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.
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.
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