Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Guest Post - Debut author Anna Patricio, Imajin Books

Happy Tuesday everybody!

Today I would like you to meet a debuting novelist Anna Patricio. Her debut novel Asenath is going to be published later this year. Anna agreed to write a guest post about her upcoming book in Imajin Books and about some aspects of writing a book. I am happy to welcome Anna here in Me and Reading!

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Anna Patricio!

Author Bio:

Anna Patricio is a soon-to-be published author of a historical novel Asenath, which is set in Ancient Egypt. She is a lover of ancient history, especially Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome and Israel. She is also interested in getting to know more about the Ancient Near East.

She studied Ancient History at Macquarie University. Though she knew there were very limited job openings for ancient history graduates, she pursued her degree anyway as it was something she had always been passionate about.

Sometime after her graduation, the idea to tackle historical fiction appeared in her head, and she began happily pounding away on her laptop. Asenath is her first novel.

Recently, she traveled to Egypt, Israel, and Jordan. In the past, she has also been to Athens and Rome. She is currently working on a second novel which still takes place in Ancient Egypt, but hundreds of years after Asenath. She lives in Australia.

Hello, my name is Anna Patricio. I am a soon-to-be published author. My debut novel Asenath is historical fiction set in Ancient Egypt. It is about the Egyptian priestess who married Joseph of the coat-of-many-colours fame.

Many people don't know that Joseph had a wife, and that is probably because Asenath was mentioned only very briefly in the Bible. Even I didn't know about her until recently.

Today, I will talk about why I wrote about this little-known Ancient Egyptian woman. But before that, a bit about my writing background.

Actually, unlike most writers you hear of, I do not come from a prolific writing background. I don't have a long history of writing, unless you count those mandatory academic requirements. The reason for this is very simple: in the past, I did not know what I wanted to write about. I so badly wanted to write. But I had no motivation, no inspiration, and nothing I was passionate about. I have always loved the idea of creating stories though (I did that all the time when I was very young) and envied people who could do so.

In high school, I developed an interest in history - specifically ancient history (I keep myself open to all periods of history though, but am inclined to the ancient periods). Not long after, an acquaintance introduced to me my first historical fiction: River God by Wilbur Smith. I was enraptured by how Mr Smith brought the beauty of Ancient Egypt to life, and how he fleshed out the Ancient Egyptians, making them like real people instead of the larger-than-life figures they're usually depicted as. From there, I got addicted to historical fiction.

However, I never considered writing it. I thought it'd be too difficult for me. After all, historical fiction entails massive amounts of research and staying true to those details. And, of course, developing intricate plots and sumptuous settings.

However, years later, I suddenly got the idea to try - just try - my hand at this. I don't know how the idea came. It just did. And it was just one of those ideas that latched on and wouldn't let go.

So finally, despite my previous doubts, I dove in and wrote Asenath.

So why Asenath? Well, I have always been interested in the Joseph story, and grew curious about the priestess who became his wife. When I looked her up, I found barely anything on her. There is an epic from 1st century Greece, Joseph and Asenath. But then, that's fictional.

Lack of info about her eventually paved the way for imagination. Earlier, I mentioned how stories with historical settings have to stay true to a lot of real-life details. With Asenath though, because hardly anything is known about her, I can imagine as much as I want to about her life. What kind of person she might have been like. What her childhood and growing up years were like. How she met Joseph. How she must have felt when Pharaoh gave her in marriage to Joseph as his reward for interpreting the king's dreams.

That is the advantage of writing about little-known characters - you can stretch your imagination as far as you want. In addition, ancient history and the Bible have a lot of gray areas, and leave a lot of things unspoken. So all the more this gives people the opportunity to imagine... and write about.

I remember reading an interview with Pauline Gedge, wherein she speaks about how writing historical fiction allows you to explore. To quote: "I set out the facts of a character's life and begin to look between the chronological links. I become obsessed with motive. I make what I hope are logical, realistic assumptions about why so-and-so behaved as he or she did. This is the freedom an historical novelist can enjoy. An academician in the field cannot indulge in speculation."

I couldn't have said it better.

Also, as we know, Joseph went through a lot of travails in his life. First he was betrayed by his brothers, then he was wrongly imprisoned. I like to think that perhaps, Asenath too went through some degree of hardship which moulded her into a strong woman. Thus, this being a female-driven novel (though it would be nice if males could read Asenath too), I had as my inspirations Memoirs of a Geisha and Jane Eyre - stories of strong women.

Asenath will be released later this year by Imajin Books.

Thank you for having me on your blog, Inga.

Blurb of Asenath:

Two Destinies...One Journey of Love

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?
Anna, thank you so much for coming by! Your book seems very interesting and I will definitely read it!

Keep an eye for this new debuting author and her books, peeps!

Happy reading!


  1. Thanks for having me here, Inga. It was quite an honour

  2. Thank you Anna for coming by!