Posted by Literary Titan
Raw Kingdom follows Khadir on his trip overseas where a series of unfortunate events sends him on an adventure. What was the inspiration for the setup to this exciting story?
The inspiration for the series as a whole is based off my personal journey, albeit less dangerous. As one starts their journey of self-discovery, they tend to think that they have the ability to find all the answers to their questions, that they automatically know what’s best for them and that since it’s their journey, things have to go their way in order for them to succeed and they must seek as little help as possible, if at all. As such person going on about his journey, they realise that such mentality may sound good in theory but not so much in practice. Khadir’s journey is about him realising that no matter how ambitious your goals are, it does not necessarily mean that it would procure any good for you and that perhaps what is beneficial is at the end of the most disliked road.
Khadir is an intriguing and well-developed character. What were some driving ideals behind his character development?
Looking at Khadir from the beginning, he is the typical first-generation immigrant. Grew up on the outside looking in. With two cultures that couldn’t be further from each other. And trying to carve an identity in a melting pot environment. People find many ways to carve their identity, whether it be going to the family tree or travel. Khadir chose the latter, as he long decided that his origins where not a relevant factor in who he was as a person. Rather he sought to find belonging in what he believed to be worth identifying with. But as we see in the story, he is forced to come face to face with his roots in a way no one would want to. But perhaps, it would help achieve his goal after all.
I enjoyed the juxtaposition between Khadir’s American upbringing compared to Mohamed’s Djadzele upbringing. What were some themes you wanted to explore in this dichotomy?
Small correction: Khadir isn’t actually based in America. I actually purposefully left his birthplace ambiguous since I wanted this series to connect with diasporic kids all over the western world. You’d be surprised at how similar the experience of diasporic kid in Canada is to one in France. And the aspect which rings true the most is that diasporic kids know very little if at all about their home country. And such lack of knowledge leads to many assumptions, mostly negative and thus makes them want to disassociate with their roots. This is clearly seen in Khadir were he often blames his shortcomings on the “backward” culture of Djadzele. Yet we see in his cousin the same attitude towards the cultural aspects of Khadir except the reaction is different. As Khadir’s confusion grew with every new practice he encountered, Mohamed’s confused grew at every slang term and pop culture reference. Yet the theme of companionship and trust will explore as the stakes get higher and the series continue.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
The second installment of the series. This is the one I’m most excited about as all the main players of the series will be introduced and Khadir’s patience, will and trust will truly be put to the test. If you though that Buried in the Dust was intense, then just know that this was the first book. Expect a spring 2021 release.
Posted by Literary Titan
Khadir is beginning to regret going to visit his cousins in Djadzele. It’s hot, nobody speaks English, there’s no cell signal, and it comes with it’s own new dangers. He grew up in the Hood, but this place is different. Yeah there may be a few loose cannons occasionally having drive-by shootings, but at least he never had to deal with animal attacks or full on roving armies. He makes an innocent mistake and drinks some juice so he gets sent to the market. While at the market he sees someone in trouble and decides to help…. and it all goes downhill from there. So much for being the hero.
I found the juxtaposition between Khadir’s American upbringing compared to Mohamed’s Djadzele upbringing to be interesting and engaging. Mohamed is a sweet and practical boy that makes for a good side kick to the story. Khadir is a snarky American teenager, brimming with cockiness and pop culture references. For all his cockiness though, it’s funny to watch him be so afraid of things. Having Mohamed level him out and be more rational was just what the story needed. Mohamed is less worldly, but is also confident. He knows what to do and when to do it, but he lacks the cockiness of his cousin. If they were both confident and cocky, the story would lose it’s charm. In the last chapter or two of the book we get a new addition to the story. We get some hints at their personality, but I can’t wait to see how they fair. Hopefully the next book will be out soon, because they aren’t out of danger by the end of the book! I have to know how it ends!
Raw Kingdom is a thrilling adventure story that will have urban fantasy fans begging for the follow-up novel.
Pages: 123 | ASIN: B08DK3GXRG