24 June 2015

Interview: Author of Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein

Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein 
Synopsis: 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.

Meet Lori, (Taken Goodreads)
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.

 The Interview:
What are the hardest/most rewarding parts about being a writer?
The hardest part of being a writer is the unknown. You write a story you love but will your agent, your editor, and readers love it as much as you do? You write blind and just hope your passion translates onto the page and then off the page to readers. It can lead to a lot of self-doubt and you have to try your best to push that aside, but it's not easy.

The most rewarding part is the flip side of that: hearing from readers who love your book and who have been moved and entertained by what you've spent weeks and months and years of your life on. Until you are in the position of putting your heart and soul out there on the page, it's hard to understand how very rewarding it is to hear from readers who love your book. It's the best high there is.

What advice can you give new writers just starting out?

I want all writers, especially teens or those just starting out, to know that every writer, no matter how many books they have written or have on shelves, has awful first drafts, bad writing days, and enough self-doubt to fill a dozen books. Writing is a process and revision is key to that. Writers just starting out need to understand that they cannot compare their first drafts to published books. Those have gone through revisions the writer has done alone, then with critique partners, then an agent, then an editor, then a copy editor. That book has been worked on for years. Don't expect your first or even your second or third to match it. Once writers understand this, I think it gives them the freedom to write and to create with much less pressure. At least it does for me!

What made you want to write young adult?

I love this genre as a reader. The diversity of writing styles, topics, and risks being taken make it extremely exciting as a reader and so of course also as a writer. The ability to tackle the emotions teenagers feel and write a book that may make them laugh or cry and especially realize that they are not alone is really important to me. Reading is an escape, and it helped me through my own teen years. If something I write does that for someone else, I will feel proud and happy.

What motivates you to sit down and write?

The story itself. Fortunately when I'm writing a book I don't need outside encouragement. Living in the world with my characters and getting to see what they will do next is more than enough motivation. Time never goes by faster than when I'm writing.

Lastly, Do any of you have street teams, or beta readers, or even just a newsletter that me or my followers can sign up to be apart of for upcoming releases?

Sure! On the contact page on my Web site, you can sign up for my newsletter where I post writing tips, upcoming events, and other writerly things. Also, I'm always on the lookout for teen readers to participate in an ARC tour. You have to commit to reading in a short time and passing it on to the next teen, but if anyone's interested, they should contact me via my web site. I also hope to run more writing workshops for teens and adult writers and signing up for my newsletter is the best way to find out about those. 

Thanks to Lori for answering my questions, and I hope everyone enjoyed this interview :) Also, check out Becoming Jinn! I loved it to pieces!

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