to continue the
night.  Conversation ranged from traffic,
Simpson's Movie
(
Taras almost gave a major spoiler) to everything in
between.  
Taras and I discussed our favorite Buffy episodes
(foamy),
Chris and Sandy were singing, Bill was taking
pictures with that darn phone (incriminating),
Aubrey was
trying to keep a lid on us, poor
Adrian just laughed, and Jim
and
Steve belied their quiet exteriors when it was revealed
that they had bar-hopping, club-hopping pasts - lol.  Join us
next month when we welcome guest
Clayton McNally, SF
writer.