Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Hakima's Tale: Undivided by Dedra L. Stevenson : Interview & Excerpt



Phoenix Kassim, a young Arab-American girl, must face her destiny to protect the world from the attack of an ancient malevolent entity, the Blue Jinni, who lays trapped in a golden lantern at the bottom of the sea. For centuries, the Blue Jinni and his followers, the Marid, have waited for the right moment to attack.

Phoenix is a descendant of the Great Hakima and has been chosen to battle the evil forces. Under her mentor, Sophia, Phoenix begins her training. Though unable to prevent the Blue Jinni’s release, she ends the Jinn’s quest for world domination through a series of events that teach human solidarity and the power of faith.


King Ghalib ordered the Blue Jinni to enter a golden lantern, a place for eternal imprisonment. The jinn leader had no choice but to obey. The black glove gave the King the power to envelop the Blue Jinni within a fog that
rendered the jinni’s power useless. Once imprisoned, the King closed the enchanted lantern and placed a seal on its lid that bore the mark of the ring. He then ordered his slave jinni to cast it deep into the ocean.With the end of the threat, the wise king made the lives of his people return to normal. Life was peaceful for a long time thereafter.
Just before King Ghalib’s death, he called for the two people that he trusted above all others. One was his  Hakima, who attended to the king’s health and well-being. She was the wisest woman of the land, for she knew
everything about herbs, plants, and all of their healing abilities. She was the most loyal of servants and the most trusted of friends. The Hakima is the one that Ghalib deemed worthy of guarding the ring and the sacred glove. Once named the ring’s guardian, the Hakima alone had permission to use its power to stop evil.
The king also called for Benaiah, his chief and faithful steward of the royal guard. Ghalib ordered the chief to protect the Hakima, and this protective order would continue in effect by the chief’s descendants. The Hakima would produce an heir every five hundred years with the ability to control and stop the powers of the Blue Jinni.
King Ghalib, being very knowledgeable of the stars and the forces of the earth, knew that every five hundred years an alignment of five planets would produce an underwater earthquake that would bring the Blue Jinni’s lantern close enough to the surface, where someone could accidentally discover it – and open it – in complete and unknowing innocence.
The Hakima’s descendant would have the power to capture the Blue Jinni and return him to his eternal prison in the event this ever happened. History did indeed prove the need as the first descendant of the Hakima had to rise to the challenge when a fisherman innocently released the Blue Jinni from his lantern. After the jinni’s release, he began to mobilize his army again but was quickly discovered by the Hakima’s heir and imprisoned.
Before his imprisonment, he angrily ordered his generals to seek him out when his next opportunity for a rise to power happened. Time and time again, every five hundred years, the Hakima’s heir, the chosen one, has been able to stop the evil one. However, since the last heir, mankind has entered the world of science, and travel had become simplified. The legends were forgotten in the storm of progress, and the descendents of the Hakima have scattered around the globe. Meanwhile, the Blue Jinni waits patiently, as his next opportunity to escape will soon come to pass. This time the jinni is aware that the chosen girl knows not who she is.

Tell us about your favorite character from your book.

My favorite character is Phoenix, the main character of The Hakima’s Tale.  She’s a really “different” girl and has had a really hard time fitting in.  She can see a world that we cannot which means that she’s very pure of heart.  Although she’s raised to be tough as nails, she has innocence in her heart that is always there for her to protect.

Now, having said that, I will tell you this—I had the most “fun” writing the Blue Jinni himself and the Siren Queen! They were by far, the most outrageous characters and the most enjoyable to come up with strong and sinister things for them to say!  Perhaps this helped me vent my own dark side. J 

Has someone been instrumental in inspiring you as a writer?

My husband was the first person to really encourage me to write a book, so I guess I owe the bulk of that gratitude to him.  I guess another person I always think of is my late grandfather, Jack Augustus Stevenson Sr. because he instilled discipline in me through his insistence that I play the piano for at least one hour each day.  If I had not had that training at an early age, I may not have had the strength to “finish” a book. 

Tell us about the absolute BEST fan letter you have received.

The best fan letter that I ever received was from an English woman who said that the books took her on a magical journey.  She was genuinely touched by it and told me that she felt so sad to come to the end of the book.  She had received book one of my trilogy through a friend of hers that traveled to the UAE, so she really wanted to the completion and asked if she can order it through me, since it wasn’t available at that time in the UK.  She was thrilled when she got the two books to complete the trilogy and said that the ending left her feeling so happy!  

How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set formula?

There’s no formula.  My characters are based on a combination of people that I know personally, unexpressed parts of my own personality, and finally a dash of my wild imagination!  

Have any of your characters been modeled after yourself? I think there’s a little “me” in all of them, but yes, it’s true that I see a lot of myself in Phoenix and Leila (the child “me” and the adult “me”) 

Do you have a Website or Blog?

My website is

Who should play you in a film? 

I think that either Nicole Kidman or Charleze Theron would work. J  They are both mature strong women with a flair for the outrageous. Plus, I’ve been compared to both of them in appearance. J
Tell us about your current release.

The Hakima’s Tale is a fantasy fiction trilogy that takes the reader on the journey of Phoenix Kassim, an Arab American girl with a great destiny.  She must save the Earth from an ancient evil, The Blue Jinni, who commands an army that may destroy the human race and end our reign of power.

Tell us about your next release.

My next book will be a drama, somewhat based on true events in my own life. 



My career began as a Librarian as I have always had a passion for books. I have a double Master’s, both in Library Science and Communication which demonstrates my commitment to the written word and all forms of creative expression.

I held several positions as a professional librarian, and worked free lance as a communication specialist; however, due to the special needs of my family, I opted for writing feature articles for several lifestyle magazines in the UAE. The idea for The Hakima’s Tale was always spinning in my head, however, and one day I got the determination to just do it! I put pen to paper and my hand could hardly keep up as I poured out the first 20 pages almost in one sitting. My love for fiction writing was finally realized and I haven’t looked back since.

My books are already developing quite a following and there’s talk of either a feature film or an animated movie or both. I’m actively seeking professionals to aid in this endeavor. The Hakima’s Tale has become my passion and I am very excited to offer people all over the world a chance to enjoy the folklore of the Middle East in a fun fresh way that we can all enjoy.

Enter for a chance to win a Smashwords Download
or Gifted Kindle copy of 
The Hakima's Tale: Undivided.
Comment on this post for a bonus entry.
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Giveaway ends October 20th  11:59 PM Central Time.



nrlymrtl said...

I love tales that take me into a culture I am unfamiliar with. So much of fantasy that I have read is European-centric, so I like to step outside of that and hear a tale that isn't another rendition of Grimm's Fairy Tales. This book looks like it would definitely qualify as something different.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the giveaway