The Write Type - Episode 10 - Interview with Eishar Brar, Editorial Director at Knights Of

Show notes:

  • In this episode, I talk with Eishar Brar, Editorial Director at Knights Of, a publisher who specializes in publishing books about and by marginalized people

  • They have published works such as Knights and Bikes by Gabrielle Kent, Ghost by Jason Reynolds and more.

  • In the episode, we talk about the day in the life of an editor at Knights Of, the importance of diverse literature and which writer’s she’d love to have tea with

  • Their submission is constantly open 24/7 and they cannot wait to see your diverse stories!

  • Twitter: @_KnightsOf

  • Instagram: @_KnightsOf

  • Website: www.KnightsOf.media

Thank you for listening! <3

The Write Type - Episode 9 - 'Trench' Coat Part 4 with Namina Forna

Show notes:

  • In this episode we talk about what happens post book-deal

  • Namina Forna’s The Gilded Ones is essentially The Hunger Games x The Handmaids Tale and we spend the episode talking about her journey to publication as well

  • We discuss barriers in publishing

  • How she started out first in film school

  • We also talk about how her being Black effected the way she was rejected and the amount of rejections she received

  • She was told by agents and other higher ups that people were not interested in reading about people who looked like her

  • We discuss questions to ask literary agents during an offer call

  • We also talk about what to look for in an agent

  • “I did not understand the barriers that were against me. If I had, if I’d understood the amount of pain, the amount of years that I would spend knocking on a wall that was not going to open for me…I probably would have quit and would have done something else.” - Namina Forna

  • “I cannot help but think how many other talented writers of olour gave up because the wall was insurmountable.” - Namina Forna

  • “I think Black Panther in so many ways changed the game.” - Namina Forna

  • We talk about her having a UK literary agent despite being from the US

  • A look into UK and US book deals

  • Having a day job

  • Finances and financial literacy

  • Twitter: @NaminaForna

  • Instagram: @Namina.Forna

  • Website: www.NaminaForna.com

    Thank you for listening to this episode! Hope you found it engaging and helpful!

The Write Type - Episode 8 - Interview with Amélie Wen Zhao

Show notes:

  • In this episode I interview Amélie Wen Zhao, author of Blood Heir, which will publish November 19th in the US and November 21st in the UK.

amelie pic for web.jpeg
  • Amélie (yes, like the movie!) has adored putting pen to paper since she was in kindergarten. Born in Paris and raised in a multicultural community in Beijing, Amélie has a bone-deep love for traveling and immersing herself in new worlds and cultures. She lives in New York City, working as a full-time financial professional by day, and writer at night.

    She hopes to empower young readers with messages of acceptance, strength, and courage through her works, and to continue to push the boundaries of young adult literature by exploring new, cross-cultural themes.

    Amélie is represented by Peter Knapp of Park Literary & Media.

  • In the Cyrilian Empire, Affinites are reviled. Their varied gifts to control the world around them are unnatural—dangerous. And Anastacya Mikhailov, the crown princess, has a terrifying secret. Her deadly Affinity to blood is her curse and the reason she has lived her life hidden behind palace walls.

    When Ana’s father, the emperor, is murdered, her world is shattered. Framed as his killer, Ana must flee the palace to save her life. And to clear her name, she must find her father’s murderer on her own. But the Cyrilia beyond the palace walls is far different from the one she thought she knew. Corruption rules the land, and a greater conspiracy is at work—one that threatens the very balance of her world. And there is only one person corrupt enough to help Ana get to its core: Ramson Quicktongue.

    A cunning crime lord of the Cyrilian underworld, Ramson has sinister plans—though he might have met his match in Ana. Because in this story, the princess might be the most dangerous player of all.

  • We start by talking about her publication journey, from querying to getting an agent to getting a book deal

  • Her process to getting Blood Heir published was 5 years in the making

  • We spoke about how she likes to make sure she takes her time with perfecting her work before doing something as big as querying

  • “Taking my time to make sure I had it to the best place…before I took my shot.” - Amelie

  • “I’ve always believed in working hard. But I also think that working smart is really important to me.” - Amelie

  • Amelie talks about getting agent who is going to be your biggest champion

  • She discusses her inspiration for writing her debut

  • “I fell in love with the idea of reversing the trope of a princess. I wanted her to be the most dangerous player in this game. I wanted to make a book where the princess was the monster.” - Amelie

  • She spoke about the trans pacific slave-trade and how her inspiration also stems from the history of her fiance’s family

  • “We all know that the victors and the powerful write history.” - Amelie

  • We talk about which of her characters she’d take to dinner

  • We also talk about which writers dead or alive she’d take to dinner

  • Twitter: @AmelieWenZhao

  • Instagram: @AmelieWenZhao

  • Website: AmelieZhao.com

The Write Type - Episode 7 - Interviewing a Waterstones Bookseller, Discussing Representation In Publishing, Day In The Life & More!

Show Notes:

  • In this episode, I spoke with a Waterstones Bookseller about bookselling, representation in publishing, her favourite books and everything in between.

  • We discussed her journey to becoming a bookseller and what goes into the job

  • “I’ve tried to reflect the people that come into our shop…” - Rachael

  • We discussd why representation is so important and how Waterstones Croydon ensure people feel welcome and represented in the bookstore through the beautiful displays, such as the LGBT display and the BAME displays

  • Books mentioned: Slay by Brittney Morris, Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi, The Binding by Bridget Collins and The Boy With The Butterfly Mind by Victoria Williamson

  • “No matter what your life is like, you can always be the hero of your own story.” - Rachael

  • Twitter: @WaterstonesCroy

  • IG: @WaterstonesCroydon

The Write Type - Episode 6 - 'Trench' Coat Part 3 with Ciannon Smart

Show notes:

  • In the episode, Ciannon and I discussed how she got an agent, her submission story in both the UK and the US and the way she dealt with the stress of submission

  • We go in-depth into what happens on submission and how everyone has a varied timeline. Some people it takes days, weeks or months and in some cases a year or more

  • Have low expectations to avoid disappointment over variables and outcomes you can not control

  • “Submission is like a wild dance” - Ciannon Smart

  • Ciannon suggests keeping yourself busy during submission to stay sane

  • “With submission…you arm yourself with all the knowledge you can” - Ciannon Smart

  • We discuss different submission styles, some writers ask to only hear about the good news their agent receives from publishers, some ask for the constructive criticism and others want to hear everything. Ciannon and I had very different submission styles.

  • “Expect nothing” - Ciannon Smart

  • Ciannon suggests that writers get a non-writing hobby

  • She also debunks the common advice that writers should always work on something new while awaiting news. This is not something everyone is emotionally capable of. Don’t force yourself to write something new while on submission if you have no energy to.

  • We gushed a lot about our agents and our publishers

  • Ciannon’s Twitter: @CiannonS

  • Ciannon’s IG: @AuthorCiannonSmart

  • Ciannon’s Website: www.ciannonsmart.com

Thanks for listening!

The Write Type - Episode 5 - My Favourite Books Of The Year (so far)

Show notes:

  • In this episode I talk about my favourite books of the year so far

  • I’m currently on 57 books, despite my goal being 100 books and while I’m behind I have read so many incredible books that i’d love to share with you all

  • Rise Up by Stormzy

  • To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

  • Hunger by Roxane Gay

  • Paper Girls the graphic novel

  • My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

  • Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

  • The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna

  • The Places I’ve Cried In Public by Holly Bourne

  • On The Come Up by Angie Thomas

  • Rocket Says Look Up by Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola

  • Proud Book edited by Juno Dawson

  • Heartstopper by Alice Oseman

  • Alex In Wonderland by Simon James Green

  • Bloom the graphic novel

  • Noughts and Crosses the graphic novel

  • An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

  • The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven

  • Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab

  • Taking Up Space by Chelsea Kwakye and Ore Ogunbiyi

  • The Boy At The Back of The Class by Onjali Q. Rauf

Thank you for listening!

The Write Type - Episode 4 - 'Trench' Coat Part 2 with Louisa Onomé

Show notes:

  • In this episode, we talk in-depth about the query process

  • We define what a query is for people who are still not sure

  • We start with our query letters

  • Louisa’s query:

Sixteen-year-old Chinelo is all about her neighbourhood. She loves the chill vibe of Ginger East, its ride-or-die sense of community, and the good memories she has of her best friends growing up there. Even though most of them moved away, and new, gentrified businesses have altered the make-up of her neighbourhood, she still has Kate, whose family owns local staple Ginger Store, and as long as both Kate and Ginger Store never leave, she's good. After all, Ginger Store was Chinelo's unofficial hangout spot, her first semi-job, and her second home; she knows she wouldn't be the same without it.


But when Ginger Store is broken into, Chinelo's sense of security is shaken. Her first instinct? Find out who did this and why they'd want to hurt her community by targeting such a beloved spot. Unwanted media attention from the incident makes Kate less enthusiastic to dig around, causing a rift between her and Chinelo. To top it all off, local real estate developers want Kate's family to sell, forcing the girls to drift further apart from each other. Chinelo's entire world is changing and she must figure out how to get things back on track or risk losing herself and her world to the constant monster of change. It should be for the better, but better for who?

  • Faridah’s query:

From sex-tapes to covered up murders, Devon and Chiamaka have a lot at stake if their secrets ever get out.

Anyone that knows them knows that they are furthest from friends; some may even call them enemies. But when ‘Aces’, an anonymous texter, starts spreading their secrets around their private school, they have no choice but to team up and expose their tormentor’s identity. If they fail to act fast enough, they risk social annihilation and losing out on a place at their dream colleges. 

Devon and Chiamaka set out to find the person or people behind Aces, what they find, however, is the soiled history of their school’s past and that Aces is not just a game of high school mean girl’s, but instead a powerful institution that dates back 400 years ago: an institution with the power to ruin not only the lives of the only Black students at the private academy, but also historically the lives of millions that looked just like them.

Now it’s not just about them –Devon and Chiamaka must expose Aces or risk a violent and treacherous history repeating itself.

  • We also spoke about the differences in MG stories VS YA

  • Coded language marginalized writers get in rejections

  • Query experience

  • Pop-Up/breaking new ground an organisation that this year put together a book of all the authors and illustrators of colour in the UK, click here to view it

  • Jesus and Jollof Podcast check out for some inspiring talk by amazing Nigerian actresses/entrepreneurs

  • DVpit and AMM talk

  • Not being successful in DVPit but that not being the end of the road

  • “New things always come out of the ashes.” - Louisa Onomé

  • Twitter: @LouisaOnome_

  • Instagram: @LouisaOnome

  • Website: http://louisaonome.com/

Thank you for listening!

The Write Type - Episode 3 - Interview with Alexandra Sheppard Author of Oh My Gods

Show notes:

  • In this episode Alex and I chat about being a Black British writer in the UKYA space, and the unique challenges that comes with

  • Alexandra’s journey to being traditionally published

  • “Don’t let your inbox rule your life” - Alexandra Sheppard

  • “Get it all on the page and sculpt it later.” - Alexandra Sheppard

  • She mentions both a new publisher in the UK who prioritise marginalised stories and are made up of a very diverse staff and their amazing book shop which does the same. The publisher is Knights Of and their book shop is Round Table Books!

  • We also talk about her favourite greek myths and greek myth inspired novels, which you’ll have to listen to the episode to find out more on

  • You can follow Alexandra on Instagram @alexsheppard19 and Twitter @alexsheppard

Thank you for listening!

The Write Type - Episode 2 - 'Trench' Coat Part 1 with Adiba Jaigirdar

Show notes:

Here is my brand new series, the ‘Trench’ Coat Series! A series of discussions with writers of colour about different stages in the process of getting traditionally published. First part is what happens before querying. Next part is on querying - so look out for that!

In this episode me and YA author Adiba Jaigirdar discuss everything from querying to the things that happen before you query, like pitch contests, drafting, editing, looking for critique partners (CPs) and beta readers. We give our perspective as women of colour who also happen to be Muslim and queer and how our identity has brought up challenges along this journey.

You can follow Adiba on these links:

Twitter: @Adiba_J

Instagram: @Dibs_J

Website: adibajaigirdar.com/

If I’ve missed anything from the show notes that you would like me to add, just let me know and I’ll add them! Thank you for listening.