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J. Elle and I discuss her young adult fantasy novel, WINGS OF EBONY, and her new middle grade novel, A TASTE OF MAGIC. We talk about planning a series, worldbuilding, magic systems, tips for faster drafting, her time working as an intern for a literary agency, Twitter opportunities for writers, that time she wrote a book in nine days, and so much more.
J. Elle is a prolific Black author and advocate for marginalized voices in both publishing and her community. Her debut novel, Wings of Ebony, is book one in a YA fantasy duology about a Black girl from a poor neighborhood who learns she’s magical. Wings of Ebony is a lead title with Simon & Schuster, out February 23, 2021.
Twelve-year-old Kyana has just found out the family secret--she's the first witch in her family for generations! Which means mandatory lessons every Saturday at Park Row Magic Academy--a learning center hidden in the back of the local beauty shop.
Kyana can't wait to learn some spells to help out at home. The only downside is having to keep her magic a secret from her connected-at-the-hip BFF Nae. But then the magic school loses their funding, forcing the students to pay a hefty tuition at the school across town or have their magic stripped. Determined not to let that happen, Kyana enters a baking competition with a huge cash prize. After all, she's learned how to make the best desserts from her Memaw. But will Kyana be able to keep up her grades in both magic school and real school while preparing for the competition and without revealing her magic? And what happens when a little taste of magic works its way into her cupcakes in the first round of competition?