Mina: My father died while I was still working on A Tale of Two Djinns and I wanted to do something to honor and thank both my parents. Education has always been important to them and to me, so I decided to self-publish and donate fifty percent of the proceeds to UNICEF’s Schools for Asia initiative. Self-publishing the book seemed to be the simplest way of doing this. I’m happy to share, I wrote my first check to UNICEF this month from the proceeds. Every dollar helps.
Suze: What has your experience been as an indie? Would you do it again, or is it back to traditional for you?
Mina: I was terrified when I first started looking into it, but it’s turned out to be a very positive experience. I loved being involved in the whole process (writing, editing, choosing a cover, choosing distributors, marketing, tracking my numbers etc.) even though it’s a lot of work. Actually, what I’d like to do is be a hybrid – do both traditional and independent books. That way I could have vary my workload, make my stories accessible to new readers, and take on special projects like my UNICEF effort with A Tale of Two Djinns.
Suze: Tell us a bit about A Tale of Two Djinns, Mina.
Mina: A Tale of Two Djinns is an exotic Romeo & Juliet tale with warring genies, feminists, flying carpets, kick-ass action and sexy adult fun. Djinn, btw, is pronounced “gin” and is what we from non-Western heritages call genies.
Here’s the blurb:
Akshay (Shay for short), warrior prince of the earth djinns, earns the title of Crown Prince at a high cost when he loses his best friend in a battle against ancient enemies, the water djinns. Heartsick, he escapes to Earth to mourn.
Nothing gets the biological clock ticking (and elders lecturing) like almost dying in battle, so Maya, princess of the water djinns, travels to Earth for some no-strings-attached sex to fulfill her duty and produce an heir. But the beautiful and tough warrior gets more than she bargained for when she meets Shay.
Their not-so-simple one-night stand is interrupted by assassins and the world, as they know it, is changed forever. As Maya and Shay pull together to survive, both are determined to have their happily-ever-after and bring peace to their worlds — warring families, shadow assassins, and nosy busybodies be damned.
Suze: I’ve read this story, and I can tell our readers that Cowboys and Djinns is a game they will definitely want to play! Mina, you are also a food writer. Can you share a recipe with us? How about something hot and deliciously spicy, like your romances?
Mina: My pleasure! BTW, you’ll be happy to know that in my current WIP, my genie hero LOVES to cook! Here’s the recipe for Red Hot Smokin’ Seafood Soup that I put together for Rukh & Sarah from my first novella, The Djinn’s Dilemma”:
http://minakhan.blogspot.com/2011/11/red-hot-smokin-fiction-seafood-soup.html (I decided to send you a link because it comes with pictures!)
Suze: I will soooooo be trying that recipe! What’s next? What are you working on now?
Mina: I’m working on the third and fourth genie stories (yes, I know I’m nuts…they just came together), and I really want to try my hand at a ghost story soon!
Other than writing, I’m planning a trip to Bangladesh this summer to pay homage to my late father, introduce my children to some of my favorite things from childhood and my extended family, and also do some research for future stories. If I have decent internet access, I hope to blog during my trip.
Suze: Have a safe and wonderful trip with your family. Hope you come back inspired.
Rashda/Mina Khan is a Texas-based writer and food enthusiast. She is Rashda the food columnist by day and Mina the romance author by night. She grew up in Bangladesh on stories of djinns/genies, ghosts and monsters. These childhood fancies now color her fiction. Her debut novella, THE DJINN’S DILEMMA was published November 2011. A second novella, A TALE OF TWO DJINNS, came out March 2012. Meanwhile, she’s busy working on more stories.
You can find her at:
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/Mina.Khan.Author