Author Patrice Sarath

Welcome! I am the author of The Crow God’s Girl, the third book in the Books of the Gordath cycle published by Ace Fantasy. My novel The Unexpected Miss Bennet is published by Robert Hale Ltd and Penguin Berkley. You can find excerpts of my novels and a few of my short stories via the Tales link above, and learn more about me in my blog. Thanks for stopping by.

18 July 2013 ~ 1 Comment

What readers want

A book is like a faerie door -- enter at your own peril.

A book is like a faerie door — enter at your own peril.

Announcing a new blog series, and I’m looking for your input. What Readers Want asks readers of all genres what they are looking for in a good book (or not so good book, we don’t judge). This isn’t market research per se; no one is going to run out and write a book based on elements people post here. But it’s a fair way to get at the mystery of what makes a good book.

So readers: Are there things you miss in books? Things you love? Things you are so over, you wish the genre would move on already?

Tell us all about the characters, plots, and settings that make your heart sing or the opposite — the ones that disappointed. I want to hear from you!

What Readers Want:

What do you like in a good book?
What ruins a book for you?
I want a protagonist who…
I want an antagonist who…
I long for settings and plot that…
I like series that…
I will read anything that has…

Answer in the comments or ping me with an e-mail on the contact form.


03 July 2013 ~ 4 Comments

YA vs NA

What’s the difference between YA and NA (New Adult)?

Depends on who you talk to. For some agents and editors, NA specifically means sexytimes, and NA is therefore shelved with women’s fiction. For other agents and editors, NA may have adult themes and older protagonists, but it doesn’t have to have adult sexual content.

With so many adult readers reading YA, it was inevitable that novels aimed at the 18-25 year old bracket would make it onto the shelves. I myself believe that it directly comes out of the fanfic and slash fandom communities. I think NA can be a fantastic addition to books for adult readers. Some YA is middle grade and younger, and while it’s great stuff, it doesn’t have the sophistication (perhaps) that can be enjoyed by older readers. Also, many 16 year olds may not want to be seen reading stuff for younger kids.

Ace fantasy book Red Gold BridgeBut does that mean that YA for older (say 16-18 year olds) is going to give way? Will there be a market for books for older teens that explores adult themes but doesn’t necessarily include adult content? Are we narrowbanding the genre and constricting it so much that we lose some of the upper-age group for this genre?

In my own books, the Gordath Wood series, they are definitely not YA, though the character of Kate Mossland is just barely 16 in the first book, and is only 17 by the third — and by then she has not only grown up, she has changed the very course of the history of her adopted country, and is embarking on a relationship with an older man. Although there is frank talk of sexuality, especially birth control, there is very little sexual content.

crow-gods-girl-front-smcrowYA or NA? I’m not sure.

What do you think of the new NA genre?

24 November 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Beauty in stone, beauty in water

Cathedral St. John the Divine.

Cathedral St. John the Divine.

Beauty in water, beauty in stone. The cathedral was absolutely breathtaking. The river had a quieter beauty. It was so peaceful on the river that Sunday morning. Sometimes we have to take it where we can, amidst a raucous world.

Autumn on the Frio.

Autumn on the Frio.

06 November 2014 ~ 0 Comments

On Point Interview — NaNoWriMo

I was interviewed along with Lev Grossman (The Magicians) and Chris Baty (NaNoWriMo founder and a very persuasive advocate for the event) about the pros and cons of NaNoWriMo. You can hear my point of view at about halfway, right after the second break in the show.

Do You NaNoWriMo?

Spoiler alert: I was the “con” portion of the show. You’re shocked, I know.

05 November 2014 ~ 0 Comments

The girls are back in town: Yvienne

Yvienne Mederos

Yvienne Mederos

A polite cough broke on her absorption. With a start, Yvienne looked up from the pages of printed contract. A strange man stood in the entrance of the office. He was short and stocky, in a tweed coat that had seen better days, and thick wool trousers, ditto. He was clean shaven, his hairline receding for all that he was a youngish man, only six or seven-and-twenty. There was something about his expression — he had an appreciative look about him, as if he had been watching her for a good while and liked what he saw. Yvienne felt both irked that he had spied on her while she was lost in concentration and agreeably unsettled.

“I beg your pardon,” he said, but he did not sound embarrassed. “I knocked too, but you never acknowledged me.”

“I do apologize, Mister–?”

“Fresnel. Abel Fresnel.” He fished in his vest pocket and stepped into the office, handing her his card.

She took it. It was smudged and bent at the corners. Abel Fresnel. Detecting Man. Harrier Agency.

Yvienne had the curious ability to compartmentalize her emotions from her outward appearance. Inside, she wanted to vomit. She gave him an inquiring look. “How may House Mederos help you, Mister Fresnel?”

“Oh, it’s not House Mederos I’m looking for,” he said. He pulled a chair out from against the wall and sat across from her, crossing his leg and leaning back. He nodded his chin at the card. “I’m looking for you, Miss Mederos.”

“I see. And may I ask as to why?”

“I think you know why, Miss Mederos.”

She gave a little laugh and shrugged. “I have no idea, Mister Fresnel. As you can see, I am very busy today.” She leaned forward and held out his card. “Too busy to play guessing games. Good day.”

He didn’t make a move, and awkwardly, after a pause, she set the card down. She glanced over at the clerks, and knew by the different quality of silence that they were gone to their dinner.

Mister Fresnel had no doubt waited until just that moment to come in.

“What do you want?” Her voice sharpened. She kept her hands on the desk. If one didn’t know to look at it, one would never see the outline of the small compartment built flush into the desktop, where a bit of pressure would release the catch and give her access to her pistol. This man had made no threatening overtures, but Yvienne had no doubts that she faced grave danger.

“I’ve been engaged by the Guild to investigate some matters that involve your family, Miss Mederos. The disappearance of the Guild Magistrate, the fraud against the Mederos home business — a very sad business, that. A real mystery.”

“It’s properly called a House, not a home business,” Yvienne said. He acknowledged the correction with a little nod and a smile. He had a distracting smile. She told herself to concentrate. “And our House was restored six months ago, the fraud revealed and the charges reversed. So we don’t need your help, thanks.”

“There’s still the matter of the missing Magistrate. Some might think that House Mederos would want revenge for his role in the downfall of your family’s home — House — business.”

“Goodness. What are you accusing my family of, Mister Fresnel?”

“Accusing? Are you feeling guilty, Miss Mederos?”

“I’m sorry,” Yvienne said, letting her voice reveal her temper. “Tell me again why you are here? Because, to recap — the fraud was revealed, the perpetrators punished, my family’s reputation restored, and what you call a mystery was solved six months ago. You may now go, sir.”

He sat still for a moment longer, regarding her with a quiet, piercing expression. He had dark brown eyes, a bit of shadow around his jaw, and a plain, angular face. He was entirely an unprepossessing sort of man, except for the impression of strength in his shoulders, and his battered hands. Had he been a prizefighter? she thought, though he didn’t have the broken nose or misshapen ears that classified that profession. No, he was not a brawler, and he was far more dangerous for all that.

She flushed, aware that he had been taking her measure as intently as she had taken his. Fresnel finally stood, taking his time. He nodded at his card on the edge of her desk.

“Keep it. I’m staying at the Bailet Hotel, on the Esplanade. I am sure we’ll be speaking again, Miss Mederos.”

He closed the door behind himself, and Yvienne was left alone in the office. With the imminent danger gone, she allowed herself to take a deep, shuddering breath.

Don’t react. He’s still watching.

She took the card again, as if mildly curious, then stuck it in the small box on the desk where all the other cards were kept. She would take it home later. Still performing, she drew the contract to her, picked up her pencil, and began to jot meaninglessly on it. All the while her mind was racing as fast as her heart.

Someone knew.