Australian native Anna Patricio visits and chats with us about writing and her book, Asenath.
AM: Where are you originally from?
AP: The Land Down Under, Australia.
What inspired you to become a writer?
It's really unusual, actually: the writing life found me. I have always felt an inclination towards writing though. During my student days, I would often get encouraging feedback on my writing assignments. However, I had to struggle to write something for leisure - write
something that I *wanted* to write. In retrospect, it was difficult simply because I did not know what drove me. I had no motivation or inspiration. So I thought that perhaps, writing might just be a fleeting thing for me. Not long after my graduation from uni, while I was in the process of figuring out what I wanted to do in life, I met a wonderful lady whose daughter was a writer. This lady lent me some of her daughter's works. As I read them, I began to marvel at how this woman could craft page after page of a compelling story. Then on New Year's, at a most unexpected moment, I got my laptop and started pounding out the pages of my own story. Once I started, I could not stop.
How did you decide on your book's genre?
Simple: I love historical fiction. I have been hooked on it ever since I was introduced to the genre in my teens. I didn't think I would write a historical novel, as the thought of
research intimidated me a bit. But when the historical novel idea found me, I decided, "What's there to lose?"
What is/are your favorite genre(s)?
The abovementioned, needless to say. Though I also try to expand my horizons to other genres. It's good to be widely read, I think. I've read some memoirs of people overcoming obstacles in their lives, and also some contemporary fiction like Amy Tan's 'The Joy Luck Club.'
Are you currently reading anything?
'The King Must Die' by Mary Renault. My friend recommended it to me. He and I pretty much have the same taste in books, and so far, I'm loving my first Renault novel.
Who or what is the driving force that keeps you going?
I guess writing about things I am enthusiastic about. For instance, my debut novel 'Asenath' stems from my interest in Joseph (of the coat of many colours). In addition, I have had great fun writing about Ancient Egypt. I love this vicarious escape into another world, one of magic and mystery.
How do you balance your personal life with your writing career?
Hmmm... to be honest, the two have never really interfered with each other. Well, I do a lot of my writing at night, because that is the time my creative juices flow. When I am not writing, I have time for other things. I have always worked better at night. Not sure why. Even when I was a student, I studied better at night.
Tell us about your book.
'Asenath' is a fictional memoir of the little-known wife of Joseph the dreamer. As I said, I have always loved the story of Joseph. When I realised how obscure Asenath was, I began to imagine what she might have been like. The blurb of my book sums it best......
In a humble fishing village on the shores of the Nile lives Asenath, a fisherman's daughter who has everything she could want. Until her perfect world is shattered. When a warring jungle tribe ransacks the village and kidnaps her, separating her from her parents, she is forced to live as a slave. And she begins a journey that will culminate in the meeting of a handsome and kind steward named Joseph. Like her, Joseph was taken away from his home, and it is in him that Asenath comes to find solace…and love. But just as they are beginning to form a bond, Joseph is betrayed by his master’s wife and thrown
into prison. Is Asenath doomed to a lifetime of losing everything and everyone she loves?
How do you create your characters?
I kind of base them on people I know or I've met. I also base them on other people's stories I've heard. Who these people are though, I will not say. ;)
Where can people find you and your work on the web?
My website / blog is at http://www.annapatricio.blogspot.com.
And you can get my book here at the following......
Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/Asenath-ebook/dp/B005JSMUV0
Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/Asenath-Anna-Patricio/dp/1926997263
B & N - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/asenath-anna-patricio/1033320057
Abbey's Bookshop (in Sydney, Aus) - http://www.abbeys.com.au/abbeys/home.do
Thank you, Amy, for having me on your blog.
Thank YOU, Anna, for being here!