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'Is this for real?'

26 March 2018

‘For the past 10 months I've spent a lot of time thinking, is this for real? I had a lot of different reasons for writing the book but at its core was the desire to write for black teenage girls growing up reading books they were absent from. That was my experience as a child. Children of Blood and Bone is a chance to address this. To say you are seen...

In my perfect world, we'd have one black girl fantasy book every month. We need them, and we need fantasy stories about black boys as well...

That's why the success of (the recent Marvel movie) Black Panther has been so significant - black and marginalised audiences have the chance to see themselves as heroes depicted in a beautiful and empowering way, and white audiences get to see new stories told, and it becomes easier for them to picture a black superhero. Imagination is a funny thing - we sometimes need to see something before we can truly picture it.

Our books aren't there to magically fix publishing but maybe they'll start the changes moving so that in six months we'll have even more great stories, where we see ourselves and are heard.'

Tomi Adeyemi, author of debut YA novel Children of Blood and Bone in the Observer