Wednesday, February 4, 2009


We sold Gordath Wood by Patrice Sarath to Ace/Penguin two years ago. The second book in the Gordath series, Red Gold Bridge, will be published in a few months. We thought it was high time that we gave our blog over to Patrice and allow her to share her experience with our readers.

Fairy tales, horses, romance, and adventure figure strongly in Patrice’s work. Her short stories have appeared in several top science fiction and fantasy magazines, including Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Realms of Fantasy, and Black Gate. She has sold stories to the anthologies Such a Pretty Face and Low Port and the British anthology CafĂ© Ole. Her story "A Prayer For Captain La Hire" was reprinted in Year's Best Fantasy 3. Her short story, "Ice," appeared in the June 2006 issue of Realms of Fantasy, and her stories have appeared in Weird Tales, Apex Science Fiction and Horror Digest. Many of her stories have been favorably reviewed on Tangent Online, SFSite, and other genre markets. She lives and writes in Austin, Texas, with her husband and two children.

When did you realize that you were a writer?
There wasn't any actual realization. I always wrote stories and poems when I was a kid. When I was a teen I wrote a bunch of novel starts and fanfic and really heartfelt poetry and all that stuff when you are figuring out your voice and your identity. When I was in my twenties, I became a reporter and editor but continued to write my fiction.

Do you remember the first story you wrote?
I was four or five. I think it was a very Richard Matheson piece -- science fiction horror, something about how machines were coming alive. I couldn't actually spell and I didn't really know that many words, but as I remember I was very absorbed in writing this scary thriller.

Can you describe your first published work?
"The Warlord and the Princess" appeared in Beyond the Rose, a little Irish chapbook. I got $5. It was a great feeling. I loved that $5 (I spent it, don't get me wrong, but I loved it.) I framed the acceptance letter. The story was about a warlord and -- you guessed it -- a princess, neither of whom is exactly what they appear to be, or what they present to the world. It was reprinted in Andromeda Spaceways In-Flight Magazine, a wonderful Australian magazine.
(Editor's note: You can read "The Warlord and the Princess" on Patrice's site:

Do you hold to a writing schedule? How do you balance family, a full-time job, a website and a professional writing career?
I'll answer these together. It is vitally important if you have a family and a job to have a writing schedule. When my children were little, I wrote after they went to bed. Later, as they got older and were a little more self-sufficient, I could loosen up a bit, but in the early days it was every night after the dishes were done, the kids did their homework and had their baths and got their bedtime stories, then I wrote from about 9:30 to 10:30. That may not seem like much but I wrote a ton of short stories and a couple of novels.

Now my daughter is in college and my son is in middle school, so my writing schedule has loosened up. I'll still write at night but I can also set aside Sunday for a marathon writing session and no one will die or anything.

In my day job, I don't bring work home and don't work past eight hours a day, so that makes it very easy. I don't know how people who work long hours can still find time to write. They're the admirable ones!

When did you begin to gravitate to fantasy?
Obviously, from a very young age. ;-)
Stay tuned--Part II of Patrice's interview to come....

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