i am so incredibly excited today to have Sahira Javaid, the author of Crowning Soul, a YA fantasy inspired by multiple cultures, for an interview about her book! the novel itself is one i am very excited to read, and i hope this interview ignites your interest for it!
hi! i’m so happy to have you today on my blog! first things first: can you tell us a little bit more about Crowning Soul?
Hey, it’s great to be here ; ) Crowning Soul is about Nezha a biracial Moroccan/Pakistani hijabi who can control fire. One day she’s pulled into another dimension with an angel’s light inside her. She has to search for the pieces of the angel’s soul before jinn shatter hers. The story is meant to be a fun adventure filled with love, family, grief, hope and healing. It also delves into mental health and what it means to be true to yourself. And can’t forget that halal ‘romance.’ : )
how did you first get the idea of writing Crowning Soul?
When I was ten a local author came into my school to talk to us about her book and I had loved her story so much it inspired me to write my own. And the other inspiration was an anime called InuYasha. I was ( still am ) totally obsessed with the show. So I took that adventure and the idea of finding crystals that were from a soul and gave it my own twists with Muslim characters.
what song would be perfect to listen to while reading your novel?
That’s a tough one lol. I always like to listen to songs that are upbeat and have quiet and noisy moments. A fun one would be: Soul fever by an original soundtrack from an anime called: Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei or if you like one without lyrics: An instrumental song: Varien- Born of Blood, Risen from Ash.
Crowning Soul is a YA Fantasy inspired by various countries’ cultures. How did you manage to merge them together to create one world?
I had different countries/regions in mind for the world of Noorenia. I focused on the more Muslim focused places such as Morocco, Pakistan and Egypt. Cultures vary, so I read up and watched videos of people from those places to learn more about them and what would be similar between them so they would have a common aspect between them. You’ll see it especially in the food, the way they speak, certain words and mannerisms. : ) Two extra places are Armenia and Lebanon. One character is also bi racial and they have a certain word that has a similar meaning, bridging the cultures.
how did you deal with the obstacles that came within writing this story (for example: writing block, etc.)?
There were some times where I didn’t know what to write. I would use music to draw out emotions and that would feed my characters to come out. A lot of the ending is thanks to them taking the ‘wheel.’ Haha. Other times I learned to step back and not focus too much on writing, and then inspiration would strike, either from other people, a picture I saw and sometimes before trying to go to bed. : P
finally, is there a sequel in the works? what should we expect from it?
Yes there is a sequel! That one is very character focused. You’ll learn more about the antagonists and some new characters as well. And there’s even more elemental powers, fire, magic and jinn. And did I mention lots of fire?
aaahh i am so excited! thank you so much to Sahira Javaid for answering my questions, and i hope you add this book to your TBRs!
about the book
Crowning Soul (Heart of Noorenia #1), by Sahira Javaid
Published September 8th, 2020
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Be swept away in this unique fantasy debut from Sahira Javaid. A spellbinding adventure of belonging, finding hope and where the price of a soul is another soul’s fate. Perfect for fans of InuYasha, Children of Blood and Bone and The Candle and The Flame.
Nezha Zaman considers her gift to control fire a dangerous secret. A secret that unravels when she encounters a vengeful shadow jinni in a maze garden that has been stalking her family, and knows about her power. Weeks after seeing the demonic being, Nezha is torn from her world through her backyard pond and transported to another dimension which sought out the light inside her heart.
Nezha learns from two unicorns that the dimension is her family’s roots, and the light is a fragment of an angel’s shattered soul. The three must work together to find the soul’s shards in a land teeming with shape-shifting jinn. If Nezha fails to stop the corrupted Iron Prince, the malevolent jinn at his side will shatter her soul next.
about the author:
Sahira Javaid is a YA Fantasy writer and poetess from Ottawa who shares her poems on her Twitter page and her website. Fond of animals, nature and learning, she passes time with reading about the world around her, nature’s healing ways, chatting with friends and making others smile and laugh every time she gets. Her poetry book Crack of Dawn is available on Amazon and other online retailers.