Hi, everyone. My apologies for being a day late on this post (I try to do these on Saturdays). I had an early morning for the last day of my business trip and it just didn’t happen.
The idea for His Beloved Infidel came to me as I was reading a book called Daughter of Persia: A Woman’s Journey from Her Father’s Harem Through the Islamic Revolution, by Sattareh Farman Farmaian. Farmaian was the first social worker in Iran, and she writes not only about the challenges she faced in that regard but also the radicalization of young men by the Ayatollahs. When Khomeini came to power, she narrowly escaped the country — and execution.
After reading this book, I reflected on some conversations I had many years previously with a Persian colleague (most of which were ridiculously ignorant on my part, I must admit) … and then went even further back to my high school years. We had an exchange student from Tehran, Ramin, who could not go home because all flights from the US to Iran were cancelled. To this day, he lives in the same area where I grew up (I looked him up recently). Anyway, I started thinking about what it would be like to be an ordinary person caught up in these extraordinary events. I regretted not having been more intellectually curious and asked Ramin questions about his culture and country so that I would have been less ignorant with my colleague … but I didn’t. I also interviewed my hairdresser and her sister, who are also from Iran, to make sure that I had the cultural issues of the time right, and that I wouldn’t do or say anything insensitive.
I knew that I wanted to look at prejudice, but I also knew that I wanted a love story between two people of disparate backgrounds. So, I put Farukh and Catherine in Paris, as colleagues, and gave Farukh a brother who was growing increasingly radicalized. I showed the romance between my hero and heroine developing over several months, even as Farukh is trying to keep a secret from the woman he’s loved from afar and is now having the opportunity to get to know better.
Want your own copy of His Beloved Infidel? Here are the back cover copy and purchase links. The cover price is $1.99.
Farukh and Catherine are colleagues at Paris’ World Language Institute. He is Persian; she is American. Can their newly-discovered love survive the strain of Iran’s Islamic Revolution?
Author Sharon E. Cathcart (In The Eye of The Beholder, Through the Opera Glass) presents her first tale of inter-ethnic romance. Set against the backdrop of real-world events, Cathcart tells the story of ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events.
Chapters Indigo (Canada)
Kobobooks (also available for 2400 SuperPoints)
Overdrive (via your local library)