Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Midsummer Dream Fair Day 20: The Jinn Game

Today, we're visited by Samantha Young, author of tons of fun stuff, including the Tale of Lunamorte trilogy, the Warrior of Ankh series, and her new Fire Spirits series.  I asked Samantha a few questions about the Jinn in her new series...

1. How did you decide to write a paranormal series about Jinn?
It would be cool to say that I was sitting watching Disney’s Aladdin one day (I’d like to say I haven’t seen that movie since I was a kid but that would be untrue) and suddenly I was inspired to write a story about genies. It would be cool, but also untrue. I was literally raking through the small encyclopedia (more of a list than an encyclopedia really) of supernatural creatures in my head and the Jinn just kept pushing its way through to the forefront. It was different, underused mythology. I thought maybe there could be something in it. So I decided to do a bit of research and within an hour of scrolling through a couple of non-fiction books on the subject I’d already started building the character of Ari in my head and who (what) she was exactly.

2. The Fire Spirits series introduces us to a variety of types of Jinn, such as Ifrits and Shaitans. Did you gather all of these from traditional lore? Can you tell us about some of the major types?
Yup, Ifrits and Shaitans are from the traditional lore. Shaitans are what we’d think of as demons. In my series they are servants to the Sultan Jinn Azazil. They - from what I discovered in my research - are always considered to be evil. Ifrits are more powerful than Shaitans and are a little bit more ambiguous when it comes to morality. And the most powerful of all Jinn is the Marid. They are known to live up to 2500 years (although I’ve made them even older in Fire Spirits). In true Jinn mythology, Marids are wicked. In my mythology, I suggest there is also a sense of honor and sometimes goodness to the Marid… just to make it a little more interesting :-p
And then of course you have your sub-categories. There are a lot but the main ones are Ghulahs – flesh-eating Jinn. Charming, I know :-\  They’re always female and prey on travelers. Jinn mythology also contains dopplegängers – they are called Qarin or Qarinah (if female). They’re thought to be Shaitans who are the spirit double of a human and they spend all their time trying to turn their human double towards evil. I did, however, note that some researchers believe there are Qarins who are good.
One of my heroes in Fire Spirits, Jai, is a Ginnaye. Those guys are from true Jinn mythology. They were worshipped in the ancient city of Palmyra and depicted to have looked like and lived as human beings. They were thought of as guardians, protecting human life and enterprises. I adopted them into the modern mythology of the Jinn as guardians who protect humans with important destinies… and also rich people who pay them to be security officers :-p
Other Jinn I’ve come across are the Labartu (they’re mentioned in Fire Spirits. They prey on children). Khalafs – they expose hidden evils and vices. Utukku – haunts graveyards and deserts. Those dudes must like the quiet huh? Nisnas – weird, misshaped, creatures with only half a head, one eye, one hand and one leg. Thought to be evil. Maybe they’re just angry. I’d be pissed too if I only had one of everything so… no judgment here. And finally, Pazuzu. He’s an ancient Mesopotamian wind demon… most famous for being one of the evil spirits that possesses the wee girl in The Exorcist!

3. Who does the fantastic decorating in the Jinn world?
Lol! Each Jinn King has their own style but The White King and the Sultan Azazil are kind of trend setters. In Fire Spirits, ironically Jinn body temperature never changes. They don’t feel harsh cold or furious heat and that’s kind of reflected in the decoration. These Jinn Kings and Azazil are scary guys and I thought going with the typical Moroccan decoration of everything being plush, luxurious and kind of busy (patterns and motifs etc) would depict too much of an Arabian Nights kind of deal. So me and Azazil, we mixed it up. Their architecture (for the most part) is Moroccan and traditional, but there’s a lot of glass and cold stone and wrought-iron going on up there on Mount Qaf. As for the mountains of emerald themselves… well the mythology tells us that the mountains of Mount Qaf are made from solid emerald. Again, I thought the dark rock inset with millions of small, glittering emeralds provided much better imagery… not to mention has an important place within the mythology and plot as the series progresses.

4. If you had the Jinn power of conjuring, what are some things you might conjur?
Definitely more bookshelves. Either one of the Hemsworth brothers. Oh and a sandwich from this really amazing bakery up in the Highlands.
I feel like that might have been the wrong answer. Ahem. I’d conjure world peace. Even though it’s a concept…

5. Are there any paranormal creatures that could beat a Jinn in a fight?
I think any paranormal creature would have a hard time taking down one of the Jinn Kings, or Azazil and Asmodeus. But a lesser Jinn? There are some Jinn who live normal human lives. I think even they might be taken unawares by a vampire attack.
I'll keep that in mind if I ever have Jinn trouble!  Thanks for stopping by the fair today, Samantha!
Thanks Jeff! These questions were really fun!
Now it's time to...

Play the Jinn Game!

This magic lamp has the power grant wishes (possibly!).  That's because of a poor Jinn who's trapped inside, allowed to step out only when someone rubs the lamp and makes a wish.  But let's not worry about his plight!  Instead, rub the lamp and type your wish into the comments below.  We can't guarantee your wish will come true, but you will definitely be visited by a genie, and you will mistake him for a stripper.  He may or may not look like this:

Giveaway!  One wish on this post will win a copy of Smokeless Fire by Samantha Young (paperback in the US, ebook if outside the US).

The giveaway ends at 11:59 PM (Eastern) this Saturday, winner to be announced (as usual) on Sunday.

The Midsummer Dream Fair was brought to you today by:


  1. That is hard. I am sitting here trying to think of a wish and mine all seem so selfish. So I think that I would give my wish to someone more deserving, who would put it to better use than I would.
    syndiasia at yahoo dot com

  2. I would wish away the health issues my family has. My husband is going through chemo for non hodgkins lymphoma, my dad is an esophageal cancer survivor, my brother has chronic back problems, would just wish it all away so they could live life a little easier.

  3. If I had one wish I don't think I would wish for something for myself.I would wish for a cure for cancer.

    tattooedchick1976 at gmail dot com

  4. Well... Let's make this fun. If I had one wish, I would wish for money. Enough to pay off all my bills, put my kids through college and be able to take some family vacations. Of coarse I would need enough to buy all the books that I have on my wish lists as well :) Then I would put a very large sum into savings and live off the interest.

    swimdelta at gmail dot com

  5. Oh Jeez. Just one wish is hard? I'm guessing there's 'No wishing for more wishes" right? :P
    I'd probably wish for equality in the world? No more upper class/lower class/ middle class/ poor/ starving ext?

    elliemoreton at gmail dot com

  6. Don't most genie wishes have a negative consequence? In this case, I would leave the genie in the lamp and run as fast and faraway as possible :) If I had to make a wish, I would want a Starbuck's Green Tea Frappuchinno. Yummy!

  7. um... well I would probably wish for my crush to actually acknowledge me.

  8. First off, I love Samantha Young :) Now to the wishing...

    I would wish for a lot of money as well. With money, my parents would not have to work another day in their lives, they can finally have the house they always dreamed about and fix/decorate it they way they wanted. I would also make sure my sister's family was well taken cared of so they wouldn't have to move if her husband was transferred due to his job (selfish of me since I don't want to be apart from my nephews or my sister). All the debts of my brother would be payed off, as well as my Kohls and Best Buy cards LOL! And my biggest reason: to have a home gym so that I wouldn't have to go to a real one xD LMAO! - Azucena


    I wish for...


    That's enough to get a new car that fits all my by n my kids and buy a house with more room for our family, and still have some left over for some summer fun!

  10. Oh nothing I want to say in public, but I'll have fun thinking about something to do with a jinn that looked like that... ;D

  11. I Wish to Spend a year in Europe Traveling.. and of course end up with international Hunk to take Home ; )

    Samantha I think you know by now I'm a SUPER BIG FAN! Keep Writing <3

  12. I'm trying to think of a wish that isn't completely selfish, but I'll be honest, it's really, really hard!

    SO I wish there was an extra day of the week(end)! That way we can all enjoy and get things done! :)

  13. Wow, such a nice and fun post. Samantha is a new author for me and I'm definitely going to check out her books. They sound scrumptious. I wish to always have the right amount of money in pocket for what I want to buy. For example, I'm out at a swanky restaurant and the bill is $60.00. So I should have the correct amount of cash to pay plus the tip. Then I go to a bookstore and pick up some books and I have the money I need to pay for that. :)
    luvfuzzzeeefaces at yahoo dot com

  14. This post is awesome and thanks for the amazing giveaway! ! I'm super excited. About it !!!

  15. Honestly although it seems so selfish I think I would wish for unlimited book access including one that haven't been published yet it would be awesome

  16. I'd wish for a world without poverty. But specify it so it's not done in a tricky way like making all poor people disappear. Yeah genie, no tricky wish granting. Cool giveaway.

  17. Right now I just wish for a long nap! Between having a migraine and trying to catch up on sleep from spending 4 nights in the hospital with my 2 year old I need it!

  18. I wish to read this book.


  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

  20. I wish to have more hours in the day:)

  21. I wish for the ability to teleport, and the skill to easily find a spot I can pop in and out of discreetly. Wouldn't want the world to find out and end up dissected in some lab . . .
    Thanks for the great giveaway!

    beax0002 (at) umn (dot) edu

  22. Well I am going to be selfish for my wish and I am going to wish for a house exactly the way I want it with a library of my own and a pool. This would be great.

    rachel at thejeepdiva dot com

  23. I wish for superhuman abilities and energy

  24. I would wish for the ability to make myself invisible at will!

    volta2173 at sbcglobal dot net

  25. I wish for a car!

  26. Hmmm, just 1 wish. I wish my mother in law didn't live with us! LOL

  27. I would wish for my family to be healthy.
    crystaley73 at yahoo dot com

  28. I would wish for my parents and dog to be healthy. Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  29. I wish for a world free of conflicts and a way of living that helps us to sustainably use our precious resources.


    (lillysgarden88 (at) gmail dot com)

    Moving to South Africa has given me a new insight on what "being rich" and "being healthy" means. So I would like to see my wish granted to the world and everyone on it.

  30. I that my family would stop hating each other and get along. <---- That is depressing but it's true. I'm taking your word for it that the genie will visit me LOL

    Thanks for the giveaway!!!!!

  31. i wish the genie to appear at my house as Alex Pettyfer. and stays forever. ;) seriously, though. i wish my mom will get this new job at the elementary school. The last employers she had didn't appreciate or deserve her.

    1. haha. oops.

      thank you for the giveaway.

  32. I wish for my family to have excellent health. It seems like we're all suddenly falling apart, physically, which frightens me.

    bethwade1 at gmail dot com

  33. That cover is so beautiful!!!! I have heard good reviews about thus book so my wish would be to win it :)!!!

  34. My only wish would be more time to read books! I have been wanting to read this for a while. thanks for the giveaway!

  35. I wish for everyone to be happy! Thanks for this amazing giveaway! This book sounds great and I would love to win it!

    susanw28 (at) mindspring (dot) com

  36. I wish to finally finish writing one of my novels! (And then for it to be published, haha.)
    postedcontests (at) gmail (dot) com

  37. I wish that I could meet Samantha Young. It's incredible to me that such a great author is younger than me. She has swept me away with every single one of her stories, always leaving me wanting more. I happened on a novel of hers by chance, and have read every single story she's written. I can always relate to the characters with ease, and fall in love with them. Kuddos to Samantha Young one of my all time favorite authors.

  38. for conjuring jinn and removal of black magic visit
    (search in google)