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?

17 April 2014 ~ 4 Comments

Outlining — and so ends the experiment

This where pantsing has gotten me. I'd say it's been pretty successful.

This where pantsing has gotten me. I’d say it’s been pretty successful.

After weeks of diligent outlining, and a pretty bad case of writer’s block, this morning on the way to work I finally got the breakthrough I needed. I can’t start writing until I find my way into the story, and finally it all fell into place.

Not a word of which was in the outline. Not the plot, not the events, not the scene that set the stage for the outlined novel, not the implications of these events, nor the impact they will have on the characters, changing them forever.

And so, the experiment is over. Once a pantser, always a pantser. I give myself credit for trying to outline, because I totally get the merits of the process. But I have to do what works for me, and I write my stories by the seat of my pants.

It’s good to know, actually. As I told a writer friend this morning, just because I’m the author doesn’t mean I know how it’s going to end. Nor do I want to know. That’s all the fun!

So outliners out there (and pantsers): what’s your experience? Can a writer change her spots?


13 April 2014 ~ 7 Comments

Glorious Texas day

bluebonnets2014 (362x640)You ever have one of those days where you do all of the things? Today was that day.

First I went on a trail ride in the woods with friends at the stable where Gus the horse is kept. We meandered around and came out in one field and saw a feral hog, which hightailed it out of there. Jennifer reminded us to keep an eye out for the rest of the herd, or horde, or whatever collective nouns that hogs gather in, but we only saw the one piggy.

We walked through fields of wildflowers, sadly most of which was bastard cabbage, which is an invasive species, but pretty anyway. We rode through fields of gold. There were bluebonnets and promroses and daisies, too, and also some Indian blanket, and it was pretty spectacular. We all agreed that this is why we live in Texas, and we store up days like this for August, when it’s hotter than hell. “You may all go to hell and I will go to Texas,” quoth the general, and he wasn’t kidding.

The horses had a fine old time browsing on leaves every chance they could get, and we crossed streams and surged up hills, and my saddle and bridle are in the back of the Forester because man they are filthy. In a bit I will go sit on the deck and clean my tack.

So that was that. Then after cleaning Gus and washing him off and letting him graze and picking his stall and heading home, I also:

  • did laundry
  • cleaned the bathroom
  • mowed the front and back yards
  • swept the front walkway

I am achy but in a good way and I am sure I will be moving a little creakily tomorrow. But it feels so good to do all that, and move and ride and live in the world on a glorious day in Central Texas.

Gus at the end of a long ride.

Gus at the end of a long ride.

08 April 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Colar in North Salem — A Gordath Wood story

Keeping readers up past their bedtime since 2008.

Keeping readers up past their bedtime since 2008.

I’ve been feeling a bit nostalgic for the world of Gordath Wood and the characters I have lived with for so long. This small excerpt of Colar Terrick in North Salem brought me back in a good way. I still have stories to tell about the gordath, but it has gone on the back burner while I work on new projects.

In the meantime, here’s a bit of what it was like for Colar in North Salem, before he and Kate return to Aeritan in The Crow God’s Girl.

“Yo, white boy! You just gonna stand there or you gonna play?”

Colar started. He’d been watching the black kids play a fluid, fast game of basketball, and kind of forgot where he was. The kid who hollered at him bounced the ball impatiently, waiting.

He knew he shouldn’t play. He didn’t know how, his wounds were still healing, and the surgeon had told him not to exert himself too much or he could pull stitches, or start bleeding again. He reminded Colar he had to take out his spleen, and Colar nodded, not even knowing what a spleen was. He nodded a lot since crossing the gordath.

But he knew more than anything that if he walked away from the basketball court, he’d end up walking away from everything. Soldier’s god, be by my side he thought, as he loped over.

To continue reading, click here.