This is the last of my posts comparing the original version of The Genie Whisperer written back when I was in college to what I ended up publishing when I rewrote it. I hope this series of posts has provided some interesting insights!
I’ve mentioned in my newsletter and a few other places that I’ve been a fan of reverse harem manga and anime for a long time. I discovered it in junior high/high school and fell in love with the fun stories of all these incredible guys vying for the attention of one girl. When I originally and wrote planned The Genie Whisperer, I did it in a similar vein to the reverse harem stories that I’d enjoyed.
But I had a problem. Back then, independent publishing wasn’t really a thing yet, and a love octagon (which is what Ali plus her seven genies would equal) was not accepted in the traditional publishing world. This led to a concern that when I attempted to traditionally publish, an agent or publisher might make me change some of the genies into girls to reduce the number of love interests.
As much as I’d disliked that idea, I did have vague ideas of which genies I might change, though the thought of changing any of them made me sad.
Then, when I got back around to writing again after graduating college, I put a lot of study into the publishing industry and learned both about indie publishing and that reverse harem had become a sub-genre, though those stories don’t generally resemble the reverse harem manga I loved, which still makes me a little sad. However, I was thrilled to come to the realization that I could keep all the genies just the way I had intended them and have Ali keep her seven love interests.
Back when I had plans to traditionally publish, so also meaning when I wrote the original story, Tavor was the endgame love interest. With how scheming he’s turned out to be, I think that might have led to many unhappy readers. Good thing independent publishing became a thing!