An interview with the Regency Inkwell ladies is up. I just love going on about Jane Austen, fantasy, science fiction, romance — these are my favorite things. An excerpt:

I love writing adventure stories and getting into the emotional lives of my characters, and swooping them into big expansive plots, although for The Unexpected Miss Bennet, a big plot would have been out of character for Mary Bennet, so I kept it small and suitable to a respectable young lady of good family. But of course, there are horses, as there are in all my novels.

This past weekend was the Texas Book Festival. Due to so many things going on from Thursday on — The Austin Film Festival among them — I only got out there on Sunday afternoon with my friend Julia. We saw a couple of panels, the best of which was the Tough Guy Panel, described thusly: new fiction about violence & men, with Frank Bill, Bruce Machart, Donald Ray Pollock, and Daniel Woodrell.”

For a buncha tough guys they were thoughtful and interesting. Bruce Machart had my favorite thought of the panel, which I will no doubt butcher in translation, but went like this — we are shaped by two places, where we are and where we’re from.

And there were books, man. Tents and tents of books. I ended up getting The Key of Amatahns, by a young writer, Elisabeth Wheatley. I will say up front that while it is not exactly self-published, it was put out by Chengalera Press, an itty-bitty press with an absurd lack of web presence. I talked with Miss Wheatley’s grandma, who was utterly thrilled with her granddaughter, as well she should be, but man, there’s something to be said for an apprenticeship before you jump in. That said, a quick skim shows a not-bad proficiency. I am optimistic.

This was also buy a self-published book weekend. While I was picking up morning coffee at my favorite-est coffee shop in town, Genuine Joe, there was an author having a book signing. Not having had coffee yet, but clearly already mellow in anticipation, I dropped $27 (!) on Within the Walls of Santo Tomas by Betty Byron. Since I have been enthralled with the Destroyermen by Taylor Anderson, I had to get this. There are nurses! In WWII on Manila! A quick skim shows less than stellar prose but I remain optimistic.

I am going to try to read these like a naive reader, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. Anyone who writes knows that writing for pure story goes by the wayside once you get into it.

I’ll let you know what I think.



maria ragucci · November 1, 2011 at 6:15 pm

Patrice, what a terrific interview! I always love learning about you as a writer, a reader, a thinker and a book-lover. You’ve always shown promise, and you’ve come a long way, baby!Congratulations on the interview and the glowing Austenesque review. Can I say it too much? I am so proud of you!!

Patrice Sarath · November 1, 2011 at 8:03 pm

No no, keep going. 🙂

Thanks, Mer. I appreciate as always everyone’s love and support. I think we’re a pretty amazing family, you know?

maria ragucci · November 2, 2011 at 6:52 pm

I cannot agree more!
I thought of you today while listening to an interview on NPR- Brian Lehrer was talking to a retired English professor at UVA (I forget her name)who had written a book about re-reading books- why people do it and which ones. Larry McMurtry has said that when they are young, people read for adventure, and when older they read for security. She didn’t agree with that, saying her research showed more surprising results both for herself as she reread various books, as well as regarding other people.

A survey was done in England, she said, that showed the top three re-read books are Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Pride and Prejudice. So, I know two of those are among your top favorites, and you are a big re-reader! And the popularity of P and P, while already known to you, was confirmed again and bodes well for the wonderful unexpected Miss Bennet!

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