The Fire Wish is a beautifully written, fast paced book about the Jinn stemming from the Middle Eastern mythology. I loved the vivid descriptions of the scenery and was transported to this area that I’ve not often read about. Lough’s story focuses on two very different girls who found themselves connected in unexpected ways.
Thank you Amber for joining us today!
I believe The Fire Wish might be the first young adult book I’ve read set in the Middle East. Looking at your website, I read that you spent some time there. Could you relate how that experience inspired your writing?
Thank you. I’m so glad people are starting to read/write more books set in the Middle East. I went to the Bahrain School for 7th and 8th grade, but I didn’t return to the region until I was 24, when I arrived as an Air Force Officer in Kuwait. I spent the next several months in Iraq (and an R&R in Qatar). Because my personal experience was nothing like what my characters experienced, most of what I used for the story came from the physical surroundings. Everything else I either researched or, in the case of the Jinni Cavern, made up entirely.
Since your novel focuses on mythology could you tell us about some of your research? What was the most surprising information you found?
For starters, I hadn’t known that jinni mythology is nearly as old as the local people. I don’t know why, but I had the impression that the idea of jinn began with the 1001 Nights and Scheherazade. According to believers, jinn are as real as you and I, and they are everywhere. *cue mysterious music and far-off wailing* I developed my own version of jinn, but kept it based on the original mythology, just as many writers have done with the Fae.
Your characters are all very well rounded and fleshed out. Did you relate to any one of them more than the others?
Thank you! I must admit that I am a little bit like all the characters. I see the world the way Najwa does, I’m impulsive and self-centered (sometimes) like Zayele, and I love science and music as much as Kamal. (Speaking of which, you should really try to find some oud music. It’s gorgeous.)
The Fire Wish is your first published book; could you tell us about the experience? How does it feel having Laini Taylor recommend your book?
It’s bewildering! I’m in the middle of a move, as well, so my mind’s about as sharp and clear as wet coffee grinds. As for having Laini Taylor blurb my book—well, it’s a dream-come-true. To have one of your favorite authors read (and like!) your own story is magical.
Is there anything specific that you’d like your readers to take away from your novel?
I want them to have fun while reading it, and to come away with the knowledge that they, too, can break down the walls of bigotry and hate.
Najwa is a jinni, training to be a spy in the war against the humans. Zayele is a human on her way to marry a prince of Baghdad—which she’ll do anything to avoid. So she captures Najwa and makes a wish. With a rush of smoke and fire, they fall apart and re-form—as each other. A jinni and a human, trading lives. Both girls must play their parts among enemies who would kill them if the deception were ever discovered—enemies including the young men Najwa and Zayele are just discovering they might love.
Look for The Fire Wish available from Random House now.
Random House has been kind enough to provide a copy of The Fire Wish to one US winner.
a Rafflecopter giveaway