Out of the Wild
I have news.
Okay, I know it's not really news. Virtually every interview with me has included the question, "What are you working on next?" And the contract for INTO THE WILD was a two-book deal. So it's not like there's any big mystery here...
Wait, this is coming out all awkward. I can't believe I'm still shy about talking about my writing. I've been shouting from the rooftops about INTO THE WILD for months now. But I feel all weird talking about new work. Do any other writers out there have this problem? It's like a superstition. I'm afraid that if I talk about the next book too soon, I'll trip on a black cat and break a mirror under a ladder.
Or maybe it's that I want to be a writer so terribly badly that I'm afraid that if I talk too loudly too soon, I'll wake up from this dream.
Let's start over. Close your eyes and imagine... Wait, don't close your eyes. You can't read if your eyes are closed. Just imagine: I'm in the kitchen, cutting up a banana... Cue the wavy flashback effect, please.
Husband: [singing] 978...
[I scramble for paper, thinking this must be a phone number. Or a safe combination.]
Husband: [continuing to sing] ...159-514...
[Or maybe the secret code to unlocking the mysteries of the universe... Right. Because if someone discovered the secret code, the first thing they'd do is call someone and sing it. Obviously, this is a phone number, and my husband is somewhere without a pen and wants to make sure he remembers the number. Okay, why didn't he just call the number instead of calling me...]
Husband: [still singing] ...1590!
[Not a phone number. Too many digits. That was... oh, wow, that was 13 numbers! I know what's thirteen numbers!]
Me: Is that... is that an ISBN?
Husband: Go to Amazon.
Me: [dropping banana peel on the floor, thus ensuring a future stereotypical sitcom moment that no one will believe really happened, and bolt to the computer] Okay, I'm there. Load, little Netscape, load, load!
Husband: Now search for Sarah Beth Durst.
Me: Hey, that's me!
Husband: Yes, I know.
[Pause while I type. The screen loads... Four items appear: one of them is INTO THE WILD (hardcover). Another is DIPLOMATIC IMPLAUSIBILITY by Keith R.A. DeCandido, an excellent Star Trek novel in which I'm thanked in the acknowledgements for helping with polar bear research -- the book includes evolved polar bears as its aliens, and I happen to be very fond of polar bears. And the other two items...]
Me: EEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's real! It's real! It's really, really real!
This is then followed by a major Snoopy Dance of Joy. You see, the two additional items that appear when you search Amazon.com for my name are (drumroll, please):
Out of the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst (Hardcover - Jun 19, 2008)
Into the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst (Paperback - May 29, 2008)
It's real! It's real! It's really, really real! I know it was technically real before now. After all, book two was under contract, and it has been through copyedits. But somehow, having the ISBN makes it feel all official. So without fear of black cats or ladders or mirrors, I am now officially announcing...
OUT OF THE WILD, the sequel to INTO THE WILD, will be coming out next summer, along with the paperback version of INTO THE WILD. (Please imagine that in that voice-over movie guy's deep voice.)
I am so, so excited. I have absolutely loved writing about the further adventures of Julie. I can't wait to share them with all of you!
Returning now to the Snoopy Dance of Joy...