Black History Month – An Interview with Julian Winters, Author of The Summer of Everything; On Creating Communities, Queer Black Stories, and Quarantine Tunes

Our Friend is Here! Black History Month Edition. An Interview with Julian Winters, Author of The Summer of Everything; On Creating Communities, Queer Black Stories and Quarantine Tunes

Our Friend is Here! is a guest feature at The Quiet Pond, where authors, creatives, and fellow readers, are invited to ‘visit’ the Pond! In Our Friend is Here! guest posts, our visitors (as their very own unique character!) have a friendly conversation about anything related to books or being a reader — and become friends with Xiaolong and friends.

Our Friend is Here: Black History Month Edition is a month-long event at The Quiet Pond during the month of February, where Black authors are invited to celebrate being Black and Black books! Find the introduction post for Black History Month here.

From his first published novel Running with Lions to his upcoming Right Where I Left You (2022), Julian Winters has been loved at the Pond from day one. His novels feature Black queer protagonists, who are lovable, fun, and thoughtful. They demonstrate that it is okay to be figuring stuff out, and to enjoy themselves along the way.

Read More »

Black History Month – An Interview with L.L. McKinney, Author of A Blade So Black; On Writing Retellings, Missing Parents in YA, and Her Top Three Anime

Black History Month – An Interview with L.L. McKinney, Author of A Blade So Black; On Writing Retellings, Missing Parents in YA, and Her Top Three Anime

Our Friend is Here! is a guest feature at The Quiet Pond, where authors, creatives, and fellow readers, are invited to ‘visit’ the Pond! In Our Friend is Here! guest posts, our visitors (as their very own unique character!) have a friendly conversation about anything related to books or being a reader — and become friends with Xiaolong and friends.

Our Friend is Here: Black History Month Edition is a month-long event at The Quiet Pond during the month of February, where Black authors are invited to celebrate being Black and Black books! Find the introduction post for Black History Month here.

A series that I’ve been following very closely since its start is A Blade So Black by L.L. McKinney, a dark retelling of Alice in Wonderland that packs a heck lot more action. more monsters straight out of nightmares, and a Black teen who becomes a Dreamwalker, a being and fighter who protects our world from Wonderland. A Blade So Black is so much fun and just the perfect action-packed adventure if you want something exciting, fun, but also incredibly relatable and down-to-earth. And then, I discovered – what would become – one of my favourite short stories ever: Your Life Matters, also by L.L. McKinney, about a Black superheroine and her white sidekick, set in a Black Lives Matter protest.

Read More »

Black History Month – An Interview with Sarah Raughley, Author of The Bones of Ruin; On Her Inspirations, Growth as a Writer, and How RPGs Do It Better

Our Friend is Here! is a guest feature at The Quiet Pond, where authors, creatives, and fellow readers, are invited to ‘visit’ the Pond! In Our Friend is Here! guest posts, our visitors (as their very own unique character!) have a friendly conversation about anything related to books or being a reader — and become friends with Xiaolong and friends.

Our Friend is Here: Black History Month Edition is a month-long event at The Quiet Pond during the month of February, where Black authors are invited to celebrate being Black and Black books! Find the introduction post for Black History Month here.

I love seeing Black young-adult fantasy stories, especially when there’s Black Girl Magic written by Black authors. Books like A Blade So Black and Amari and the Night Brothers, two of my favourite fantasy stories that feature Black girls as heroines who grapple with and weird extraordinary power, are stories I love reading. If you love the sound of these stories too, then I’m really excited to share with you all today’s wonderful author interview, whose line of incredible work have brought readers interesting and powerful Black magical girls.

Read More »

Book Recommendations: Black History Month Edition! 20 Black Science-Fiction and Fantasy Books

Our Friend is Here: Black History Month Edition is a month-long event at The Quiet Pond during the month of February, where Black authors are invited to celebrate being Black and Black books! Find the introduction post for Black History Month here.

In case you’re new to the Pond’s book recommendation posts, the recommendation posts are brought to you by Varian, the Pond’s very own Toadshifter who is knowledgeable in all kinds of magic! One of Varian’s ambitions is to get better at sewing, hence why whenever Varian has come up with their latest costume, they will always recommend a few books that inspired them!

Can you believe that February and Black History Month are almost over? Though we don’t have that many days left in February, I do, however, have a selection of incredible SFF books I’d like to recommend to you for Black History Month at the Pond.

But first, a quick recap: we had a spectacular week at Black History Month at the Pond this week. Skye and I interviewed Celeste Harte, who talked about her debut and indie publishing; Skye and Alexis Henderson worked together on a Pond-cation worldbuilding post that explored the village of Bethel; I interviewed Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé and we talked about her stunning debut and dark academia; and Chrystal D. Giles also visited for an interview and talked about Take Back the Block and activism!

Read More »

Black History Month – Interview with Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé, Author of Ace of Spades; On Black Horror, Dark Academia, and Her Exciting Debut

Our Friend is Here! is a guest feature at The Quiet Pond, where authors, creatives, and fellow readers, are invited to ‘visit’ the Pond! In Our Friend is Here! guest posts, our visitors (as their very own unique character!) have a friendly conversation about anything related to books or being a reader — and become friends with Xiaolong and friends.

Our Friend is Here: Black History Month Edition is a month-long event at The Quiet Pond during the month of February, where Black authors are invited to celebrate being Black and Black books! Find the introduction post for Black History Month here.

I have had the privilege of already reading Ace of Spades, an upcoming young-adult thriller from debut author Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé, and I have already called it one of my favourite books of 2021. Set in an elite high school, the story follows two Black teens as they are taunted, their secrets spilled by an anonymous texter who seems set on ruining their lives. Ace of Spades is absolutely stunning – and jaw-dropping and shocking and it will, as the cliche goes, make you hold a breath you won’t realise that you are holding.

Read More »