Thursday, 28 October 2010

Spotlight on Urban Fantasy: Guest post by author Sonya Bateman

Today I have the great pleasure of welcoming a fantastic new author I discovered this year, and who managed to shoot to the top of my Favourite Authors List with her debut novel: Master of None. The title must sound familiar to the regular readers because I have been raving about Master of None everywhere ever since I read it in May, and believe me, it is truly amazing! But I'll stop with my praises now, go and read my review of Master of None, which was posted yesterday.

And now time to cede the scene to my illustrous guest, please give a warm welcome to the brilliant Sonya Bateman!!!

Master of None

Why the Djinn will Take Over the World
by Sonya Bateman

As an urban fantasy author with an unusual premise, one of the questions I’m most frequently asked it, “Why do you write about genies instead of vampires or werewolves or demons?” To be honest, the only concrete reason I’ve given so far is “because I like them.”

Now, though, I’ve put some serious thought into the question, and I believe I’ve arrived at a definitive conclusion. It’s because the djinn totally rule.

Allow me to give you a breakdown of the advantages of a djinn over your standard urban fantasy races, and I think you’ll eventually agree with me.*

Physical Attraction

Ever since Anne Rice, vampires have been sexy, beautiful, and sometimes sparkly. Then you have your rugged outdoorsy werewolves, oozing alpha-ness all over the place. Demons, once feared for their horns, cloven feet and ability to cause unspeakable terror, learned to take on human forms and exude sex appeal -- after all, they were angels once.

The djinn get to combine all these things. They have the sexy, rugged (often very grumpy) human forms, they can cause unspeakable terror if they want to, and they’re also shifters. And they aren’t limited to wolves. Some djinn are also hawks, foxes, polar bears, and even crocodiles.

(Sure, there’s the snake djinn too, but we won’t mention the snakes. Snakes are evil.)

Supernatural Prowess

Vampires live forever and don’t age. They’re strong, they’re fast, and if you hold still long enough, they can probably hypnotize you. But they have a hell of a trade-off -- vampires will never get to enjoy a day at the beach. They’ve got this pesky habit of bursting into flames (or sparkling) when exposed to sunlight. Werewolves? Also strong and fast. And they can be wolves, too. Unfortunately, most weres can’t control the transformation -- not such a great perk during, say, a night with your lover, when you accidentally try to tear her throat out. Oops. And demons...well, at the end of the day, they live in Hell.

And then there are the djinn. Strong, fast, virtually immortal, but that’s not all! They slice, they dice, they open tin cans...

Wait. That’s Ginsu knives.

So the djinn are strong, fast, virtually immortal, and they have Magic Powers(tm)! That’s the one. They can be invisible, turn objects into other objects, heal, and fly. Some of them have mind control abilities. Some can hold their breath for a really long time. And they can transform any time they want -- as long as they have enough magic left. Yes, even the mighty djinn have limits. But not as many as vampires.

Motivational Intrigue

What do vampires want? Blood. They like it, they love it, they want some more of it. Sure, some vamps angst over the necessity of drinking the red stuff to survive, but blood often figures into the majority of their (un)life decisions. Also, they’re dead. When it comes to werewolves, they’re often looking for a mate -- their one twue wuv. That drive kind of gets in the way of little things like survival. And demons? The usual -- spread evil, set fires, destroy the world.

The djinn aren’t bound by any single driving force. Their motivations are as complex and varied as humans. They might want more power, or just better steak dinners. They could desire great love, or sweet revenge. They may want to save the world, or control it. With a djinn, you never can tell.

And they don’t do that wish-granting thing. So you can forget enslavement as a motivator.

Relative Destructibility

Got a vampire infestation? Grab yourselves some stakes, garlic, holy water, or just shove one out into the sunlight, and they’re toast. Or they’re extra-glittery. Either way, they’re finished. Wary of werewolves? Load up your handgun with silver bullets. Bang, splat, dead. Demons driving you to drink? Find the right spell book, and the fiend slinks back to Hell.

But if a djinn darkens your doorstep, there isn’t a lot that you, a mere mortal, can do about it. The only way to kill a djinn is to destroy the tether that binds him (or her) to our realm. To do that, you need blood, a spell -- and magic of your own. So if you don’t have magic, you’ve got a djinn for your whole life. However long that might last.

No worries, though. They can’t kill humans. And for every djinn in the human realm, there’s another that wants him (or her) destroyed. Eventually they’ll take care of themselves. If we’re lucky.

Let’s hope we are.


*The author of this post has nothing but respect and love for all vampires, werewolves, and demons. No supernatural entities were harmed in the writing of this post. Please don’t send any vampires, werewolves, or demons to my house to prove their superiority to the djinn. If they say they’re superior, I’ll agree.

For more information about Sonya and her novels, visit her official author's site.

You can buy Master of None at the Book Depository US, the Book Depository UK, Amazon or the Kindle store.

Thank you Sonya!

And you dear readers what do you think? What is your take on the vampire hype? Or are you a die hard vamp fan and don't think vampires could ever be "overdone"? Or are you open to new supernatural creatures? Which species do you think haven't been explored yet and you can't wait to read a book about them? And lastly, do you agree with Sonya that djinns are pretty awesome? :-D

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