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?

09 December 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Christmas in Aeritan – an excerpt

A winter in Connecticut; a little bit like a winter in Aeritan.

A winter in Connecticut; a little bit like a winter in Aeritan.

Note: I first excerpted this in 2012. This is one of my favorite scenes in Crow God’s Girl, in which a homesick young lady tries to find her place in a very strange world.

“Merry Christmas, Eri. I have a present for you and your brothers. Let’s go wake ’em up so we can celebrate.”
They bundled up and tiptoed down the hall, Eri practically jumping out of her skin at the new adventure.

Kate had never been in the boys’ bedroom. When the three boys were home they shared a bed, but now it was just Aevin and Yare, and the bedroom smelled of boy funk, and gear, and sweaty socks and dirty boots. Eri jumped on the bed, giggling, shouting,

“Marry Craismus!”

Aevin was shocked, sweeping his brown hair out of his eyes. He pulled the covers up around him and Yare. They both wore long nightshirts.

“What?! Eri, what are you doing? Kett, you shouldn’t be in here.”

Kate jumped on the bed with Eri, sitting at the foot of the bed against the huge bedpost.

“It’s Christmas, Aevin. No rules on Christmas.”

The boys were more receptive to the idea of presents, dumping out the little stockings on the bed while Kate told them the Christmas story, both the secular version that she had grown up with, about Santa Claus and his elves and reindeer, and the religious one about the birth of a king who was also a god. They all tried the whistles and she had to shush them from making too much noise.

“Would you like to learn some Christmas songs?” she said hopefully. They glanced around at one another and shrugged. Kate took that as a yes. She drew in a breath and started on “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing.”

She didn’t have much of a voice, and she had to sing quietly, but the children listened intently. When she was done, she had to wipe back tears. Gray light trickled in through the shuttered windows, and the fire burned brightly, though no one had brought it back to life. That was weird, but she felt both too good and too homesick to think about it much. The room felt comfortable and peaceful and for a few moments they sat crosslegged in silence on the lumpy, messy bed.

What I was doing: In the world of Aeritan, people’s lives are connected to various gods. There are the soldier’s god, the grass god’s daughter (the god of women), the crow god, and the high god (the god of the ruling class). People believe in deities in Aeritan, but there’s not an organized religion, though everyone acknowledges the presence of deities. But what happens  when a human from our world crosses over to Aeritan? In Gordath Wood, the Judeo-Christian God makes His presence felt, in a small quiet scene, and again in Red Gold Bridge, and now here in The Crow God’s Girl.

Even though I’m the author of this series, there are mysteries I don’t have the answer to. (That’s why I write, I suppose.) Maybe I will come back to this question of God and gods and see if I can discover more. In the meantime, enjoy Christmas in Aeritan.

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.