Jen: Today we welcome Patricia Asedegbega to Romancing the Book. Patricia, will you share a short bio with us?
Patricia: Author of I Stand Corrected, Rewind, Balou Uncensored, Bienvenidos a gatos anónimos, Pasarse cuatro Pueblos and Sesenta segundos dan para mucho, Patricia Asedegbega Nieto was born to a Spanish mother and a Nigerian father in Madrid. As a child, she relocated with her family to Nigeria and later returned to Spain, where she acquired her BSc and master’s degree.
She is currently living near Madrid with her family and her very stubborn cat, Merlin Mojito.
Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
Patricia: My newest release is the work of fiction When I Grow Up…, the idea originated in the difference between what we dreamt of being as young children and what we actually end up doing as adults and the ability we have to not ever stop wanting to reach our ideals. It is a light novel, packed with humour and suspense.
I enter my apartment building cautiously, as I have done for the past five months. The last person I want to see is my no-good ex-boyfriend or my neighbor whom he cheated on me with. I hold my breath as I wait for the elevator doors to open and I´m happy not to have met either of them today. I can’t stand there and pretend I´m fine with the way things went down. I enter the apartment and let out a sigh of relief just as Ebele is coming out of the kitchen. She smiles when she sees me.
“Still avoiding No-good Carlos and Angela, I see.”
“I´ve had a horrible day and the last thing I need is them rubbing their happiness in my face.”
“They probably derive pleasure from seeing you squirm. Those two have very little in common, and I doubt that relationship will last once the novelty wears off. Besides, you need to thank your stars: you dodged a bullet. So stop feeling sorry for yourself. No-good Carlos lost the best thing that ever happened to him.”
I smile weakly as I go into my room. Ana, my mother, only spent an hour in Carlos´s company when I took him home for the traditional family Christmas dinner before she pronounced her sentence: “He is no good.” I remember looking at her with dismay. As usual, she didn´t feel the need to sweet-coat her words.
“You don´t know him; he is a great guy. You have to give him a chance; it´s different this time,” I told her, as she had not fallen head over heels with my three previous boyfriends either.
“I tell you, he is no good.”
I decided to ignore her and see for myself if he was really no good. Three years later I caught him kissing my neighbor Angela in his car right in front of my flat! Apparently Angela understood him better than I did. I just wish he had told me that before I invested 500 euros on an Ipad for his birthday present. I spent half a year saving to buy it for him, especially as he kept repeating how important it was for his work. So after our traumatic break-up, he became No-good Carlos to everyone that knew and appreciated me.
I still remember what Ebele said after I introduced them. “What did you say he does for a living?”
“He is a writer,” I replied with pride in my voice.
“Has he published anything yet?”
“Not yet, he is still working on his first novel. He says it´s going to be a best seller when it comes out.”
“So how does he support himself?”
“He lives with his mum; she helps him out.”
“A thirty-four-year-old man who lets his mum pay his bills, while he lazily writes what he assumes is going to be the literary revelation of the year. He is no good.”
So, to be fair, I had been warned, and not only by my flatmate—but also by my mum, my sister, a few friends—but when you are in love…
Jen: What what age did you discover writing? Tell us your call story.
Patricia: I had previously started on a few books but had not been constant and had abandoned them after a few chapters, a few years ago, on visiting a cat shelter, I was encouraged to write a book of cat stories to help raise funds. I guess I needed a reason to give it my all and be constant, soon after I found myself immersed in my first suspense novel. My first books were in Spanish and a few years later, I release my first novel in English I Stand Corrected.
Jen: Are there any other writers, published or not, in your family?
Patricia: To the best of my knowledge, I am the only fiction writer in my family, most of them are science oriented but they enjoy my work.
Jen: Do you have a writing routine?
Patricia: I have a regular bill paying job from Monday to Friday so I squeeze in as much time as possible into my writing during the weekend. I don´t have a specific routine, I just settle down and start from where I stopped the previous week. I do set up goals on how much I´d like to get done in each writing session.
Jen: How do you remember ideas that come to you at odd times?
Patricia: I write down ideas as soon as I have them in a small notebook or in the notes section of my mobile. Not just ideas, character names, details, chapter structure…
Jen: What’s next for you?
Patricia: I am working on a new dramatic novel that will be out in December, it takes place in Benin City (Nigeria), country I grew up in. It is a novel that will tug at many heart strings.