Best Quotes from Tomi Adeyemi

The knowledge and insights you can get in just one day at a writers’ conference make it worth the trip.

Tomi Adeyemi

You can make something out of every unfinished story and every rejection if you work at it.

Tomi Adeyemi

Children of color need a mirror to see themselves in. And then people who don’t have that experience, they need a window. They need a really personalized way to see what people who are different from them are going through.

Tomi Adeyemi

I am a firm believer that the craziest stories that have been told and are being told are in anime. They have character arcs that go over, like, 400 episodes, like a 400-episode character arc.

Tomi Adeyemi

I want a little black girl to pick up my book one day and see herself as the star. I want her to know that she’s beautiful, and she matters, and she can have a crazy, magical adventure even if an ignorant part of the world tells her she can never be Hermione Granger.

Tomi Adeyemi

I spent 12 years of my life writing stories without black people. That’s insane to me. It’s insane that I could have believed in magical portals and dragons and all that stuff, but to believe a black person could be experiencing those things was unimaginable.

Tomi Adeyemi

I had a lot of different reasons for writing the book, but at its core was the desire to write for black teenage girls growing up reading books they were absent from. That was my experience as a child. ‘Children of Blood and Bone’ is a chance to address that. To say you are seen.

Tomi Adeyemi

With a fantasy world, it’s like, this is my world. I literally made it. So if I tell you something, you do have to sit back and observe more. You need to sit back and listen more to understand what is going on or what’s happening in the world. And I think there’s a lot of power in that.

Tomi Adeyemi

Imagination is a funny thing – we sometimes need to see something before we can truly picture it.

Tomi Adeyemi

I want to give something to the world that I feel I missed out on as a child, and I want to help people of all races, ethnicities, and orientations understand that no matter what differences we may think we have, everyone is a human, and everyone deserves to be respected and valued.

Tomi Adeyemi

If you want to write, just believe that you can, because it’s about perseverance.

Tomi Adeyemi

Death is something that I am still trying to figure out a healthy relationship with.

Tomi Adeyemi

I grew up in a predominantly white community – Hinsdale, Illinois – and given that, I feel blessed because I could still count my experiences with blatant racism on two hands. I thought racism was the substitute teacher picking on you because she assumes that you’re a delinquent, and she doesn’t know you have the highest score in the class.

Tomi Adeyemi

We’ve been told the same story for so long. We’ve seen literally 1,000 ‘Lord of the Rings’ movies.

Tomi Adeyemi

My very first story, I was around 5, and I really just wrote myself. When I was 5, I loved myself so much I gave myself a twin named Tomi. Everything started out fine. But then I didn’t write another black character until I was 18.

Tomi Adeyemi

My freshman year of college, ‘The Hunger Games’ movie adaptation came out, and I was really excited about it. This was maybe 2011. I loved it, but there was a lot of hateful backlash against the black characters in the film.

Tomi Adeyemi

There’s so much talk of representation in politics and entertainment – it’s everywhere – but I didn’t realize representation was important until really my senior year of high school.

Tomi Adeyemi

In terms of people who want to be writers, I wish more people knew how much work it was.

Tomi Adeyemi

Every first draft sucks, so when you have your favorite novel, and you’re like, ‘Wow, this is a masterpiece,’ and then you write your first draft, and you’re like, ‘This is really bad,’ and then you’re like ‘I can’t do this because this is nowhere close.’ When, in reality, the book you loved so much started out just as crappy.

Tomi Adeyemi

‘Children of Blood and Bone’ is basically ‘Black Panther’ with magic.

Tomi Adeyemi

The power of fantasy is that you can make people understand the deeper realities of our world in a way that they wouldn’t normally be able to because of all the things in our world that closes them off.

Tomi Adeyemi

What’s demanded from us black creatives is both a blessing and a curse, because it pushes you to be your absolute best. You cannot be anything less.

Tomi Adeyemi

Part of the reason everyone is freaking out over ‘Black Panther’ is because we’ve never seen it. We have two thousand years of stories, and we’ve never seen it.

Tomi Adeyemi

In my perfect world, we’d have one black girl fantasy book every month. We need them, and we need fantasy stories about black boys as well.

Tomi Adeyemi

You’re never wasting your time as long as you learn from every single thing you do, whether you feel like those attempts are successful or not.

Tomi Adeyemi

You need a community to succeed. In the back of every book is an acknowledgments page full of all the people it took to get that writer to the book you’re holding.

Tomi Adeyemi

With the Internet, there are so many ways to connect with other writers who will be some of your best friends and best sources of support for your entire life.

Tomi Adeyemi

I’m a huge ‘Harry Potter’ fan, but I still think there is a lot of anime that is crazier than ‘Harry Potter,’ and that was a seven-book masterpiece.

Tomi Adeyemi

I’ve been writing stories all my life. My very first story had two little black girls riding horses. They were both me, too, so that’s how into me I was.

Tomi Adeyemi

I will always be my hardest critic. Nobody else will ever be able to come at something I do harder than I come at myself.

Tomi Adeyemi

I deeply believed that I wasn’t worthy – that I couldn’t be in the stories even I was creating. I don’t want anyone else to feel like that.

Tomi Adeyemi

You don’t realise how cool your culture is until you get out of that phase of trying to fit in.

Tomi Adeyemi

If I went to any other college, I probably would have been pre-med. But I felt like I had freedom to do what I wanted to do at Harvard.

Tomi Adeyemi

The things I want to do mostly involve writing.

Tomi Adeyemi

Any person that you would want to watch your movie or see your show or read your book, there’s a million other things that they could be watching or reading or doing.

Tomi Adeyemi

It’s not about creating something that eight billion people would like. It’s about creating something and being able to reach the maybe, like, one million people that would like it a lot.

Tomi Adeyemi

We like epic stories, we like adventure, we like epic fights, so if you can mix a great story that can also really teach someone about a different experience, you have the potential to really help people.

Tomi Adeyemi

Everyone has a story that they read when they were younger that influenced them.

Tomi Adeyemi

I didn’t say I have to be a writer, but I did say that I needed to publish at least one book.

Tomi Adeyemi

For readers of color, and especially black readers, black girls, I just want them to feel seen. And not just seen – I want them to feel epic and know that they are epic.

Tomi Adeyemi

The YA author community is generally pretty friendly, and they care.

Tomi Adeyemi

At every writers’ conference, you have the opportunity to hear from best-selling authors, top literary agents, and excellent editors who will demystify the publishing industry and give you great advice, no matter where you are in your writing career or what you’re currently struggling with.

Tomi Adeyemi

As writers, our craft makes us sit alone at a desk and hammer away at our novel. Doing that day in and day out makes it really easy to forget that there’s a whole community of writers out there, and they love contributing to other writers’ success!

Tomi Adeyemi

If you want to be traditionally published, then you most likely want to get a literary agent. To sign with an agent, you need to send them a query letter, but agents can get up to 20,000 query letters a year. With numbers like that, it helps to get in front of agents with every opportunity you have.

Tomi Adeyemi