Today’s interview is with Samantha Young, author of Smokeless Fire, the first in the Fire Spirits series. My review of Smokeless Fire can be found here. Without further ado, the lovely and very funny Samantha Young!
What was your inspiration behind Smokeless Fire?
My Fire Spirits series is the only series that wasn’t inspired by anything unexpected. I actually went hunting for this series. I knew I wanted to write a series that was a little different so I started listing supernatural creatures that were less widely covered in the YA genre. As soon as the word ‘genie’ entered my mind I was totally gung-ho about it. This was a race of supernatural beings that had unimaginable power, diversity of species, and a complex existence/purpose.
Heading off to the bookstore, I bought non-fiction literature on Jinn and then came home to scour the internet for research material. It was through the actual research that the plot for Smokeless Fire came together. I must admit to playing around with some of the mythology a little though. You know… creative license and all lot :-p
Who would play Ari if the book were made into a movie? How about Jai and Charlie?
I watched a couple episodes of the sci-fi show ‘Terra Nova’ and absolutely love the idea of Naomi Scott playing Ari. She has the look and the attitude. Jai and Charlie are a little more difficult, especially Jai because readers all have such different ideas of him in their own heads. For Charlie, I really like the idea of Alex Pettyfer. I know, I know, that poor guy must be on every YA fantasy cast list going, but he has the ‘boy next door but I can be a bad boy too’ thing going on and that’s exactly what I have in mind for Charlie. Jai completely flummoxed me but a reader suggested Abdel Rahman El Balaa and he’s as close as I can find so I’m really happy with that choice. (Blogger’s Note: I am a-ok with Abdel the Hottie playing Jai. Yow. And Naomi Scott is adorable!)
Without giving anything away, what’s your favorite passage from the book?
Ah, one of my favourite passages from Smokeless Fire has a spoiler in it so I’ll go with my second favourite. This is a conversation between Ari and The White King. It’s her first encounter with the Jinn:
Ari’s stomach roiled, her chest rising and falling in fast waves, feeling as if a million birds had been let loose inside it as he gazed over her shoulder into a world she could not see. “You’re not kidding, are you? This is real?”
He cocked his head. “What gave it away? The Nisnas attack or the Fire Spirits that keep appearing before you?”
“Colloquial name for Jinn.”
Her fingers bit into the velvet blanket beside her. “So… Jinn… there are different kinds? Ones like you and Rabir and ones like the Nisnas?”
He nodded. “There are many kinds. With many talents.”
“Good or evil?”
If it was possible his dark eyes seemed to grow even blacker. “Why are humans so obsessed with that distinction?”
Ari snorted. “Because we like to know what we’re dealing with.”
“Good people have been known to do evil things, child.”
She sucked in a deep breath, her nerves twanging as she found the courage to ask, “Are you a good person?”
The soft tap of his fingers against the glass arm of the throne made Ari jump and she watched his face twitch at her reaction. She cursed herself for revealing how much he unnerved her. “I am not a person. I am Jinn.”
How many books do you plan to write for the Fire Spirits series? Any fun hints you can drop us from Book 3 or 4? (this is just a sad begging on my part!)
I’m hoping to make this a six book series but that number isn’t definite. Any fun hints? Hmm… no hints but a teaser of sorts. There is a couple of rather large plot twists in Book 3 that I think will shock readers. It will definitely change the course of the series as readers know it :-p
Thank you so much, Samantha! We’ll have her second interview (geared towards aspiring authors) out this Friday, so stay tuned!