Today’s guest is another Angry Robot author, Patrice Sarath. Patrice lives in Austin, Texas, and is the author of several novels, including her latest historical fantasy, Fog Season. Let’s find out more about her, shall we?
Sarath, how did you come to be a writer? Was it always something you were interested in or did you fall into it?
I was an early reader, and one of my first memories is as a kid of four or five, before I could really write, I scribbled marks on paper and said I was writing a story. It was a monster story. My older brothers and sisters asked what it was about and I told them. They were suitably awed, of course. Looking back, maybe everyone should have been worried. I was terrified of the dark, had horrible nightmares, and was writing monster stories. Also, I was a pathological liar. Maybe encouragement wasn’t the best tack.
What were your favourite books/films/shows growing up? What kick-started your creativity?
The Black Stallion series, by Walter Farley, a little known Disney movie called Across the Great Divide, which I bought the novelization of and read and reread it to pieces. I still have it. It’s got that yellowed paperback look and feel. Also, there were black and white photos from the movie in the middle. Ah, the ‘70s. Disney was at its height then. Oh also, for the obscurity award, this book called The Wolf King which I thought was by Rosemary Sutcliff for ever, until I actually looked at it, and it’s not. It’s by Ann Turnbull, and I still have my Scholastic edition.
In April last year, you released the first book in your Tales of Port Saint Frey series – The Sisters Mederos. Tell us about it and the world you have created.
The Tales of Port Saint Frey are a mashup of Dickens, Austen, Heyer, and magic. When House Mederos loses all of its money, the two sisters, Yvienne and Tesara Mederos, use magic and mayhem to defeat their enemies and restore the family’s wealth. Port Saint Frey is like an alt-San Francisco and Bath, with maybe a little New Bedford thrown in.
In all seriousness, I wanted to write about rich people. Throughout history, there have been a lot of women who have invented and invested and made fortunes, but we rarely hear about them — for instance, Madam C.J. Walker, who is truly remarkable. I think women are raised to have a problematic relationship to money and it can put us at a disadvantage in relationships and self-determination. I wanted to make my two heroines unapologetic about wanting financial riches.
Okay, enough of this seriousness. One sister becomes a bandit, robbing her victims at gunpoint, and exciting swooning crushes among the maidens of Port Saint Frey, and the other sister is straight-up magical with a side of guilt. There’s a boy, there’s a wicked Guildmaster, there is a mysterious mistress, there’s a governess who is running a shady operation, and there’s a nefarious maid. Lesson, schmesson. This book has it all.
Indeed! Now, you’ve just released the next book in the series – Fog Season. What can readers expect from this one?
More mayhem, with a detective thrown into the mix who has powers of his own. There’s a love story, an evil doctor, more from the wicked Guildmaster, a hair-raising finish, and a shy young wife who literally burns the place down.
You’ve also written a series called the Books of the Gordath. Can you tell us a little bit about these?
Gordath Wood takes place on the border of Connecticut and New York and in a fantasy world beyond that border. I love portal stories. What is a book if not a portal? So portal stories, like Narnia, are my jam. Gordath Wood, Red Gold Bridge, and The Crow God’s Girl take horsewomen from our world and puts them right into the middle of a war in a fantasy land. The books are full of adventure and romance, and political intrigue, and kissing. Because. They were a blast to write, and I hope to go back to that world at some point. They are being re-issued in e-book form soon, I promise.
And we can’t forget the romance! You’ve written a sequel to Pride and Prejudice called The Unexpected Ms Bennett. Can you tell us a little bit about this one and what inspired you to write this (aside from the book/films/tv shows that is)?
I am a committed Janeite and I always wondered why Mr. Collins never proposed to Mary Bennet. I mean, poor girl if he had, because he’s sure not great. I decided it was time for someone to give Mary Bennet the kind of romance that she deserved. My Mr Aikens is my favorite character I’ve ever created. He’s a dyslexic, ADHD gentleman farmer, and he loves Mary with all of his rustic heart.
If you weren’t a writer, what would your dream job be? Do you have a secret passion we don’t know about?
I’d probably be telling lies and getting caught, so no, it’s best we don’t go there.
LOL! What’s the one piece of advice you wish someone had told you when starting your writing career? What do you know now, that you wished you knew then?
Listen, when I got started trying to write for publication, nobody could tell me nothin’.
Fair enough! So, what can we expect from you next?
My current work in progress is a secondary world fantasy about the bastard daughters of a King who fight each other for the throne. If Ephenie can’t wrest the crown from her half-sister, the kingdom will fall under the rule of a despotic priest class.
Well, that sounds interesting!
Readers, if you’d like to find out more about Patrice, you can do so here:
And if you’d like to buy her books, you can do so here: