It's a pleasure to have such a creative author with me. Welcome Anna!
Did you always want to be a writer?
I never imagined that I would write a novel. As cliche as this may sound, it's true. I have always wanted to write, actually. When I was a student, I would always get positive feedback from my teachers. This should have been encouraging, and for a moment it truly was.
However I had a problem with writing outside of school requirements, simply because I didn't know what it was that I wanted to write. I didn't know my passion, my niche. I would see other people scribbling or typing away effortlessly, producing mounds and mounds of literary works, and I envied them so much.
I tried my hand at several pieces though, mostly poems and short stories. I never attempted a novel, as I felt it was out of my league.Alas, these poems and short stories were rather - um - forced. They have since disappeared into oblivion.
When I graduated, I thought I would be anything *but* a writer. Not knowing what exactly I wanted to do, I tried several office jobs. But I never found satisfaction with them.
One day, I met a wonderful lady whose daughter is a published author. I read some of the daughter's novels. Then as I was leafing through the pages, for the first time, I began to think about how someone could devote so much time and effort into crafting a novel, while simultaneously deriving pleasure from it. And I wondered how it would be like to type out so many pages of one compelling story.
Some months later, on New Years, I got my laptop and began pounding out my own novel.
We've all heard about Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, but not much is ever said about his wife. How did you decide to write about this pretty much unknown character in Biblical history?
Why Asenath? Well, I have actually wanted to write about her for the longest time. The story of Joseph is one of my favourites from the Bible. Somewhere along the way, I grew curious about his wife. When I looked her up, I found hardly anything on her. Thus, I began to imagine what she might have been like.
I had read some Biblical novels on Joseph before, but none of them really gave Asenath much attention. I then began playing around with ideas for an Asenath novel when I was at uni. In between my studies, I would type out random ideas and drafts. I remember one of the early drafts began with Pharaoh wedding Joseph and Asenath, followed by flashbacks of the two main characters' lives. I also once tried writing a draft in the middle of the story, but it didn't work for me.
It was only that New Years when I truly began writing the novel that is published today. Probably I wouldn't have thought to imagine Asenath's life if I hadn't been introduced to the wonderful world of historical fiction, thanks to an acquaintance. I developed an ancient history interest when I was in high school, and not long after, this acquaintance recommended to me Wilbur Smith's 'River God.' At that time, I never even knew there was such a thing as historical fiction, so I didn't know what to expect. But when I finally got a hold of 'River God,' I was smitten. It was then I discovered that people actually *do* speculate what ancient peoples might have been like, and I guess this is made possible seeing as there are a lot of gray areas in ancient history. The further back history is, the more scant the details are, the wider the gaps are. This is then where imagination comes in.
Thank you, Jackie, for having me here today.
The pleasure was mine. Check out Anna's website. Better still, you can order her books through Amazon and Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Powell's and Abbey's Bookshop in Sydney, Australia.