All posts filed under: Features

10 Tips for Living Your Best Life at the Aké Arts & Book Festival

October 2018 was blessed. After years of longing, the stars finally aligned and I was able to pull together the funds and time to attend the Aké Arts & Book Festival. I’m only a little biased when I state with (Nigerian) pride that Aké is a bright jewel in the literary calendar. The four-day festival was friendly, well organised, inspiring and thought-provoking. What more can you ask for?

21 British Children’s Authors (of Colour) You Should Know

In July a writer friend posted a link to the report: Reflecting Realities – A Survey of Ethnic Representation within UK Children’s Literature 2017. The report was created by the CLPE (Centre for Literacy in Primary Education) and aimed to explore the extent and quality of ethnic representation in children’s publishing in the UK. The results were dire. The report concluded that of 9,115 children’s books published in the UK in 2017 4% featured BAME (black or ethnic minority) characters 1% had a BAME main character

Alyssa Cole is Expanding the Boundaries of Romance

At one point in 2017 it felt like Alyssa Cole’s name was coming at me from every direction. She’d pop up in every Twitter discussion that even vaguely mentioned a romance must-read list, whether the sub category was contemporary, historical or science fiction. During my 10 leagues deep obsession with the Hamilton musical I discovered Cole had contributed to a romance anthology called Hamilton’s Battalion, set during the founding father’s assault on Yorktown. She appeared on Shonda Rhimes’ culture website shondaland.com sharing book recommendations and she was splashed all over the Smart Bitches Trashy Books review website. Yet, despite the universe’s insistence that I read her work, it was the cover design for her novel, A Princess in Theory that finally made me pay attention. Many black authors have talked about the problems they experience creating appealing book covers for their work. Issues range from difficulties finding stock photography that feature black models, to publishing houses that woefully misrepresent the characters the author has created. Therefore, whenever I spot a good black book cover my …