Our first “When I’m not writing” guest this month is Sarah Beth Durst, a YA author with several novels under her belt. Her most recent release is Drink, Slay, Love, a story about a teenage vampire who gets stabbed by a unicorn and develops unique powers. Keep reading to find out what Sarah does when she’s not hard at work on her next novel and to learn more about Drink, Slay, Love.
Several months ago, when Jenn asked me to write this blog post ("what I do when I'm not writing"), she told me that it wasn't due until February. I thought to myself, "Great! Plenty of time to think of how to answer. Easy peasy lemon squeezy."
Or something like that, perhaps minus the rhyming.
Anyway, every so often in the months that followed, I'd bring up a file, type "what I do when I'm not writing," type a sentence or two, delete them, and then return to my work-in-progress. You see, I'd discovered a rather awkward truth as I asked myself what I do when I'm not writing.
I don't do anything else.
This was a somewhat startling revelation. I used to have hobbies. I used to do a lot of theatre, for example. Acting, directing, light design, all amateur-level. I used to dance. I used to play piano and sing and (somewhat unwillingly and seriously awkwardly) ski. Over the past few years, though, I have pared my life down to three activities:
- spending time with my family
- taking care of daily minutiae, i.e. showering, going to the grocery store, feeding the cat
Of those, I spend the least amount of time on three. (My policy: If the kitchen floor isn't crunchy, then it's not ready to be cleaned. If you're out of clean clothes, you don't own enough socks. Only the cat isn't optional.)
On the heels of this revelation, I had a second equally startling revelation: I'm okay with this.
There is something to be said for paring down to the essentials, identifying your priorities, and eliminating everything else. This is what I value -- writing, my family, and keeping up with basic hygiene -- and so this is what I do.
Still, I am considering taking up a hobby later in life. Maybe sky-diving... except I'm afraid of heights. Or scuba-diving... except I hate being underwater. Or oil painting. Or pottery. Or bird watching. Or unicorn taming.
Or maybe I'll just stick to lots and lots of writing. After all, it is what makes me happy.
Thanks for taking the time to visit us, Sarah!
And here’s the scoop on Drink, Slay, Love:
Her family thinks she was attacked by a vampire hunter (because, obviously, unicorns don't exist). 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?
Do you guys have suggestions for who you’d like to see featured on the blog? If so, you can make your suggestions on this page. No guarantees that your favorite authors will be able to participate but we’ll try!
Authors, would you like to visit and share with us? Please email me at jennblogs (at) gmail (dot) com and we’ll set it up!