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Namina Forna Books In Order

Publication Order of Deathless Books

The Gilded Ones (2020) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Namina Forna
Namina Forna is a Young Adult novelist and screenwriter. She is originally from Sierra Leone, West Africa. Since moving to America at the age of nine, she has been traveling back and forth.

Namina holds a BA from Spelman College and an MFA in TV and film production from USC School of Cinematic Arts.

She loves witchy-looking cats and spicy foods; she has even been known to wear unicorn onesies up the nearest taco truck.

Namina wanted things to be different when she came to America from Sierra Leone. Overall, she finds that it is about the same, just a bit more polite.

She feels that her biggest influence is her grandmother. While growing up, they would all sit outside and she would tell stories. About native mythology and such. Namina remembers believing every word and finds that it is from her grandma that she got her love of telling a story.

It was while she was at Spelman that she decided she would become a writer, at the age of nineteen. Right away, she began writing novels. At the time, however, it was tough to break into the writing industry. She decided to go to film school, not yet realizing that it is just as tough to break into film as it is getting into writing novels. During her time in film school, she decided she would be a screenwriter, too.

During her second year in film school, she wrote the first draft for “The Gilded Ones”, but felt the world wasn’t ready for something like it. She would usually get asked if the character had to be of color. It would make her hit a certain point without ever moving on.

It still took her a long time to get a book deal, after she decided to pursue a career as an author. In total, it took her twelve years to do so. During this time, she totaled hundreds of rejections, both in the novelist and film side of things.

After film school, she got a job as a producer in digital media before becoming a blogger and writing clickbait articles. During this time, she got her agent and told her that she needed to rewrite the entire novel since she never go hard enough. She wanted it to be Blacker and bigger, more feminist than before. The agent liked the idea and encouraged her to rewrite it. She worked on the rewrites for about a month and a half, and turned it into her agent.

During her time at Spelman, she came up with the idea for “The Gilded Ones”. It was based on the idea that women are only seen as objects. It doesn’t matter where in the world they happen to be. This is why the women bleed gold in a literal sense.

She finds that “The Gilded Ones” was important since fantasy allows people the chance to ask questions that Namina herself was asking as a teenage girl. There were all kinds of questions she wanted to understand about life. Things about religion, what it really means to be a woman, all those things. With this novel, she feels there is the safety of examining things through a lens of fantasy.

When she started out writing, she used to overwrite everything. Screenwriting comes in handy since it makes you pare things back and get to the essentials and makes you crop things out and has you start seeing things in a movie type of way. Her novels have a cinematic structure, making them easy to see as movies, which is due to her screenwriting background.

It was also screenwriting that gave her the discipline to sit down and write. She usually wakes up around six in the morning and by around eight or nine, she will have about twenty pages. She feels that early in the morning her mind is at its freshest and she will do her stuff then. Namina has to wake up each morning write her pages and just keep things going. Writing clickbait also helped remove a lot of the romanticism from the whole act, making it just about getting to work.

Her debut novel, called “The Gilded Ones”, was released in the year 2020. She loves writing stories with fierce female leads.

“The Gilded Ones” is the first novel in the “Deathless” series, and was released in the year 2020. Deka, age sixteen, lives in anticipation and fear of the blood ceremony that is going to determine whether she is going to become a member of her village. She is already different from everybody else due to her unnatural intuition, so she prays for red blood so she can finally feel that she belongs.

On the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, which is the color of impurity. Deka knows she is going to face a consequence that is worse than death.

A mysterious woman comes to her, giving her a choice. Remain in the village and just submit to her fate, or go off to fight for the emperor in an army made up of girls just like her. They are known as alaki, near immortals that have rare gifts. They are the only ones that can stop the empire’s greatest threat.

She yearns for acceptance even though she knows the dangers that lie ahead, Deka chooses to leave the life she has ever known. While journeying to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her entire life, she is going to find the great walled city holds quite a few surprises. Nothing and nobody are quite what they appear to be, not even Deka herself.

Readers found this to be a fantastic novel with some splendid world building and powerful, engaging characters. This is quite the page turner and is able to get readers thinking about some of the most important issues of our age. These characters are both brilliant and entirely relatable, none more so than the protagonist Deka, who is just about impossible to not love and want to keep safe.

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