Thursday, February 5, 2009


Editor's note: We'll wind up our conversation with Patrice in this post. But first, let me praise this author to the skies. She not only writes well and with passion, she's dedicated to the craft and business of writing. She has educated herself by reading, attending writing conferences, talking to other writers, editors and agents. And all along the way she has been learning. She is also very helpful to fellow writers. Visit her website

Do you plan to continue your focus in fantasy, or will you venture into other genres?
I think Gordath Wood holds clues to that. It combines fantasy, romance, and mystery because I love all those genres. I have been developing other projects that take these elements and toss them together in different ways.

How do you bring your characters to life?
Connie Willis once said at a convention, "People! Your characters are not real!" Which is true of course, and hey, it's Connie Willis, she should know. But if writers do their job right, then characters bring themselves to life. I actually don't know how I do it. Some people go through those personality profiles for their characters, but I think that would suck the life right out of them. As in so many things, I'm winging it here.

[Kae’s note: Sounds like Patrice, like Stephen King, may have some “boys in the basement.”]

Who are your five favorite authors, and why?
My influences are Jane Austen. J.R.R. Tolkien, and Alexandre Dumas. Then there are the contemporary writers who I love and in absolutely no particular order, Barbara Kingsolver, S.M. Stirling, Jane Smiley (Horse Heaven, of course). Sharon McCrumb for her giddy Elizabeth books and her gorgeous Appalachian mysteries. Stephen King -- no one can touch him when he's at the top of his game. Neil Gaiman. I could go on, but I think you said five. Oh wait! Michael Crichton! Can't forget him.

How did you come up with the idea for Gordath Wood?
I used to ride horses in the part of Connecticut and New York where the book takes place. It's the best place to ride in the world. You could get lost on those trails. And so...I wrote a book about getting lost on those trails.

What do you like best about writing?
I get to make up worlds and people for readers to enjoy. I have heard from a couple of readers that they couldn't put the book down. I love that. That's so cool.

What's the least favorite part of your career?
Well...the actual writing part. Whoever said that writing is sitting at the typewriter and opening a vein is absolutely correct. It's not easy and it can be extremely painful. Also, rejection letters suck. But it's part of the gig.

What advice would you give to new writers?
Funny you should ask that! I'm doing a once-a-week series on my Web site called Writing Lessons about what I've learned as a writer. I hope I can pass along some words of wisdom to writers young and old about getting the words down and whipping them into professional shape.

What do you do for fun?
I like to go hiking, go to movies, cook, rollerblade. I do yoga but I wouldn't call it fun (I have a complex relationship with yoga). I enjoy hanging out with friends and family. I'm starting riding lessons soon, after being away from the horse world for far too long. I would like to say that I knit and do crafts, but I'm really the most uncrafty person in the world.


Laura R. said...

We should all be so lucky to have some "boys in the basement!" Patrice-you've convinced me that I can meet my writing goals (I also have a full-time job and a full-time family)a little bit at a time. Thanks for the reassurance. It was the shot in the arm that I needed.

Patrice Sarath said...

That is music to my ears! Go Laura Go!