Lori, what scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?
There is a scene toward the end of CIRCLE OF JINN that may be my favorite over both books. It’s an incredibly emotional scene between Azra, the main character, and her best friend, Henry. It is where everything they’ve been through together reaches a pivotal point, culminating in decisions by each of them that are heart-wrenching to make and yet speak to how much they care about each other and what they’ve both come to learn in the process of Azra becoming a Jinn. Themes of love, family, and sacrifice are all inherent in this scene and it was very emotional for me to write, but I’m incredibly proud of it and it still brings a tear to my eye when I read it.
Reading is an escape. It’s fun for me and always has been. I love shows like the X-Files and Charmed and Buffy and Supernatural. I also love shows like Pretty Little Liars. I read a lot of Steven King as a kid. All of that is an escape for me and I hope the world of the Jinn, this spin on the tale of wish-granting genies, is that escape for readers. It has magic, it’s fun, it’s humorous, but it also has strong themes of what true friendship means, what family means, and how very hard it can be—at any age—to fit in. I want readers to have that feeling of escape while reading BECOMING JINN and CIRCLE OF JINN, but I want them to put down the book and have a new sense of how they feel about the people in their lives and who they are versus who others may want them to be.
What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
I think all writers, myself included, are very hard on themselves, and this is particularly true of young and new writers. It’s easy to finish writing a draft, read through it, and think it isn't good enough. We do this because we are comparing our manuscript to published books on bookstore and library shelves. But you can’t compare your first, second, or even third draft to published books. Someone once told me that more than 100 people have had a hand in getting a traditionally published book onto shelves. That’s a lot of people, that’s a lot of revisions, including by editors at big publishing houses. Comparing yourself to a published book doesn’t take this long process into account, and writers need to understand this, cut themselves a break, and keep writing.
ABOUT THE BOOKCircle of Jinn
by Lori Goldstein
Feiwel & Friends
Being Jinn is Azra’s new reality. As she grants wishes under the watchful eye of the Afrit council, she remains torn between her two worlds—human and Jinn. Soon, secrets spill. Zars are broken. Humans become pawns. And rumors of an uprising become real as the Afrit’s reach extends beyond the underground world of Janna.
Straddling the line becomes impossible. Aware of her unique abilities, Azra must not just face but embrace her destiny. But when the role she must play and those she must protect expand to include a circle of Jinn greater than her own, Azra will be forced to risk everything. A risk that means there’s everything to lose, and at the same time, everything to gain—for herself and her entire Jinn race.
In this dramatic sequel to Becoming Jinn, Azra’s story comes to a heartfelt and thrilling conclusion.
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ABOUT THE AUTHORLori Goldstein was born into an Italian-Irish family and raised in a small town on the New Jersey shore. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Lehigh University and worked as a writer, editor, and graphic designer before becoming a full-time author. She currently lives and writes outside of Boston. Lori is the author of the young adult contemporary fantasy series Becoming Jinn (Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan, April 21, 2015, sequel, Circle of Jinn, May 17, 2016). You can check out her editorial services here and visit her online at www.lorigoldsteinbooks.com.
Also, Lori is running a fun PREORDER GIVEAWAY!
Preorder or buy a new copy of CIRCLE OF JINN by May 27, 2016, and you’ll automatically become a genie* yourself!
Every preorder, including signed preorders from Lori’s local indie, Porter Square Books (both books available for signed orders), will be mailed a signed bookmark, signed bookplate, and metallic bracelet tattoos.
But wait, there’s more! You’ll also be entered into the grand giveaway to win one of the exact shiny silver bangles featured on the cover of both Becoming Jinn and Circle of Jinn. Details: http://www.lorigoldsteinbooks.com/2016/04/18/preorder-time/
* Swag includes temporary bracelet tattoos; the power to become a Jinn must already be inside you.
Have you had a chance to read CIRCLE OF JINN yet? Have you written a scene that makes you cry every time you read it? Are you too hard on yourself by comparing your drafts to finished books? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!
Jocelyn, Shelly, Martina, Anisaa, Sam, Erin, Susan, Michelle, Laura, and Kristin