Friday, January 10, 2014

ASENATH - Joseph's Wife and ANNA - Al's Wife

The story of Asenath has been captured in a fascinating novel by my writer friend, Anna Patricio. Her personal story follows.

When I began writing my debut novel Asenath, my only end goal was to get it published. Little did I know that God had something else in store for me.

When I was in the second or so draft of the novel, it occurred to me to check if there were other novels about Asenath. I did not want to be writing something too similar to what may have already been published. But additionally, I was curious. The wife of Joseph is, after all, a rather obscure Biblical heroine.  I did a search online and I came across a Young Adult novella entitled Asenath’s Tale by Alfred D. Byrd. I was intrigued. For while this book’s storyline was different from mine, it also contained a number of astonishing similarities.

I like contacting authors if their books make an impression on me. So  I contacted Mr. Byrd, to express my interest and let him know that I, too, was writing about this very obscure Biblical female. I was not expecting anything to come out of the correspondence though. Just the usual “thank you for your interest” and so forth.
Mr. Byrd – who later told me to address him as Al – turned out to be warm and accommodating from the start. He also expressed interest in my work-in-progress. We also talked about Biblical re-tellings, Joseph and Asenath narratives, theology, Egyptology, historical fiction, and writing tactics. So began a friendship based on common interests. Al stood by me as I revised

When the book was released, he cheered for me.

When we met in person, we got along as well as we did online and over the phone. It was even better than we both expected, in fact. We had mutual respect for each other, were at ease with each other, and could talk to each other about just anything. Over time, we realized that the relationship had progressed to a deeper level. Soon, we were engaged.

Al and I got married in a lovely church that was built in the early 1900s. The entrance porch was lined with Greco-Roman-inspired columns. The sanctuary, where the ceremony was held, had colourful stained glass windows, golden chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, and an enormous pipe organ behind the altar. This was perfect for us, being history lovers. And naturally, we chose a traditional service.

Al wore a dark grey suit commemorating his Confederate ancestry; though additionally, he is a Civil War enthusiast. My dress was inspired by Greco-Roman fashions.And our theme song was The Prayer by Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion.

To commemorate how we met, we requested the minister to incorporate Joseph and Asenath’s story into the ceremony. After reading the first verse that mentions Asenath, he spoke about how Joseph had found love after enduring much travails.

The Lord works in mysterious ways. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that through my Bible and writing interests, I would one day meet the man who would later become my husband.

Thank you, Lord, for the great gift of my husband Al!



Margaret Lepke said...

I am really glad for you, Anna! I keep marveling at the things our God (the One of the Bible) does for those who love Him.

Anna Patricio Byrd said...

Thank you, Margaret! Yes, God is certainly amazing. I am thrilled at how He had this great joy occur at a moment when I was least expecting it. I love how it all worked out.

He is truly awesome!!!