My pseudonym is B. Leslie Tirrell. The “B” comes from a name I saw in a Dragonlance book that I fell in love with the more I saw it. “Leslie” is a play on one of my undergrad writing mentors’ names. “Tirrell” is a name from my family. I’m from Toledo, Ohio, which isn’t as boring as it sounds. We’re near fun places and we have an awesome art museum and zoo. Hmmm. What else? I’ve been writing for twenty-six years. Started when I was eight.
I graduated in June of 2014 from Seton Hill University and its Writing Popular Fiction Program. Seriously, the place is Hogwarts. Apply.
My thesis novel is currently not fit for the light of an Easy Bake Oven, so I won’t speak on that. Both mentors told me to start a new project with what I’d learned during my time at Seton Hill. Luckily, it was already in the works. In November of 2012 (just before the start of my second year at SHU) I saw a picture of a genie in a cobweb covered lamp. It looked bored and pissed off. One of my mentors happened to write gay romance and I’d been reading her books. Her name is Jessica Freely and she’s awesome. I’d been into yaoi anyway, and decided to try my hand at writing gay romance too. NaNoWriMo was happening. I figured I’d write a short story. That short story refused to leave me alone, so I had it workshopped at school. People liked it. Me being me, a perfectionist, kept working on it. Soon it kept growing. It ended up being a novel. I called it A Jinni’s Wish. I finished it in October of 2014, five months after I’d graduated. I did a Facebook post calling for beta readers. Found a few reliable ones. Then I waffled about in terror because I’d never submitted anything before. So, not expecting much, I submitted the novel to about seven or eight companies.
Two requested the full MSS. I went on and sent it, didn’t get my hopes up, much, and started looking for new places to submit to while I waited. One offered a contract the next day. I did some digging and decided to hold out for the other place to respond. They did. Loose Id had published some of my favorite authors and they wanted me? My bottom lip is still not quite back in place from it falling to the floor and they offered the contract back in late February early March.
A JINNI’S WISH is my debut novel, so like pilot episodes of new shows, give it a shot, smile and nod, and see what you think. I have a new book in the works, totally unrelated to the world in A JINNI’S WISH, and I learned a great deal writing, rewriting, and re-rewriting that, so I can only improve from here.
ABOUT A JINNI’S WISH
In the desert city, Al-Timini, humans and Mystics–magical beings–coexist peacefully…until humans begin to disappear. Suspecting evil in their own kind, Mystic detectives hire Ilyas Bashour, a lonely human scholar, hoping his keen mind can uncover answers where their own efforts have failed.
Namir is a jinni living in the city’s ancient library. Abused and degraded by his former master, he has abandoned hope of finding another who is kind and trustworthy–until Ilyas discovers him. To Namir’s surprise, his reluctant new master treats him as an equal. Soon their relationship takes on a sexual dimension. And not just that; the two of them begin falling in love.
Their combined talents are desperately needed when the Mystics are also threatened, but their growing passion may endanger everyone, including themselves.
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Ilyas went back inside and sat at his desk. The jinni hummed tunelessly as he washed the dishes, and Ilyas had to smile. On the heels of the smile came dread. He’d nearly lost it when he heard about Namir lying bloody on the ground from the arrow wound. Had the jinni’s timing been off one way or the other, either Abdullah would’ve been dead or Namir would’ve been. Ilyas couldn’t keep the jinni inside at all times, but Namir’s appearance did make him stand out. If Ilyas was honest with himself, he still wasn’t used to Namir’s near-translucent skin, bald head, colorless eyes, and monotone voice. Ilyas knew it was time to make his first wish.
His decision sent tingles throughout his body that bordered on arousing. Namir must’ve felt it too because he burst from the kitchen to the sitting room, hands still wet from the dishes. He knelt before Ilyas, who had a flash of doubt. Should he change the jinni? Namir’s body language was eager, and he smiled, although it didn’t reach his eyes as usual. Would Namir’s personality blossom once he was shaped?
“You wish to shape me?”
“You may use my name,” Ilyas said and put up a hand to silence him. The jinni had proven himself trustworthy. “You may use my name, Namir,” he repeated, using his to let him know he meant it. “I wish to shape you. Change your appearance. I am Ilyas Bashour.”
Namir didn’t answer, but he took Ilyas’s hands. Emotions poured through Ilyas, and the sensation left his hands and the rest of his body tingling again. Ilyas closed his eyes, wondering how to go about changing Namir, but the jinni had already started. Namir’s hands shrank slightly, the fingers long and slender yet still male. His cool skin warmed. When he whispered his master’s name, Ilyas realized that the jinni had tapped into his deepest desires to shape himself. Was that the power a master gave to a jinni by allowing the use of his name? Their souls could touch? Ilyas kept his eyes closed and felt the jinni move Ilyas’s hand to his face. Namir’s features felt…handsome. Ilyas ran his fingers through soft, thick, long hair.
The entire process took less than a few minutes.
Ilyas opened his eyes to meet a pair of beautiful ones. Namir’s eyes were now hazel, fading to green. He noticed a moment too late that the jinni was exhausted.
“I need Madrya and Esseli,” he said in a weak tenor’s voice. He spoke an echoing word in a tongue unknown to Ilyas before crumpling into his arms, unconscious.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
B. Leslie Tirrell became a writer in the third grade when her teacher penalized the class and made them finish a story in their Spelling book. She fell in love with writing that day and never stopped. After attempts at becoming a Biologist and peon for The Man, B. Leslie returned to her true vocation of writing and earned her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in June of 2014. She lives in Toledo, Ohio. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys cosplay, yaoi, body modifications, being Asexual, and being a crazy cat lady.
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