I’ll start off this post by saying that in both the original and published versions of The Genie Whisperer, Tavor advocated for Ali stealing the rest of the McMichael genies after she came home with three of them. But in the original version, the first three were Tavor, Rajan, and Ocean. Admittedly, Rajan’s and Ocean’s connection with the McMichaels was nebulous since they’d been in a museum for who knows how long, but I think my justification was that they used to belong to the McMichaels before they got lost. And then they got lost just because (this is an example of terrible writing, lol). And since Ali didn’t have special genie whisperer powers in the first version, Tavor simply just decided she should steal the rest of the McMichael genies, because why not after she already had three of them?
With that background out of the way, on to the original version of how Ali got Illan and his gem!
The billionaire McMichaels were always the big antagonists during the time of Ali meeting the genies. After all, how else would a massively powerful family full of megalomaniacs react to having their genies stolen? Even a significantly less powerful family with also significantly less egos would still react poorly. But in the original version of the story, Ali first learns about the charming McMichael family when she agrees to go after Illan, though in both versions of the story, Ali meeting the triplets is her first actual introduction to any members of the family. In the original version, Illan still belonged to the triplets, who I believe were always referred to as the three idiot brothers.
That is largely where the similarities end between the original version and the published version. For one, it really didn’t take Tavor all that much convincing for Ali to go after the rest of the genies. She didn’t consider it the dangerous and ultimately pointless imposition that she does in the published version of the story. She was way more easy-going than the rigid, study-obsessed nerd I turned her into. And I fully admit that a lot of the inspiration for her attitude comes from me. I am immensely set on what I want to accomplish and how I want to get there, and I don’t like anything that interferes with that, even if it’s just for a day.
The adventure to actually get Illan originally took place within the triplet’s home, since Ali was actively going after the ice genie. I had an explanation for Tavor being unable to get through the magic protecting the triplet’s home, so he was unable to join them (a recuring theme in writing The Genie Whisperer is inventing reasons to not have Tavor around because of how powerful he is and how easily he can solve so many things). However, elemental genies could get around that magic, so Rajan and Ocean joined Ali on this heist. Things went fairly quickly from there because, as I mentioned in the post about Ali’s original meeting of Rajan, Ali meeting all of the genies was at first smooshed into one book rather than divided into two. I ended up splitting it in part because I wanted to showcase each genie more.
For writing the published version, since Ali only had Rajan and Tavor with her, and Tavor didn’t know she could steal genies yet, I had to find a natural reason for Ali to encounter Illan, leading to her criminal professor having a connection with the McMichael family that brought the ice genie her way. And her obtaining Illan, of course, tied in nicely to having Tavor finally realize what Ali is.