Hallo, Hallo dear hearts,
I am featuring an author today who truly intrigued me for channelling out the hidden passageways of History, we, as readers might have overlooked previously. You might have remembered from the spotlight I shared of her latest novel, the style of how it was written wasn’t exactly my cuppa of tea – however, her research & her approach into History itself is what inspired me to share this lovely conversation. As you will see, we share quite a bit in common even though my first reading of one of her stories was not a good match – we can come together, have an intriguingly lovely conversation & find that there is a lot to discuss when it comes to pooling curiosity and the historic past into the background of a novel!
On a personal note, I was also curious about the Mythological aspects of her story-telling, as I am growing into having a new appreciation for folklore and Mythos being united in a story which has origins in Myth but where the writer(s) of today are using that origin of thought to re-invent how stories can become crafted for today’s reader. They are doing this across genre of interest as well – finding selections in Historical Fiction was second nature to me, as I have such a high propensity of being swooned by a Historical narrative to read.
Thus, when I realised how widely this author is researching her stories and how much ‘hidden’ histories she is uncovering in the process of that research, I found myself properly amazed. I also asked her a key question about the content of her stories as I had a feeling a particular aspect run concurrent throughout her publishing career and her answer was one I was not quite expecting! This goes to prove that having conversations with authors – especially those where we are interested in the premise but perhaps can’t always align directly into their vision of the story is a good enterprise!
I’ve learnt quite a bit through this conversation and I was truly thankful for Ms Neil for being so dearly open & honest with me in return! One thing is for certain – we are two individuals who love time travelling into History, uncovering stories & characters whose journeys bring the historic past to life as we find new ways to engage with the memories of ‘time’ left behind to find!
I hope you will brew your favourite cuppa & settle into this convo today with an open mind – finding how History can inspire us all and for each of us, History has something new to teach us.
As a eunuch in the Ottoman Imperial Harem, Olin has already lost his home, his freedom, and his manhood. His only wish is for a painless death, until he meets Dark Star, a beautiful odalisque who promises to give him his deepest desire. He refuses to believe her claim to possess a jinni in a bottle. But when Dark Star is accused of witchcraft, Olin rubs the bottle in desperation and discovers she’s told the truth.
Olin becomes the jinni’s master to save Dark Star, but it’s not enough. In the complex world of the Topkapi Palace, where silk pillows conceal knives, sherbets contain poison, and jewels buy loyalty, no one is safe. With each wish, Olin must choose between becoming like the masters he detests or risk his life, his body, and his sanity to break the bonds that tie them all.
I’ve been researching Mythology for the month of November , during the first ever #Mythothon – spending a lot of time unravelling the Greek side of Mythos but I have had a keen interest in the Jinn ever since I read The Golem and the Jinni. What first perked your own interest in the Jinn and what do you love most about Mythological and Folklore subjects like the Jinn which can be a great source of inspiration for telling a story?
Neil responds: I also loved The Golem and the Jinni. That book is probably what first sparked my interest in the jinn as well. There are many fascinating aspects to the jinn. One reason having a jinni in The Jinni’s Last Wish made sense to me was the parallel between enslaving mortals and enslaving the jinn. I felt that there could be a lot in common between a eunuch and a captured jinni. Read More