Until I began researching, I had no idea that Vessel wasn’t your first fantasy novel. Now it feels like I have grounds to be unwaveringly excited for this book—I’m convinced that Vessel will be a definite favorite! How does Vessel differ from anything else you’ve done?
Sarah: In my first five novels, I injected magic into our world (vampires and were-unicorns in the suburbs, talking gargoyles at a university, a magical polar bear in the Arctic, fairy-tale characters in a sleepy New England town...). In Vessel, I created an entirely new world with a harsh desert land filled with wolves made of sand that hunt inside storms and serpents made of unbreakable glass that fly through the sky. It's a sweeping, romantic epic adventure -- my first high fantasy.
I loved creating a new world. As a kid, I used to spend hours drawing maps of imaginary places. I'd tape together pieces of paper and fill my entire bedroom. So writing Vessel felt a lot like fulfilling a childhood dream.
I love to ask this question: out of all the characters you’ve written for, which one do you think Liyana would inspire either a powerful positive or negative reaction? Would she get along with any of them?
Sarah: Liyana, my heroine, is destined to sacrifice herself so that her clan will survive. She's brave, honorable, and quite practical. She'd have little patience for Pearl, the vampire girl from Drink, Slay, Love, who is full of snark and, to put it bluntly, evil. But I think Liyana would identify with Cassie from Ice, who is willing to leap off mountains and dive into the Arctic Ocean to save her love.
The cover for Vessel is quite simply stunning! How closely does the cover represent the story within the books pages? If you had to pick your favorite aspect of the cover, what would you pick?
Sarah: So happy you like it! The cover captures the tone of the book perfectly. I love the feel of movement in the fabric, and I love the expression on her face -- that fierce determination is Liyana.
What can you tell us about RENEGADE that we won’t discover simply by reading the widespread public synopsis?
Sarah: I guess the statement, “Don’t take things at face value,” comes to mind here. That’s rather vague I’m afraid, but it’s the best I can do. There are many things with RENEGADE that make it appear to be one thing (the cover, the story itself, the opening chapter), when in fact it’s something else all together. So don’t go into it with preconceived notions, because more than likely it won’t be what you thought. And I think that’s a good thing.
What’s one aspect, scene, anything, about Vessel you’re so excited to share you’re restraining yourself from shoving people into some seats with the book open in their laps and subtly nudging them to the part you’d love for them to read?
Sarah: You have to meet Korbyn! He's my trickster god who walks out of the sand storm after Liyana is abandoned by her clan. Liyana greets him by threatening to skewer him through the eye.
Tell me, what does one need in order to survive “desert world of sandstorms and sand-wolves”? If I could take a few things with me, what would you recommend?
Sarah: I recommend a desert horse. And a tent. Also, you may want a few gods and goddesses who can summon water from a dry well and cause fruit to ripen out of season and fend off monstrous man-eating worms. Very handy.
Thanks so much for interviewing me!
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In a desert world of sandstorms and sand-wolves, a teen girl must defy the gods to save her tribe in this mystical, atmospheric tale from the author of Drink, Slay, Love.
Liyana has trained her entire life to be the vessel of a goddess. The goddess will inhabit Liyana’s body and use magic to bring rain to the desert. But Liyana’s goddess never comes. Abandoned by her angry tribe, Liyana expects to die in the desert. Until a boy walks out of the dust in search of her.
Korbyn is a god inside his vessel, and a trickster god at that. He tells Liyana that five other gods are missing, and they set off across the desert in search of the other vessels. For the desert tribes cannot survive without the magic of their gods. But the journey is dangerous, even with a god’s help. And not everyone is willing to believe the trickster god’s tale.
The closer she grows to Korbyn, the less Liyana wants to disappear to make way for her goddess. But she has no choice: She must die for her tribe to live. Unless a trickster god can help her to trick fate—or a human girl can muster some magic of her own.
Make sure to stop by later today a guest post and giveaway with Jessica Therrien!
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Oh, I hope I don't have to wait too much longer for VESSEL! Drink, Slay, Love was definitely one of my favorite reads of last year and so I can't imagine that VESSEL will be anything less than special! Comment down below if you goddesses crawl into your body or if you've ever been abandoned alone in a desert.