Fantasy and Fairy Tales.
First of all let me Thank Maggie for hosting me here today and now on with my blog!
I have to thank my Mum and Dad for giving me my love of books at an early age. My Dad read to me every bedtime, my mum took me to the library once a month and they both encouraged me to read all I wanted. If Hadn’t have read so much in childhood, through the trails of teenagedom (Just made that one up) and into my adult life I am sure I wouldn’t ever have become an author.
I know that my love of certain kinds of stories shows up in my books now and then. I’ve always loved fairy tales, the classics like Cinderella and Red Riding Hood that everyone knows and I had a big volume of Hans Christian Anderson stories that I remember digging into time and again. I fell in love with Narnia and Prydain and in my early teens discovered the Discworld. I’ve always loved to escape into a world of fantasy.
So it comes as no surprise that I’ve written about an invisibility potion , werewolves, and now a Djinn . Not a Genie, no, he’ll kill you for calling him that. He came around quite randomly. I was asked to write a Bollywood themed story for Total-E-Bound and I said yes. I think I answered a bit before I’d really thought it through as then I was quite stuck for a story idea. I thought and I thought, I googled and got books from the library and chatted to some people and Boom the idea struck.
Johnny the Djinn was born. I needed something over the top, wild and fantastical to go in with the Bollywood genre and so I decided I wanted a supernatural/paranormal element to the story. I looked into a few different ideas but then I found the Djinn and the idea developed from there. I am sure if I didn’t love fantasy and fairy tales I wouldn’t have gone down the same kind of magical route at all, so thank God for my childhood reading matter!
Let me introduce you to Silver Screen Dream
Here’s the Blurb:
And a short excerpt from the book from Johnny’s perspective. He tells half the tale, Laura tells the other half because she didn’t trust Johnny to do a good job of it! She may well have been right.
Before we go any farther, I should introduce myself. You can call me Johnny. It’s not my name, but you can call me by it. I’m a Djinn and we don’t give out our real names willy-nilly like you daft humans. We know the power of a name and are very cagey when it comes to introductions.
Occasionally, though, we get tricked, and that’s what happened to me many moons ago, and now I look after a young human called Rahul. He’s not the man who tricked me, that was his father’s father’s father’s father’s father or something like that. Some Djinns get let off easy with only a generation or two of service before a kind human wishes them free, but somehow I managed to get stuck with a family full of selfish bastards. I just get handed down from Khan to Khan and do their bidding. It’s not a thrilling life.
I don’t interfere in the affairs of mortals unless I am explicitly ordered to. Well, usually. It’s not a hard and fast rule. If Rahul were to trip up and fall in the Ganges, for example, I’d leap to his rescue because he would be in mortal danger, no explicit order needed. I’m bound to the dark-haired, blue-eyed fool, and so I have to keep him alive and well until it’s time for his natural demise.
Rahul doesn’t mistreat me, he doesn’t call on me at all hours to make him magic beverages or massage his calloused feet like his father did. I do very little for him, truth be told. He’s asked me to grant him one wish in all his life so far, and that was to make him famous. So we hit Mumbai and he became an overnight Bollywood sensation.
He’s a good-looking lad, for a human, with russet-toned skin and eyes that shine like hidden sapphires, and so he fell into the acting life with ease. I barely had to use any magical influence at all. I accompany him on set, but I tend to ignore the whole rigmarole myself. I prefer filling in the Mumbai Times crossword than watching the simpering girls dancing and the boy meets girl, loses girl, finds girl storylines of Bollywood.
Some of my relatives would kill for my glamorous life, but then they’re trapped in bogs, deserts and wastelands. Some days I wish I was in a wasteland. Let me tell you the tale of when my Master went to London and the headache I had looking after him there. I’m a Djinn, we like to tell stories and moan. It’s a little known fact.
Rahul was just finishing up work on the latest Bollywood blockbuster, Benazir, which means Incomparable to all you English-speaking folks. I can’t remember what it was about, but it was the typical Bollywood love story and I mostly ignored it during filming.
“Johnny,” my master summoned me.
I put down my needlework—what, even Djinn need a hobby—and I did the impressive poof thing complete with smoke, lightning and glowing, red eyes.
“Oh, stop messing,” he snapped. “This is important.”
“Yes, Master.” I bowed and changed into Rahul’s preferred envisagement. I find it to be rather constricting to be in human form, but I have to do his bidding whether I want to or not.
“I’ve just spoken to Uncle Rajeesh, and he’s spouting some nonsense about marriage.”
“Well, you’re getting on now, Rahul. You’re in your late twenties. It’s time you settled down.”
“Oh, shut up, Johnny. They have that horrible, simpering woman Malati all lined up for me. Apparently, all this was decided years ago when my father went into business with hers. It explains why they kept making us play together as kids even though we hated each other.”
“Well, yes. It makes the wedding go much smoother if you know your future wife beforehand.”
“I’m not ready for marriage, and I will not have one arranged for me,” Rahul snapped. “I command you to stop it.”
“Ah, Master, I’m afraid I can’t do that.”
“Why not? I am your Master, correct?”
“Then you do whatever I command you to do.”
“Technically, Sir, yes.”
“What do you mean ‘technically’?” He raised a questioning brow.
“Well, I accepted an order from your father, and as he was my master first, his command came before your command.”
“And what was it?” Rahul snapped.
“I was instructed by your father at the time of Malati’s birth to ensure that you married her for the good of the family, so I’m bound by that command.”
“Bullshit,” Rahul snarled. “My father is dead. I’m your master now.”
“Yes, Master, I know, but your father was very specific when he made that particular wish. He told me it should supersede your wishes and should be my number one priority after his death.”
“So you won’t help me avoid the wedding, then?”
“No, Sir, I’m afraid I can’t.”
“Well, then I command you to go back into your stupid little kettle and stay there. What’s the use of having a damn Djinn if he won’t do as he’s told?”
I disappeared with less pomp than I’d arrived and settled back to my crossword. I didn’t care whom he married, I just had to do what I was commanded to do.