Monday, August 5, 2013

Mythical Monday (21)

It seems there are many books based on or influenced by Myths and Mythological Beings.

There are so many different Mythology and Mythological Beings recorded. Some are very popular and well known, others not so much. There are many similar beings, yet different depending on the culture it’s based in.  The definition of Myth covers about anything in the Urban Fantasy/Fantasy realm to me.

I’ve invited authors to share briefly the Mythological being or Myth that influenced their character(s) or story, or what their character(s) are based on influencing their books.  Hosting here, one author and being or myth per week.

This week we have:
Paranormal Romance author Rashda/Mina Khan
Talking of Djinn.

Thanks so much Melissa for inviting me! I love mythology of all kinds and appreciate the foundation they provide for modern storytellers.

My paranormal stories feature djinns, also known as jinni or genies. I grew up in house supposedly built at a crossroads of the djinn and human world, nourished on skin-tingling tales about these otherworldly supernatural creatures with awesome scary powers. Just as vampires are popular in the Western world, djinns are popular in much of Asia, Africa and Middle East. Djinn stories are part of my writing psyche.

In those stories, djinns are not demons but beings similar to humans, except they are made from smokeless fire and are prone to stronger emotions and have power to grant wishes, change forms and create havoc (that's the dangerous part.)

The idea of djinns existed before pre-Islamic times and were often closely associated with nature – they caused dust storms or traveled as menacing tornadoes, and had power were over oceans, winds and fire.

Instead of being scared as a young girl, I was fascinated by these dark and dangerous otherworldly beings. So for my first novella, THE DJINN’S DILEMMA, I made my hero a djinn assassin who falls in love with his human target. And I had a lot of fun bringing some of the spine-tingling chills and the elemental powers as he works furiously to keep the heroine alive. Even better, I enjoyed exploring emotions – of a djinn who loves with his whole heart and of a modern female journalist who wants facts and is scared of what can’t be explained.

As part of writing Rukh, my djinn assassin, I had to give him a backstory and part of it involves the djinn world. Oh my. One glimpse, and I was intrigued. According to the stories I grew up with djinns live in a parallel dimension with their own governing system, cities and politics. The only time you’ll find a djinn living in a bottle or a ring is if they have been imprisoned in the item. I decided to imagine this world further in my next story.

So A TALE OF TWO DJINNS is set mostly in the djinn world. It’s a Romeo and Juliet story that pits water djinns and earth djinns against each other in a generations-old fight for water. Of course, the hero and heroine come from opposite sides (in fact, they meet on a battlefield). I had a lot of fun exploring politics, economics and gender relations using the two factions.

I have enjoyed my forays in the djinn world so much, that I’m now working on a trilogy based on it. However, in between genie stories, I do like exploring other myths and creatures. I also have published DEAD: A Ghost Story (lol, I wanted no confusion as to what the story was about) and my next book WILDFIRE, releasing in September, features dragons and some Asian dragon mythology.
I think stories (both the mythic and modern kind) are one of the best gifts born of human imagination.

Author Bio:
Mina Khan is a Texas-based writer and food enthusiast. She grew up in Bangladesh on stories of djinns (pronounced "gins"), ghosts and monsters. These childhood fancies now color her fiction. She daydreams of hunky paranormal heroes, magic, mayhem and mischief and writes them down as tales of romance and adventure.

Her first published work, The Djinn's Dilemma, won the novella category of the 2012 Romance Through The Ages (published) contest.

A Tale of Two Djinns won the 2013 Readers’ Crown for best paranormal romance

For more information check out her:
Amazon Author Page
Blog: Stories by Mina Khan
Facebook Author Page
Twitter: @SpiceBites

To sign up for Mina’s quarterly newsletter with release updates and inside information on the stories, please check out:


Rashda Khan said...

Oh wow, the post looks great! Thanks for hosting, Melissa! I'm looking forward to visiting with your readers :)

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I'm so curious about the djinn. You can go from demon to angel types as well as to the other magical forms. I the sound of these. Almost human but elemental in nature. Thanks for the post.