Emily Knight I Am....
Emily Knight Series Book 1
by A. Bello
Genre: YA, MG Fantasy
Emily Knight I AM... is about a thirteen year old warrior named Emily, who is far from ordinary and she hates it! The daughter of a heroic warrior and the press favourite problem child. Against her wishes she is sent to the Osaki Training School to control her powers. She learns to fly, breathe under water and battle but someone has their eyes set on Emily and now she has to chose between the two people she loves.
Emily Knight I AM... has elements of grittiness that is more mature than other fantasy books. As well as being laugh out loud funny, the characters are real, complicated and relatable. A. Bello pushes the boundaries by breaking the conventions in this diverse, absorbing novel.
Emily Knight I Am...Awakened
Emily Knight Series Book 2
Dark times are upon us. Neci is back and she is more dangerous than ever. The warriors are forced to pick a side and to stand up for what they believe in. The race is on to find the missing warrior first. It's the only way to prevent a war from happening and to stop Neci from destroying everything. Emily Knight has to get sharper, stronger and faster because Neci has made her a target and someone is going to great lengths to hurt her. Can Emily win the race? Or will Neci take her down once and for all?
**Nominated for the 2019 Carnegie Medal!**
**Finalist for London's Big Read 2019!**
A. Bello is a young author from North London and the author of the Emily Knight series (Emily Knight I am... & Emily Knight I am...Awakened)
She wrote her first novel at aged 8, where she fought monsters and dragons daily and was first published at aged 12 for a poem she wrote in school.
A. Bello wrote the first in the Emily Knight saga at aged 12, with the intention of filling in a gaping hole in children's fiction for an inspirational, strong, black female protagonist (who can fight like a man!)
A. Bello has received rave reviews for her debut book as well as success with her Emily Knight Warriors pop-up book. She is the founder of The Lil' Author School and co-founder of The Author School. The Author School was shortlisted for The Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2016.
A. Bello has appeared in Female First Magazine, The Mirror, BBC1XTRA to name a few.
What inspired you to write this book?
As a a kid and a teenager, there wasn't any books for my age group that had a strong female character. If they were a main character, they were very dependent on men. There definitely wasn't any characters of girls that looked like me!
I also grew up watching DragonBall Z, X-Men and WWE and I just wanted to read what I liked to watch. I'm obsessed with powers and the idea of being more than what meets the eye.
What can we expect from you in the future?
More books for young people that show strong diverse characters
Do you have any “side stories” about the characters?
I usually do a pop up blog every August and it's a side story featuring one of the characters from the Emily Knight books. I've done 4 so far and they always seem to go down well. It also pushed me to think of the back story of the character in more depth but it all depends if I have a book out that year. Sometimes I don't have time to write one.
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Emily Knight I am...Awakened?
Emily Knight is a powerful teenage warrior who has lived with her godparents since she was a child. She is the youngest child of the legendary Knight family and her father is the strongest and most famous warrior in the world. Emily is rich and privileged but she can't control her strong powers. In the second book I am...Awakened, there's a threat of war and you really see her become more of a leader despite how scared she is to battle in this potential war.
How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book?
The main thing I wanted to show was a young girl that can fight even better than the boys and a black girl that wasn't from the ghetto, in a gang etc but she actually lives in luxury. I didn't want the book to be about race or hair. Emily has normal teenage issues and she just happens to be black.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I really enjoy writing the dynamics of the friendships between Emily Knight, Michella Kinkle, Wesley Parker and Jason Notting. They fight and throw shade at each other but they still love each other so much and push each other to be great.
How did you come up with the title of your first novel?
I wanted my characters name in the title because it's centred around her and I liked the I am... concept because I wanted to reader to figure out who Emily is. Plus the first book is really about the character learning and accepting who she is
Who designed your book covers?
The first edition of Emily Knight I am was designed by Giles Greenfield. He actually did Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, first edition cover. The second edition of I am and Emily Knight I am...Awakened was designed by the power team of Alexandra Artigas and Jem Butcher.
Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
My latest book is my first YA commercial fiction book and I found it so hard! I didn't expect it to be so challenging. I guess I'm a fantasy girl at heart. I wrote the story about eight times because I couldn't decide on what perspective to write from. I finally got it together
If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
My book is set in England and it's very diverse. There's not much diversity in film over here so I couldn't think who would play Emily but I would love John Boyega to play Emily's rebellious brother, Lox and Idris Elba to play the legendary Thomas Knight.
Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Emily Knight I am...Awakened is nominated for the Carnegie Medal 2019 and is shortlisted for London's Big Read 2019. Yay!
What is your favorite part of this book and why?
My favourite part is any scene where Emily and her brother Lox interact. Just their back and forth as siblings is fun to write and all the battle scenes, where I can throw in some crazy punches and fireballs.
If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?
Ooh this is a good one. If I could spend time with any character, I think it would be Lox Knight. I would get him to show me Legend's Village, where he grew up and all the spots he went to when he ran away.
Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
The Emily Knight I am series is a must read because it has a bit of everything! Strong female characters, great friendships, kids that can kick some serious butt, diversity and inclusion, vivid battles and also real challenges in life - relationships, not feeling good enough, being brave when you don't want to be. Everyone will be able to see themselves in this series.
Have you written any other books that are not published?
My latest book Beats, Love and high top trainers is currently with my agent under submission. We've had great interest so fingers crossed!
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