I am SO SO SO SOOOOO EXCITED right now!! Because I get to announce something incredibly new and different and very very dear to me—my fourth book, which is currently UNTITLED (but I am working hard on changing that!!) It's with Razorbill/Penguin, like the last three books (hurray!! Penguin!! <3 <3 <3) and AHHHH let me tell you MOOOOORE!!
If you’ve read any of my previous books—Origin, Vitro, or Kalahari—the first thing you’ll need to know is: this book is nothing like those ones. It’s a complete departure from my earlier Sci-Fi, as I take a turn, well nose-dive really, into fantasy.
I ADORE high fantasy. It’s my favorite genre. I’ve been DYING to share my fantasy with you for years, guys, YEARS. And it’s finally happening and I CAN’T EVEN.
HANG ON A SEC. *Catches breath*
Where were we?
Right. So Book 4 is a retelling of the story of Aladdin told from the perspective of the genie--a girl named Zahra--who falls in love with Aladdin even as she is bound to grant his wishes to win the heart of a princess.
(I love love love this gif since it almost perfectly captures Zahra (except for the eye color), but can't find what it's from!! If you know, please tell me!)
It’s set in a Middle Eastern-esque world based on ancient Persian and Arabic culture, which is UBER EXCITING for me, because I got to delve into some of my heritage for research. For years my Syrian grandfather has been urging me to write something inspired by his homeland, and it's such a honor to finally get to do just that! Ancient Near Eastern culture is incredibly rich, fascinating, and complex, and I'm totally obsessed. And at the same time I'm thrilled to revisit one of my favorite stories from a completely new and exciting perspective.
I've been working on this story as a pet project for a few years now, and Zahra has become very dear and real to me. I've never felt a character's voice so strongly, and to get to finally share her with you is A WISH COME TRUE.
You’ll meet some familiar faces: the princess, the vizier, of course Aladdin. But they’ll be a little darker, a little grittier, and totally re-imagined, so you can live this beautiful story all over again in a new way. I’ve tried hard to maintain a balance between the familiar and the totally new in this story, so whether you’re looking for a faithful retelling or a reinvented fairytale, hopefully this will satisfy either!
But when will the book be out,? Well, no idea yet. I’m still very early in the writing process, but as SOON as I have an idea of a release time and title, you will be the first to know! =) Until then, all I can really leave you with is my Pinterest board of inspiration, a link to add the book to your Goodreads list, and a promise of more to come soon!