An Interview with Tomi Adeyemi, Author of CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE

March 6, 2018 | 3:00 PM

An Interview with Tomi Adeyemi, Author of CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE

By Team Fierce Reads

Children of Blood and Bone is finally here! ???? To celebrate the release of this groundbreaking book, we've asked author Tomi Adeyemi to answer a few questions for us.

What makes Zélie Fierce?

It would be easy to say that what makes Zélie fierce is her badass skills with a staff, but I think what really makes her fierce is her commitment to her friends and family. Zélie is the type of person who would go to hell and back to protect the people she loves, and her true strength always comes through when she’s put in those situations throughout the book.

If you could give Zélie one piece of advice, what would it be? 

This feels like a trick question because I actually have the ability to give it to her! 

But if I was sitting in a room with Zélie, I think I’d give her the advice a best friend once gave me: Let yourself feel everything you’re feeling and don’t assign guilt or negativity to any of the things you’re feeling.

Zélie beats herself up a lot, so I think this would be the best thing I could tell her.

Describe your book in 3 words.

Black. Girl. Magic.

If you'd met Zélie when you were a teen, would you have been friends?

I definitely wasn’t cool enough to be Zélie’s friend as a teen (lol). Her and Inan wouldn’t give me the time of day.

However Amari and I would be besties because we’d always be looking for food together and a natural kinship would evolve out of that.

Which 3 fictional characters would you want on your apocalypse squad?

  1. Zélie to kickass and carry us to victory/survival
  2. Kaz Brekker to do the same as Zélie but also make out with me
  3. Prince Zuko to do the same as Zélie but also the same as Kaz

What's one fun fact most people don't know about you? 

I spent three beautiful years of my childhood watching the Bollywood film Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham every day. I am not exaggerating. Every single day for three years, I would watch this three-hour movie. I knew all the songs and dances (and still remember most of them).

What's your favorite part of being an author?

The readers and the friends! The few interactions I’ve gotten to have with readers have been some of the most validating experiences of my life, and the wonderful author and publishing friends I’ve made because of this career have brought me so much love and joy.

So really, the people are the best part!

What's the most challenging part of being an author?

Balancing the internal parts of the job with the external parts of the job. For me, writing is very internal, and I write best if I’m in a dark cave with no communication with the outside world. However, bringing a book into the world is extremely external, and it involves frequent communication with your publisher, your agent, your editor, your critique partners, your fellow authors, your readers, booksellers, librarians, etc.

I enjoy both parts a lot, but switching back and forth between the external and the internal in short windows can be challenging for me!

What's the strangest thing you learned while researching Children of Blood and Bone?

I don’t think I encountered anything I found strange, but the most surprising thing I learned was that the hometowns I chose for my four main protagonists were the hometowns and birthplaces of my parents and grandparents! That was cool because it felt like the themes of the book working through my own life!

What would you ask Tomi Adeyemi if you had the chance? Let us know in the comments below!