Tag Archive for Baba Ali

Giving Voice to Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn – Actress Deepti Gupta (@theDeeptiGupta)

Actress Deepti GuptaThis is a bit late as the formal announcement has been out for some months, but at the same time I do want to share my personal excitement. International actress and voice talent Deepti Gupta will be reading Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn. As a blind person, the vast majority of the books I read are audio books so for me in particular, it was especially important to find the right person to narrate the book.

I knew I wanted a woman to read as I pictured it coming from the voice of Morgiana, the djinni. I also wanted someone who could capture the sing-song style of an oral narrative. Deepti’s acting and voiceover career spans across India, Singapore, Pakistan and the United States so she seemed a good choice.  🙂 What do you think? I’m thrilled.

If you cannot play the audio, it can also be heard at: http://ghostinthemachinepodcast.com/?p=520

Praised by The New York Times for her performance in the feature film ‘Walkaway’, Deepti also stars in ‘Record/Play’ (a sci-fi love story) which was an official selection at SUNDANCE 2013.  And last year she wrote and directed her first short film, ‘Happy and You Know It’, about a woman’s journey to celebrating her pregnancy which you can see the trailer for below.

TRAILER – Happy and You Know It from Hamari Films on Vimeo.

Pretty cool, yes? I’m looking forward to seeing Deepti’s full film which is due to be released in November.

BabaAli CoverAnd of course, in closing, if I do not put in the traditional promotional plug at the end, I will not be doing my job as an author.  🙂

Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn is a steampunk retelling of the classic “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”, from 1001 Arabian Nights. To learn more about the book and/or purchase your own copy, please visit: http://dayalmohamed.com/wordpress/baba-ali-and-the-clockwork-djinn/ or get it directly from Amazon.

For those of you who have already bought and/or read it, thank you! You rock and you’re the reason I do this. I love feedback both good and not-so-good (it IS the only way to improve) so just drop me a note.

Four Questions for Writers – WIP Meme

Four questions for writers.

This is my reply for the “four questions for writers” meme that I just got from A. Thurman over at Inspired Melancholy. Moving forward, as I tagged Linda Adams, Wayland “Beegs” Smith, and DL Thurston last year for a similar meme, I shall spare them this time. ;)  And as N.R. Brown is away on vacation, I’ll be passing this along to CVS writers Anthony Dobranski and Jennifer Brinn. Can’t wait to see what y’all have to say!

And now to the questions:

What are you currently working on?

Right now, I’m in a bit of a jumble. I am doing promotion for my young adult novel, “Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn,” have a horror-ish short story due at the end of the month, am 1/3 of the way through the subject of my “Next Big Thing” WIP post of about year ago, Pigeonfall (trying to sort out a tangled plot-subplots issue), and working on Draft Zero of a Venetian science fiction novel with N.R. Brown. Which basically means all  of these projects are fighting for my time and attention.

How does your work differ from others in the genre?

It is tough to answer the question as the three novel-length items I listed are so diverse – YA Steampunk, Weird West, and Science Fiction. Like A. Thurman, I’d have to say, “I’ll let you know when I figure out my genre!”  In truth, the only thing I can say is that I (not truly unlike other authors) love research and I thoroughly enjoy including “Easter eggs” in the larger works, particularly involving unique historical elements or figures. I include them in interviews and collect several in my “Book Secrets” blog posts.

Why do you write what you do?

I love the fantastical and I love even more the fantastical that has some sort of anchor to our world.  It is the world of, “What if?” It inspires the imagination but is close enough to our own world that it urges us to look critically at our own societal and cultural mores and values.  I also have very strong feelings about diverse characters and diverse worlds so purposely seek out cultures and ideas, and build environments that challenge our perspective, even if only a little bit.

How does your writing process work?

In truth, I’m still experimenting with a variety of processes.  I’m a slow and inconsistent writer.  Great for a hobbyist but not so useful for a writer with deadlines.  I’m always open to suggestions!  (Just not “Write every day.”  I’ve tried that.  It didn’t work.)

When it comes to the writing itself, I research as I go to ensure I stay authentic to the world I’m building and to the characters with strong “anchors” to a reality that is cohesive and makes sense to the reader.  I tend to write dialogue first, with action, and then go back and add description.  I’m  a big proponent of looking at larger themes such as faith, redemption, fate etc. and how we as people struggle against and fight for the things we believe.

Old brown books on a shelf

Image by Stephanie In love

Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn – Book Arrival

I wrote a book! Yes, I did.  I really did. I’m excited to have completed “Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn.” We had a great pre-launch at Balticon over Memorial Day weekend and Dark Quest, my publisher, sold out of their copies.  So why am I so excited today?  Because in all this time, I somehow never managed to get my hands on a copy of my own book!  Hearing that, the owner of Dark Quest, on their second printing, mailed me a copy.  ;)  So here it is, a picture of Baba Ali in my very own hand.  Is it inappropriate to kiss the book?


Baba Ali Research (Book Secrets): Open Sesame

Sesame PlantNotes from my time writing “Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn” and fun tidbits.

This is definitely a “Book Secret.”  :)  Most people know “Open Sesame” from their own experiences or childhood familiarity with the 1001 Nights (or Arabian Nights) tale Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. They are the magic words to open the treasure cave.  What is interesting is that those words, as a magical means to open the cave, first appeared in Antoine Galland’s 1700s translation of the 1001 Nights. They didn’t exist in any earlier oral or written variants of the tale.