2 February 2012

Getting to know you Thursdays with Anna Patricio

Please welcome Anna Patricio an Aussie author who has a Biblical fiction book out. I have gotten to know Anna over the last few weeks and am happy to have her on my blog.

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am a debut Aussie author. My Biblical fiction 'Asenath' was released last 30 August 2011 and is about the little-known wife of Joseph the dreamer. I have always loved the story of Joseph, and when I realised not much was known about his wife, I decided to imagine what she might have been like.

I grew interested in ancient history in my teens, thanks to a brilliant teacher. I then decided to do it for my degree at Macquarie Uni. Even though I knew there were limited job openings for ancient
hist graduates, I still wanted to study it anyway as it was one of my passions. (The most readily available job for a history graduate is teaching, but I am not really interested in that.) Sometime after I graduated, I then thought to try my hand at historical / Biblical fiction.

I have recently travelled to the Middle East - Cairo, Israel and Jordan. That was a phenomenal experience, needless to say. Currently, I am playing around with ideas for a second novel still set in Ancient Egypt.

2. When you were a child did you have a favourite book or books?

Oh wow - I had tons and TONS of favourite books. I really loved books of fairy tales, folk tales, and Greco-Roman and Norse mythology (as retold by Childcraft and Disney's The Wonderful World of Knowledge). Those were my absolute favourites. Oh, and Aesop's Fables too! Aside from that, I also loved those Berenstein Bears books. A lot of my childhood books are still in my parents' house, and
whenever I go visit them, I always reread them as they bring back a flood of fond memories!

3. Do you have a favourite Genre to both read and right write?

Well, it should be kinda obvious - historical and Biblical fiction! (The two are different of course, but I guess Biblical fiction is a - hmmm - branch (?) of historical fiction as it has historical settings.
Correct me if I'm wrong though.) I love travelling to times long past, immersing myself in completely
different and amazing cultures, and seeing how the ancients lived. I guess it's because I see the contemporary world a lot, I like something different when I sit down with a book.

4. Did you have favourite authors growing up who have influenced you?

Sure. I consider Arthur Golden, who wrote 'Memoirs of a Geisha,' one of my greatest influences especially in writing 'Asenath.' I loved his character and plot development. I also love Wilbur Smith and Pauline Gedge, whose Egyptian historicals are the best I've read.

5. When did you know you wanted to be an author?

That is a simple question with a complex answer. Well, although I always had a knack for writing, I didn't really delve into it before simply because I didn't know what I wanted to write about. I mean, I
didn't know if my niche was poetry, short stories... and I thought novels were out of the question because I thought they were too difficult for me. Then after graduation, while figuring out what I wanted to do in life, I got the idea to dabble in historical fiction - as I mentioned earlier. I thought I had nothing to lose, and thus began to write. Ideally, I have always wanted to give the "gray areas" of the Joseph story my own artistic licence.

So to think I never considered writing a novel... and now, I've written one. Life is funny at times.

6. How did you go about becoming an author?

I worked on 'Asenath' for nearly 3 years. I revised it numerous times, and also did research. Afterwards, I queried to hundreds of agents and independent / small presses. After nearly a year of querying, I landed a contract with the fabulous Imajin Books.

7. If you were not a writer what would you like to be?

Well, if I were good in sciences, I wouldn't mind being an archaeologist in Egypt and/or Israel. Or a vet, saving animals.

Or also, part of an animal rescue team. Because I hate seeing animals get hurt.

8. Outside reading and writing what do you like to do?

Watch TV / movies, listen to music, dabble in some amateur photography (though I haven't done any in ages), play with my sausage dog, browse through bookshops.

9. Do you have a place you love to visit or would love to visit?

Lots! I would love to visit Egypt again. In my recent Middle East trip, I was in Egypt for only 2 days (though I did get to climb Mt Sinai, which was an experience I will never forget). Most of the trip was in Israel you see. So yeah, I wanna go back to Egypt and see more of it. 2 days in Egypt, as you can imagine, is not enough!

I'd also like to go to Africa (I mean, other than Egypt) and take a safari ride. And India. And Kyoto, Japan to see the old stuff and the geisha girls.

10. If you could have a meal with 3 living people who would you choose and why?

Hmmmm.... living, you say? Well, I would choose certain close friends and family members. I don't want to name names, as I don't like making people feel excluded. But they know who they are.

Finally can you tell us about your current books and/or any that will be coming out soon. Also where we can find you on the web.

This is my website: http://www.annapatricio.blogspot.com. It has links to all my social networking sites on the Contact page.

And here is a blurb of my book:

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?


Marianne said...

i like reading about little known biblical characters, even though i know alot of it is imagination. It somehow brings even the well known characters alive. Thanks for the post

Helen Curtis said...

Anna, what an exciting time of your life you are in! Well done on your novel, I truly hope to read it sometime in the very near future. Thanks for sharing with us a little of who you are.



Nicole Watson said...

I am looking forward to reading your book Anna. It sounds like you have more than few ideas for your new project as well. I loved reading about your favourite childhood books. Lovely to learn more about you.

Anna Patricio said...

Thank you for having me on your blog, Ausjenny. And thank you to the rest of you who commented. I hope you all get to read 'Asenath' soon!

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

Anna, I would love to feature you on my blog, since Asenath is available on Amazon, and my readers can get a copy here.

My blog is: http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com

You can email me at:


Paula Vince said...

Hi Anna,
I am delighted, not only to meet another Aussie fiction author, but to look forward to such an intriguing sounding book. Wow, what a fascinating project! I'll be looking out for it too.

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