When The Blood Trials debuted, Stacia had the chance to have a virtual interview with it’s author. Read along to see what they discussed..!
TTPT: The Blood Trials is your first book, congratulations! How does it feel to be a published author?
N.E. Davenport: Amazing! Honestly, I’m still in an incredible amount of awe. I’ve always been passionate about writing, but about thirteen years ago is when I first started dreaming of writing a novel that became published. I wrote 6.5 manuscripts before writing The Blood Trials, and there were many times I thought this day would never come.
TTPT: How old were you when you realized you wanted to write?
Davenport: I was a literal preschooler, maybe before that. My family has always told this story of when I was about three. I didn’t know how to read or write yet, but I sat at the dining table with my grandmother, who was a high school teacher, scribbling on a sheet of paper while she wrote lesson plans. My grandmother asked me what I was doing, I told her I was writing a story, and then proceeded to recite a full production. It sounds cheesy, but I have always been drawn to sweeping storytelling and fantastical literature, and I’ve always felt this inner passion to write those types of stories.
TTPT: The Blood Trials deals with some heavy topics. Why did you feel the need to tell this particular story?
Davenport: In many ways, Ikenna reflects my lived identity and experiences as a Black woman. Often, we have to work twice as hard to get as far, or just half as far, as others. From the time I was in about grade school and well into my adult years, I constantly grappled with the feeling of being “other” or not “enough” for the society around me. It took me too long to […] embrace who I was, and carve out my own spaces of acceptance and joy.
The Blood Trials and Ikenna growing up and existing as a Black woman in a largely white, racist, and misogynistic society was me working through my past, present, and inevitable future struggles and challenges. It was either write or rage–so I opened up my laptop and poured it all onto the screen.
TTPT: Who are some of your favorite writers?
Davenport: Most of my favorites are individuals I admire who are currently writing phenomenal stories like N.K. Jemisin, Tracy Deonn, Kalynn Bayron, R.F. Kuang, S.A. Chakraborty, Susan Dennard, and V.E. Schwab.
TTPT: Do you have any other projects you’re working on that you can tell us about?
Davenport: I’m working on a YA Speculative Thriller, Out of Body, that will be released with Balzer + Bray [a division of HarperCollins Publishing] in Fall 2023. It’s the story of a teen girl whose best friend uses dangerous near-future tech to swap bodies, forcing her to reclaim her identity before it’s too late. There’s also a few other cool projects I’m cooking up. Hopefully, I can gush about them more soon.
TTPT: Where can readers find you online if they want to keep up with your writing?
Davenport: You can find me on Twitter (@nia_davenport), Instagram (@nia.davenport), or on my website www.nedavenport.com.
We are so thankful to Ms. Davenport for sitting down with us to chat a bit! Her debut novel The Blood Trials is available wherever you get books, and the follow-up to that amazing story, The Blood Gift, is set to arrive in Spring 2023.