I’m delighted to welcome author Patricia Asedegbega to Being Anne today, as part of the blog tour for When I Grow Up, published in July 2015. A little mystery, strong and intriguing female characters – see what you think…
“You need a plan B,” said Alicia’s mother when at five years old she told her what she wanted to be when she grew up. Thirty odd years later, Alicia is on plan D: sharing a flat, no tangible savings, and working for hateful Julia, whose sole purpose in life is to make her existence utterly miserable. Good thing she has Oscar and the girls to make the long hours at work bearable.
But when a series of events tears the close-knit group apart, putting friendships and motives under suspicion, will Alicia be able to restore balance and set things right? More importantly, will she ever be able to upgrade her life to at least plan C?
Here’s Patricia to tell us more about her characters:
I was an avid reader before becoming a suspense author and I always enjoyed novels with well developed main and secondary characters. I try to do the same for my readers as I find that it isn´t just an intriguing plot that is important for a book to be liked; people need to develop some feelings of empathy for the diverse characters an author creates.
I like standalone novels but I really much prefer series, I find it comforting to know that when I get to the last page; it is not a “goodbye” but more of a “see you soon” (I know a lot of readers identify themselves with this sentiment too), as I wait impatiently for the author to get to work again.
When I Grow Up was originally thought of as a standalone book. It came after the release of I Stand Corrected, the first book in the Rosario and Balou series which was a darker themed novel so I wanted something lighter; I guess what could be considered a cozy mystery. But now, I´m thinking it deserves a sequel…
The mystery revolves around a law firm with Alicia – one of the secretaries – as the main protagonist. A young woman with normal issues and worries of someone her age that struggles to make ends meet (part of the new generation of over prepared and underpaid youths) with her very special brand of humor that provides the much needed push to help her scale the different walls life puts up without abandoning hope for a better future.
Aside from the office setting, I thought it would be interesting to involve readers in her life outside of work. For that reason, Ebele and Juan were created as secondary characters, bringing a fresh perspective to the mystery as well as being a very important support system for her. Not being able to afford the rent on her own, Alicia puts up an advert and after discarding a few dubious prospective tenants, the young Nigerian nurse and Mexican IT specialist move into her flat and soon become more than just her flatmates.
Having lived in Nigeria for eighteen years, Ebele´s character is really special to me and was interesting to create. Juan brings a certain equilibrium to the flat with his laidback attitude and they both slowly become very important in the book plot. “No good Carlos” also deserves a very special mention as he is responsible for turning Alicia´s world upside down and forcing her to come to terms with her unpleasant reality. His constant presence in the background elevates him from a secondary character to something much more. I like having illustrations done of my characters as though not all of them are true to the book description (illustrator’s free interpretation comes in here), I think they help the reader picture different scenes from the book.
If I had to choose my all-time favourite character (from my books), I would find it really difficult as there is a part of me (no matter how small) in every novel, but I must admit that I have a soft spot for Rosario (the protagonist in the series “I stand corrected), because it was my first novel in English (I had previously written in Spanish and still do). Also because of the secret that torments her. She makes a brief appearance in When I Grow Up and Alicia and Ebele reappear in the sequel of I Stand Corrected. I didn´t want them to just disappear. Below is the illustration of Rosario; her story we can leave for the next post…
Thank you Patricia – and I love the illustrations! Here are the future stops on Patricia’s tour with Random Things…
About the author
Author of I Stand Corrected, When I Grow up, 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.