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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Blog Tour Interview & Giveaway: Becoming Jinn

Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein
Series: Becoming Jinn #1
Release Date: April 21, 2015
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
A Young Adult novel
Genre: 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.

1.) First of all, congrats on the debut and the gorgeous cover for Becoming Jinn!
How does it feel to run around and tell the world that you're a published author?

Thank you! And thanks for having me and being so complimentary about the cover. I’m in love with it!  To answer your question, well, I'm not quite published as I write this, so I haven't been able to say that just yet. But telling people that I will have a book on bookstore and library shelves has been a surreal experience. Even as the words leave my lips, part of me doesn’t believe it. But it feels wonderful to tell people that I will have a published book mostly because as I say those words what I'm actually saying is that I’m doing what I love and, this sounds corny but it’s true, that working hard does make dreams come true. Or maybe I should say wishes?

2.) How did the story kernel for Becoming Jinn come about?

I had the idea for the main character, Azra, before I had the story in which she would live. When I heard the name as part of a news report—a baby by the name of Azra survived an awful earthquake in Turkey--I began imagining the world in which she would live. As a fan of young adult novels, I knew that was the genre I wanted to write. I will say, however, I did think of a Jinn/genie story almost right away. But before heading down that road, I did do some looking into other paranormal, supernatural, and myth retellings, but nothing else grabbed me like the world of the Jinn. At that time, there weren’t any other YA Jinn books on the shelves so that also spurred me to go forward with the story I wanted to tell. And I’m so glad I did.

3.) Out of all the characters, who happened to be the one that gave you the most difficulty to put down on the page?

I guess if I have to choose, it might be Laila. While I adore her, she’s probably more loyal and forgiving than I am, and so to tap into that and inhabit that for her character was more difficult for me.

4.) What gets you into the mood to write?

This is going to sound funny, but the soundtrack to the television show Downton Abbey is what gets me in the mood to write. I need to write listening to music, but it can't be music with words. That's too distracting for me. I stumbled upon the two soundtracks to Downton Abbey when I began writing Becoming Jinn, and I strung them together, eliminating the songs with words, and now the moment I sit down to write, I hit play on that playlist. I’m like Pavlov’s dog with it and it instantly gets me in writing mode. I can tune everything else out and just concentrate on the words. Amazingly, I still haven’t gotten tired of listening to it.

5.) Can you describe Becoming Jinn in seven words or less?

Modern spin on traditonal tale of wish-granting genies.

6.) If Azra had to choose any meal to be her last, what would she pick?

This is easy because I actually mention her favorite foods in the book. Food and cooking are very important to me, so Azra also shares my love of eating, though not of cooking. Her favorite meal, which her mother has made for Azra her entire life—without using magic, which means a lot to Azra--is chicken tagine with sweet caramelized onions and tomatoes. The recipe, which my husband makes, is on my Web site. And no meal would be complete without dessert. Azra’s favorite is mint chocolate chip ice cream, which also happens to be my favorite.

7.) Could you share one of your favorite lines from your book?

Sure, this is from the start of the book after Azra receives the silver bangle that releases her magical powers and forces her to start granting wishes:

“The bracelet slides easily around my wrist but is in no danger of falling off. It doesn’t have to be tight like a handcuff to achieve the same effect.”

Thanks for having me and Becoming Jinn!

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Click here for more information about the Pre-order giveaway hosted by Lori Goldstein.

Follow the Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

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 nbsp;or my Tumblr at http://lorigoldsteinbooks.tumblr.c om. 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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