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When All Else Fails, You Have to Dream

5 Scrabble tiles arranged to form the word Dream atop a bed of blank tiles

Please join me in welcoming author Jina Bazzar here today. You may know her from Authors Inspirations, where she blogs about her experiences writing and editing a book as a woman who is blind. She created her blog to connect with other women who are undergoing the publishing journey and have disabilities. I remember when I first learned about Jina’s blindness and I was blown away by this as I recognized the big challenge to the writing process that must bring her. Jina Bazzar is an inspiration, as you will see from her guest post below.

When All Else Fails, You Have to Dream

When I first became blind over a decade ago, one thing I had in abundance was time. There was nothing really much I could do to entertain myself besides listen to loud music, bake, and sometimes listen to talk shows on TV.

In a world where women, particularly women with disability are one of the biggest marginalized groups, it was no surprise that my application for inclusion in learning and rehabilitating systems were denied. Especially when I was living in a patriarch, third world country.

It took me time, but I eventually learned about screen readers, and with that, picked up the habit of reading again. But soon, I was restless. For purely entertainment purposes, I decided to write my own book, a story where discrimination, abandonment and abuse walk hand in hand and people with power go unchecked, confident that there would never be a punishment for their crimes.

Jina Bazzar On Writing Fantasy

Fantasy was my hobby, both because I found it fascinating and because of its flexibility and versatility. There are never any boundaries fantasy can’t cross, and so it was no surprise the story I began writing fell under this genre.

The protagonist, a twenty-two year old mixed breed named Roxanne, had lead a normal life until the age of twelve when she was forced to leave her home for a research facility, where she learned that she was not human. For nine years while she lived as the scientist’s special guinea pig, Roxanne’s rights were non-existent. The story takes place a year and a half after Roxanne has escaped the facility.

To avoid being discovered by the mercenaries the scientists send after her,
Roxanne is forced to stay on the run,  taking low paying jobs and moving from one place to the other, always afraid of discovery.

Her self-esteem is low, her self-confidence nil, but she’s determined to stay free, to lead as normal a life as possible.

Heir of Ashes book cover, featuring dark sky, orange moon, and creature's shadow

Creating Female Character Roxanne

Creating Roxanne’s character sometimes came naturally to me, other times it was more difficult. It was easy to envision what a realistic reaction would be. In other words, what a person who’s been through what Roxanne did would reply or do. At times though, I had to press the delete key more than once and go researching.

Aside from all the discrimination and abandonment issues, there’s mention of rape in the story (though nothing descriptive or graphic). There were times during the revision where I contemplated erasing this part. But I know such things are, unfortunately, very real. And so at the end, I decided to keep it. When the topic comes up, Roxanne must face it. Humiliation and shame are among her top emotions, along with anger. She’s shunned and neglected by her own clan for being born different; she’s starved for any modicum of affection. Despite, or in spite of, all her doubts and fears, nothing stops her from fighting for what she wants; her determination is bound in iron.

At the end, Roxanne Fosch turned out to be a complex character. A person who was as compassionate as she was unfeeling. She saw a lot of horrific things and yet remained naive. A person who had many faults and flaws and the potential of becoming something great, but who wanted nothing but an ordinary, boring life.

Heir of Ashes is the first book in the Roxanne Fosch trilogy. It is an urban fantasy novel full of action and adventure. It’s full of the ugly, but realistic truths of the world: discrimination, abandonment, abuse, power and superiority and broken laws.

Author Jina Bazzar in an Arab headpiece smiles from indoors in the Middle East
This is Jina Bazzar, blogger and author. Photo via Jina.

About Jina Bazzar

Jina was born and raised in Brazil, and currently lives in the middle-east. She led a normal, uneventful life, until she developed a chronic disease during her late teens that eventually caused her to go blind.

When she’s not writing in the Roxanne Fosch series or her blog, Jina writes articles for Conscious talk Magazine as a columnist. She is also on Twitter and BookBub.

Pick up your copy of Heir of Ashes at any of these platforms: Amazon, Goodreads, Kobo, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble.

33 thoughts on “When All Else Fails, You Have to Dream”

  1. Thank you, Christy, for sharing Jina’s story and her book. She is truly inspiring with such a lovely smile. God bless her. Hugs to you both

  2. What a lovely guest post, Jina and Christy. I loved hearing about your writing journey, Jina. Your description of your book’s origin, inspiration, and its main character feel personal and relevant. I love the picture of you too, just had to say it. Congrats on your book and keep up the fabulous creativity. Happy Writing.

  3. I loved this! It was so inspiring. I love how she changed your troubles and turned them into a passion, using writing as an outlet. I think that’s amazing! Especially as an aspiring fantasy novelist like myself, it was such a joy to read about her journey and experience :D

  4. So nice to learn about Jina, her journey and what sounds a great read that I am adding to my TBR. Thanks for the introduction Christy. <3

  5. This is incredibly inspirational. The obstacles overcome, the tenacity, perseverance. An incredible human-interest story. So glad you’ve introduced us to Jina. Her leadership and light are what this world needs. The story line of her book sounds wonderful, too!
    Sending you hugs and wishes for a Happy Friday!

  6. I’m so impressed with and inspired by Jina. If she decides to join Facebook, she might want to connect with my longtime friend and blindness educator Marianne Hewitt Robbins, who lost her sight as an adult. Wonderful post, Christy

    1. Excellent suggestion for Jina, Tina! That’s very thoughtful of you to suggest it. Thanks for being here <3

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