13 July 2015

Blog Tour: Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein Interview + Giveaway

Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein 
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: April 21, 2015
Wishing doesn’t make it so, Azra does.

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.

VOYA gave Becoming Jinn a starred review saying: "The genie theme is original and appealing. Azra is likable; her struggles--even factoring in the genie issue--are real and relatable. This well-written title . . . will not stay on the shelf."

Cover and author photo: http://www.lorigoldsteinbooks.com/press-kit/

The Interview:

1) I have to know, Why genies? 

I think we have Charmed and the X-Files to thank for implanting what a Jinn was in my brain years ago. I was a big fan of both of those TV shows and there was a Jinn in each. I think that’s where I learned that a Jinn was the Moroccan/Middle Eastern incarnation of the Western world’s “genie.”

The actual inspiration for Becoming Jinn 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 two-week-old 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 the idea of the Jinn just hit me. When I looked into it more, I discovered, at least at the time, there were no other Jinn books on the shelves, so I decided to run with it. Since I also love contemporary, I merged the fantasy elements with our modern world and put Azra and her Jinn family into the world in which I live, meaning my home state of Massachusetts.

2) Will there be more books in this series? If so how many more?

There is a sequel to Becoming Jinn coming in Spring 2016 and that concludes Azra’s story. The Jinn books are two long sagas and together they bring the story to a strong ending that I’m thrilled with. That’s not to say the characters won’t pop up in a short story or two, but for novels, the Becoming Jinn series is a firm duology.

3) Do you base your characters off of people who are actually in your life. Or maybe characteristics based off of people you have met?

I think I’m like most authors in this that there are bits and pieces of people I know, including myself, in most of my characters, but none of them are exactly this person or that person. Azra loves sweets, much like I do, but she also loves coffee, unlike me. Personality traits or quirks of others manifest themselves in my characters as do names, including those of my grandparents, my sister, even my first pet. These are little Easter eggs that few people besides my immediate family will recognize, but they make it fun as I’m writing.
4) Which team are you? Team Nate or Team Henry? I cannot decide!

It’s funny, when you are writing, things happen that you don’t intend. When I started writing Becoming Jinn, my intention was not to imply that there would be a romantic choice between Henry and Nate. Henry is Azra’s rock. To have a romance with him would undo all the good that their friendship has brought her. Being friends with Henry opened Azra up to the notion that a support system is a good thing. Without him, she’d have never begun to try with her Zar sisters. She can’t lose what being friends with Henry has brought her so she doesn’t think about him that way—until she sees him with someone else and then begins to wonder a bit. But wonder and wanting a romance was not the same thing. It was never one team or another with me. However, once a book lands in readers’ hands, what I intended or thought no longer matters. I’ve had readers feel the love triangle is strong and others say there is no love triangle. So for that reason alone, I have to stay neutral. But, things will develop and resolve in book 2!

5) Will we ever see the men that are taken out of the girls lives? Their fathers, brothers, etc in future books?

Mum’s the word on this one!

Meet Lori, 

Born into an Italian-Irish family, Lori Goldstein earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism and worked as a writer, editor, and graphic designer before embracing her love of fictional people. Lori is the author of the young adult contemporary fantasy series Becoming Jinn (Feiwel and Friends/Macmillan, April 21, 2015; Sequel, Spring 2016). When not writing or reading (preferably from a sandy local), Lori can be found chatting books and perfecting the art of efficient writing through Twitter (@loriagoldstein). You can visit her online at www.lorigoldsteinbooks.com, Tumblr and Instagram: lorigoldsteinbooks.com.


Click here to enter the SUMMER OF JINN Blog Tour Giveaway! Lori's giving away two $20 gift cards: one to her local indie Harvard Bookstore and one to B&N! Redeemable in person or online. Open internationally. And she’s also running a special promotion in honor of the summer season. Buy #BecomingJinn by July 30 and receive free bracelet temporary tattoos. More info on Lori’s blog.

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