Today we welcome author Kellyann Zuzulo to share with us the truth about genies….. Over to you Kellyann!
The allure of the desert, whether it’s Vegas or the Sahara, taps some primitive heat in all of us. I know it does for me. The jinn, or genies, have been around for thousands of years. The Thousand and One Nights (also known as The Arabian Nights) brought these entities out of oral myth and into literature. Eventually, Western society got wind of these freeflying phantoms. Unfortunately, we turned them into bluish cartoons when all the research (yes, there is research on genies) says they are very similar to humans.
What a perfect antagonist for a romance! A guy who’s smart, powerful, alluring, and magical. That’s the basis for a heartthrob if ever there was one. In my novel The Genie Ignites, Zubis is that hero. Did you know that there are three types of genies? 1) Hunky. 2) Hunkier. 3) Hunkiest. (just kidding). Zubis is an Ifrit jinni. According to scholars, the Ifrit jinn are the more powerful of the three types. The other two types are Marid and Ghul.
- § Ifrit are strong and powerful spirits that are not necessarily evil. They are the reference for the description in the Koran of genies as behaving, living, and looking very similar to humans.
- § Marid are wicked and malicious spirits, more like devils and demons as described in Western literature and religious lore. Marid function in The Zubis Chronicles as soldiers who do the bidding of Iblis. (Iblis is the oldest and most evil of all jinn and happens to be an Ifrit. Also known as Shaitan, he is the basis for the Satan legend.)
- § Ghuls are lesser phantoms who mostly cause mischief and don’t appear to humans, like ghosts and ghouls. The image of Middle Eastern ghuls is probably where the Western idea of ghouls came from.
Genies are both male and female…remember Barbara Eden in I Dream of Jeannie. Not a bad depiction except for the harem pants…although I hear they’re coming back in style. In The Genie Smolders, which is the next novel in The Zubis Chronicles coming out this Spring, a female genie named Imitiri tries to come between Zubis and his one true love, Bethany O’Brien. Imtiri is a stunningly wicked and vengeful vamp who would do well in the Real Housewives of Jinnistan. And speaking of Real Housewives, I have another series called 101 Nights, which features a noble, beautiful, smart, and sometimes hot-tempered female genie named Amani. Girl power! Click on the image to find out more.
Are genies real? I think they are. But I also think that despite the definitions and the literature, we don’t fully understand what they are. They could be organisms on a molecular level that haven’t been defined by science yet. That’s when folklore steps in to describe things. In the meantime, I’ll keep describing the jinn as I think they exist.
Thanks to Tina Williams and A Reader’s Review for this chance to share the world of the jinn!