My guest today is urban fantasy author Sonya Bateman. The second book in her Gavyn Donatti series, Master and Apprentice, hits bookshelves on March 29, 2011. Please join me in welcoming Sonya here today to Dark Faerie Tales. You can read the first chapter from Master and Apprentice here.
Thanks to Simon & Schuster, two lucky commentators will have a chance to win a copy of Master and Apprentice. As always, details are listed at the end of the post.
In addition to spending a lot of time writing, she is attempting to learn how to speak Japanese. So far, she can say hello, thank you, and why don’t we go to your place for a drink? She does not plan to speak to any native Japanese speakers with her limited vocabulary at this time, as the conversation may lead in the wrong direction.
Having your own genie: Not really all that great
by Sonya Bateman
Wouldn’t it be awesome to have your own personal genie? Someone to call you Master, grant your wishes, rub your feet after a long day of stealing (or whatever it is you do all day) – a magical slave who’s happy to help you out whenever you need it. Sounds amazing, right?
Maybe not. Especially if the genie in question happens to think granting wishes is a ridiculous waste of magic, has an agenda of his own and isn’t above using you to meet it, and generally hates humans – particularly you. This is the type of djinn (not genie; he hates that word) I gave to my main character, the unlucky thief Gavyn Donatti, in my urban fantasy series that starts with MASTER OF NONE.
Donatti wasn’t too pleased with this. He was hoping for the genie of lollipops and happiness… or at least a female. Instead, he got Ian, who happens to be his great-great-great grandfather (with a few more greats thrown in) and unfortunately needs to keep him around.
When I started this series, I wanted to do something like a modern-day twist on Aladdin. But I didn’t want a fun-loving, wisecracking genie. I wanted dark – more like Jafar than the big blue guy. Fortunately, traditional djinn mythology supported my desires. The djinn were originally beings made from fire, practically demons, and pretty nasty. They were tricksters. Wishing for something from them was a risky proposition, because they would twist the meaning of your words to make something bad happen.
For example: let’s say you wished to be happy for the rest of your life. These djinn would give you a big pile of money, and then stab you to death while you’re still smiling about it – therefore making you happy for the rest of your (very brief) life.
I also wanted bad djinn and not-quite-as-bad djinn. So another change I made to the djinn mythos was to divide them into clans. Djinn are shapeshifters as well as magical creatures, so I twisted the ability around a bit and named the clans after animals, with the djinn being able to shift into their clan’s representative beast. Ian, the main djinn, is from the wolf clan. Other clans include snake, hawk, and fox.
So I was going for Aladdin, adult style. But somewhere along the line, the story shifted (as stories are wont to do) – and what I ended up with was kind of an anti-buddy-cop story. Sort of buddy vigilantes. Donatti and Ian save the day, rather illegally, and pretty much hating each other the whole time. It was a fun story to tell.
By the second book, MASTER AND APPRENTICE, the animosity levels have receded somewhat. But the two of them still have plenty to fight about, and Donatti is no better off for having his own personal genie. In fact, it might be worse. Ian, being the secretive sort, finally gets around to telling Donatti about the deadly family curse. Then, while they’re being chased by a bloodthirsty cult of half-djinn, Ian manages to get himself kidnapped, leaving the weaker, inexperienced Donatti to fend for himself.
It’s not easy having a genie. Especially when most of the other genies want to kill yours – and you by association.
You can visit Sonya around the web here: Website
Two lucky commentators will have a chance to win a copy of Master and Apprentice.
To enter, leave a comment below answering the following question:
If you could shift into any animal, which one would you pick?
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6. Giveaway ends Monday, April 4th at 11:59 PM EST.
7. The winner will be picked with the help of Random.org.
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