by Anna Kashina
3 autographed copies will be given away on Friday, May 31, 2013!
About the Book:
THE CURSE OF ABSOLUTE POWER. THE MAGIC OF TRUE LOVE.
When, on the day of her age-coming, the princess opens a mysterious bronze bottle—a gift from her grandmother—she has no idea that she is about to unleash a power older than the world itself. Worse, she is not prepared for the bearer of this power to be a handsome man whose intense gray eyes pierce her very soul. Hasan, her new slave, is immeasurably older and stronger than anyone she has ever heard of, and he is now hers to command—if she can handle him, that is.
Sensuous and delightfully intelligent, The Princess of Dhagabad is the first book in a trilogy by a talented new author.
Exclusive Interview with the Author!
1) When did you start to write? What was your first story about?
I wrote my first “novel” when I was six, a self-illustrated tale about adventurers in the wilderness, which ended with a spectacular phrase: “And they sailed off east, into the sunset.” When my father pointed out to me that the sun actually sets in the west, I destroyed it and did not write for a while.
My first story I felt was good enough to show anyone was written when I was twenty, and only a few stories later I wrote a novella that later became “The Princess of Dhagabad.”
2) What inspired you to write “The Princess of Dhagabad”?
A dream. I had an incredibly vivid dream about a princess standing in a huge library with a man she loves but can never have. I knew the man’s name, Hasan. I knew I had to sit down and write the details of this dream right away, and slowly the details fleshed out into a world, and that’s when I knew that Hasan was a djinn, a slave and a powerful wizard. It was an amazing feeling writing this down, as if a hazy picture hovered at the edge of my vision and then I could just turn and focus on it to see the details. As soon as I wrote the short story based on this dream, I realized it must be a novel, and I had a wonderful time writing it.
At a deeper level, I have always been fascinated by the Arabian culture and the tales of the Arabian Nights, so I welcomed a chance to flesh out this world in writing.
3) Which authors/books are you most influenced by?
Early on, E.T.A.Hoffmann, whose work is for some reason far less famous than it deserves to be. I also took a lot of inspiration from J.R.R.Tolkien, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. There are no direct parallels to any of them in my writing, but these are definitely the authors that shaped me when I was a child.
4) Considering a book from the first word you write to the moment you see it on a bookstore shelf, what’s your favorite part of the process? What’s your least favorite?
My favorite part is falling in love with the story and characters, and then being able to spend days and nights fleshing them out just the way I want them to be. It is like falling in love. When the story is working, there is no feeling that can possibly compare to this joy.
My least favorite process is sending my work to publishers and agents and getting rejections or slow responses. The only way to cope is to write a new book, which is far more motivating than sending your book out for publication. Of course, when I see my book in print, it is very rewarding to get good feedback from the readers, and in the long run this is always the author’s ultimate reward.
5) What kind of research did you have to do to bring this story to life on the page?
Since I was inspired by tales from the ancient Middle East, I did research on everything related to that time period and that area. The origins of the Arabian Nights tales. The map and history of ancient Baghdad and the surrounding cities and deserts. An Arabian dictionary. Medieval recipes from the Middle East. Everything to do with the culture. I have always found it fascinating and was impressed even more when I learned all these things. I am surprised this is not commonly explored in fiction writing.
And, of course, I learned everything about the djinns. They are amazing mythical creatures that are very specific to this culture and are never found in any other tales. I still plan to write a book about the history and mythology of the djinns, I hope I will be able to do it soon.
Anna Kashina is an internationally published author of fantasy and historical fiction. In her other life, she is a mother of two and a molecular biologist doing research in a major university. She is originally from Russia and moved to the United States in 1994. She lives near Philadelphia, PA. Visit her online at www.AnnaKashina.com
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