Black Girl Magic: Tomi Adeyemi scores high-profile book deal and seven-figure movie deal

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Tomi Adeyemi, the author of 'Children of Blood and Bone'

After the roaring success of her debut novel ‘Children of Blood and Bone’, author Tomi Adeyemi nets another huge deal.

At just 24 years old, Nigerian author, Tomi Adeyemi scores a high-profile book deal and seven-figure movie deal off the back of her bestseller book 'Children of Blood and Bone' making her one of the most successful young authors in the world.

Whilst appearing on 'Good Morning America', Tomi Adeyemi explained that her Nigerian heritage played a huge role in shaping her debut novel, 'The Children of Blood And Bone.' Adeyemi describes the epic fantasy series as “Black Panther but with magic.”

Whilst teaching in Brazil, Adeyemi started working on the book series and fell in love with Nigerian mythology at the same time. This explains why Nigerian myths and legends are an integral part of 'The Children of Blood And Bone,' which is the first book in a trilogy.

The story's protagonist Zélie, a fisherman’s daughter, is sent on a quest to restore magic to her culture. She is confronted by divine forces and teams up with unlikely allies. The story is reminiscent of other entries into the fantasy favourites like Harry Potter but is still very much rooted in real life.

 

Speaking to The Guardian, Adeyemi also revealed that that she was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. In one scene in the beginning of the book, she recreated the video of a police officer pushing a teenage girl to the ground at a pool party in Texas in 2015. She explained that writing the book was therapeutic. 

The book unapologetically Nigerian. Many places are named after Nigerian cities, characters wear traditional Nigerian fashion and there's a spiritual connection to the country. She said that for all the reasons people like Black Panther, people will love her book. 

“That’s why the success of [the recent Marvel movie] Black Panther has been so significant – black and marginalized 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,” she told The Guardian. “Imagination is a funny thing – we sometimes need to see something before we can truly picture it.”

Adeyemi's book is important for the culture because it's important that Nigerians the world over get a chance to tell their own stories. Nigeria is such a culturally and spiritually rich country and lends itself easily to the fantasy genre.

We hope Adeyemi's success will spur other young writers to reach into the depths of their imagination and find their own bestsellers.

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