(Becoming Jinn #1)
Published: April 21st, 2015
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Mythology
Published: April 21st, 2015
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Mythology
Forget everything you thought you knew about genies!
Azra has just turned sixteen, and overnight her body lengthens, her olive skin deepens, and her eyes glisten gold thanks to the brand-new silver bangle that locks around her wrist. As she always knew it would, her Jinn ancestry brings not just magical powers but the reality of a life of servitude, as her wish granting is controlled by a remote ruling class of Jinn known as the Afrit.
To the humans she lives among, she’s just the girl working at the snack bar at the beach, navigating the fryer and her first crush. But behind closed doors, she’s learning how to harness her powers and fulfill the obligations of her destiny.
Mentored by her mother and her Zar “sisters”, Azra discovers she may not be quite like the rest of her circle of female Jinn . . . and that her powers could endanger them all. As Azra uncovers the darker world of becoming Jinn, she realizes when genies and wishes are involved, there’s always a trick.
ALICIA: Hi Lori, I'm thrilled to have you stop by here today at Addicted Readers! :)
ALICIA: 1.) Can you tell us how the idea for the BECOMING JINN series was created, and did it turn out to be what you planned on, or did it change a lot from your initial idea?
LORI: First, thanks so much for having me! It’s great to be here!
As for the inspiration for Becoming Jinn, it came when I heard the name Azra in a news report. A few years ago, there was a devastating earthquake in Turkey. A mother and her infant daughter were pulled from the rubble and both miraculously survived. That baby’s name was Azra, which is my protagonist in Becoming Jinn.
This beautiful name got me thinking of who this girl might be and where she’d live. A fan of YA paranormal and supernatural, I started to think of an avenue that would be new and fresh and came up with the idea of the Jinn. At the time, there were no other Jinn books on the shelves that I knew of. Since I also love contemporary, I decided to merge the fantasy elements with our modern world and put Azra and her Jinn (genie) family into the world in which I live, meaning my home state of Massachusetts.
In terms of how close the book stayed to my original plan, it’s very close. Some plot points shifted and many details changed and were enhanced, but the overall thread of the story is the same as what I originally intended.
ALICIA: 2.) Aladdin was one of my favorite Disney movies growing up, so I just have to know what made you want to write about the world of Jinn, and was it fun to explore that world?
LORI: It was a blast to explore! I wanted to take some of the genie tropes and spin them into something that would be both familiar and yet also new. Digging into the lore of the Jinn, which are spirit creatures in North African and Middle Eastern cultures, helped to infuse a new direction into the traditional tale of wish-granting genies.
ALICIA: 3.) What was the most challenging, and the most enjoyable aspect of writing BECOMING JINN, and why?
LORI: The most challenging was the beginning. The start of a book has to do so much to entice and hook an agent, editor, and reader. You need to tell enough but not info dump. You need to have strong characters and a great voice and also the perfect pace—not too fast and not too slow. I rewrote the beginning of my book for weeks until I hit on where it is now. In fact, the first page never changed through all the revisions with my agent and editor from what it was when I signed with my agent. The most enjoyable aspect was the ending. Not because I was almost done (though that’s nice too!), but because it was the culmination of everything I’d been working toward and planning for months. And it came to the conclusion I knew it would—parts of that last chapter I wrote in my very first outline of Becoming Jinn. That’s an awesome way to come full circle.
ALICIA: 4.) Can you tell us five random things about you?
LORI: 1. I hate scary movies—they literally give me nightmares.
2. I love to cook and eat and have been known to try weird foods (grasshopper, anyone?).
3. My favorite form of exercise is swimming—it hardly feels like work!
4. I celebrated my high school graduation by itching my way through a case of the chicken pox.
5. I didn’t learn to whistle until I was an adult.
ALICIA: 5.) Do you have anymore awesome books/series planned for after the BECOMING JINN series is over? If so, can you share a little bit about it/them with us?
LORI: Now that the sequel to Becoming Jinn is complete, I’ve been spinning a few new ideas, but I’m not ready to share them yet. They are still tentative, and it’s too early to say where they will go. But there’s one I’m dying to have the time to try my hand at after the fun (and craziness!) of Becoming Jinn’s release is behind me.
ALICIA: 6.) If you could describe BECOMING JINN in 10 words, what would they be?
LORI: A modern spin on the traditional tale of wish-granting genies.
ALICIA: 7.) Who would you say was your favorite character in BECOMING JINN, and why?
LORI: It has to be Azra. As a first person narrative, I have to get very close to her in order to write her so she has a very special place in my heart.
ALICIA: Lori, it's been a blast chatting with you today. Good luck with the release of BECOMING JINN !! :)
LORI: Likewise! Thank you so much!
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My debut novel, the Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy Becoming Jinn, is a modern spin on the traditional tale of wish-granting genies. It will be released on April 21, 2015, by Feiwel and Friends, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s. The sequel will follow in Spring 2016. I am represented by Lucy Carson of The Friedrich Agency.
Too much of my day involves chatting books, obsessing over The Vampire Diaries, and perfecting the art of efficient writing through Twitter. Find me at @loriagoldstein and follow my blog at www.lorigoldsteinbooks.com or my Tumblr at http://lorigoldsteinbooks.tumblr.com. Like my author page on Facebook for fun book-related photos, tidbits, and happenings as well as news on Becoming Jinn.
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