People Staff
September 26, 1977 12:00 PM

Patricia Finney, 19, will enter Oxford this fall majoring in history instead of English lit. “Precisely because I write,” she explains. “I don’t like dissecting others’ writing.” Patricia has just been through a dissection with the publication of her first book, A Shadow of Gulls, written when she was 16 and 17. (Publisher’s Weekly called it a “tour de force.”) Set in second-century Ireland, the novel is the story of Lugh the Harper, the son of a Roman fugitive and an Irish priestess. Finney first planned to tell Lugh’s saga in one volume, but “it didn’t fit.” Nor was there enough to stretch into a trilogy. She has settled on a sequel called The Crow Goddess, which she is now finishing and hopes to publish next year. Born in London, the oldest child of two barristers, Patricia began making up stories at 3, writing them down at 6 and composing poetry at 8. She admits to being “unlivable with” when working in her attic bedroom (“a mess”) where she types till her parents’ post-midnight warnings force her to bed. Even with literary chores, Patricia found time to edit her high school’s weekly news sheet, head up its dramatic society and sing in the choir. Her problems? Flunking her driving test twice and the lure of food. “If it’s fattening, I have a weakness for it.”

Darren Saravis is determined to compete as an archer in the 1980 Moscow Olympics. The goal means considerable expense (his father, Larry, an engineer, now spends more than $10,000 a year on Darren’s equipment and travel) and hard work. Every day for two and a half hours the 13-year-old Milford, Conn. high school freshman practices shooting at targets 35 to 50 yards away. Since his first tournament in March 1976 Darren has not lost one of the 40-odd meets he has entered. For two years in a row he has been the National Field Archery Association champion among 12-to 16-year-olds. Last June he broke his own state record for a field round (112 shots) by 35 points with a total of 494. A perfect score is 560. Winning is now so routine that Darren sometimes doesn’t bother to pick up his trophy. “They’re just hardware,” he says. “Since there’s no competition, I go to tournaments to break records.” Darren got into archery two years ago—his parents enjoy the sport—as a way to strengthen his extremely poor eyesight. His vision is better now and “archery has become 60 percent of my life.” The other 40 percent consists of hang gliding, scuba diving, photography and “my biggest hobby, girls.”

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