Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein
Published August 21st, 2015
Published by Feiwel & Friends
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.
About the Author:
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.comor 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.
Read below for an interview with Lori!
What were you for Halloween?
–An “OMG” NaNoWriMo is almost here writer! Alas, I didn’t finish plotting in time to actually do NaNo… 🙁
What is your favorite Thanksgiving/Christmas tradition?
— My mom always put little marshmallows on the sweet potatoes. It’s the memory and tradition that sticks.
Summer or Fall?
–Summer; beach girl at heart
Favorite movie of 2015?
— With 2015 being the year BECOMING JINN came out, I have to admit, I’ve probably seen four movies all year and of course they were YA book to films…Mockingjay, Part 1 and The Fault in Our Stars were my standouts. Both really fantastic adaptations (and yes, I’m still tearing up over TFIOS).
Favorite song of 2015?
— I’m much more of a book person than a music person. I’m still on TS’s 1989….yup, and proud of it!
What are you currently reading?
–FOR THE RECORD by Charlotte Huang, released on November 10
Cats or Dogs?
–Dogs all the way.
Can you tell us about your book, Becoming Jinn, in 35 words or less?
— A modern spin on the tale of wish-granting genies that creates a new mythology of what it means to be a Jinn. Filled with strong friendships and betrayals, first love, and the power of family.
What was your favorite scene to write?
— The ending. I knew what was going to happen from the very beginning, and once I got there, it was so much fun to write. It’s the one scene I’ll say “wrote itself.” And it matched what I had in my head from the very first one-page, plot-point outline I wrote, which is rare and pretty amazing—especially since it basically stayed the same from initial draft through final draft save for some very minor edits.
What was the hardest scene to edit out?
— It’s a spoiler alert so I can’t say much. But there was a scene involving Azra’s best friend, Henry. The scene is still there in terms of what happens and what is learned during it, but it plays out in an entirely different way. It was hard to shift and took a lot of time to get right. But I think the book plays out all the better for it. (Readers who have read, I’ll fill you in the change!)
— At the time I started writing, there were no Jinn or genie stories on the market, and when the idea came to me, I thought “Well, why not?” It’s ripe for a retelling. Especially when you gender flip and make the female the genie. In the YA world, where so many strong protagonists are female, creating a new mythology of the Jinn/genie that flips all the tropes and puts females at the center seemed a perfect fit. In my telling, there’s also really strong and complicated relationships between Azra and her Jinn “sisters.” I wanted to tackle this issue of friendship in the world of the Jinn but in a way that was immediately relatable and understandable for readers.
What are the struggles of writing YA paranormal?
— I think the problem is the same for any type of writing: making your readers care. And to me that all comes down to character. While Jinn is a contemporary fantasy, I still think it’s character-driven to a large extent. Those are the books I love to read and so those are the ones I want to write. I feel like so long as the characters are real and fully developed, you can care about them and plop them in any world and story and it’ll be something that resonates with readers. In terms of the world of magic, world building is a key component so that must be there as well. And doing something different and yet familiar (without treading on firmly established ground) is something I spent a lot of time thinking about.
How many books will be in the Becoming Jinn series?
— Two! It’s a duology. (Great new word, right?)
Do you have anything else that you’re working on?
— I have two manuscripts that are hounding me. One is nearly done but ready for revisions and the other is nearly done plotting and ready for writing. I’m usually a one manuscript at a time girl so clearly I’m going to have to figure out which comes first and make the other one patiently wait in the corner!
What are some of your favorite 2015 debuts?
— This is like picking my favorite pair of boots only 1,000 times harder. I’ve been fortunate to read many 2015 debuts both before and after their release. I’m part of a group called the Freshman Fifteens and I’ve known these ladies for several years now. We’ve been through this journey together and their books are some of the best on the shelves: Jen Brooks’s IN A WORLD JUST RIGHT; Chandler Baker’s ALIVE; Jenn Marie Thorne’s THE WRONG SIDE OF RIGHT; Kim Liggett’s BLOOD AND SALT; Lee Kelly’s CITY OF SAVAGES; Virginia Boecker’s THE WITCH HUNTER; Jenny Martin’s TRACKED; Kelly Loy Gilbert’s CONVICTION; Stacey Lee’s UNDER A PAINTED SKY…I could go on and on!!
What is currently in your TBR pile?
Rainbow Rowell’s CARRY ON and Trisha Leaver’s SWEET MADNESS and HARDWIRED.
Thanks for stopping by YaReads!
— Thank you for having me!