ABIOLA BELLO - BIO
Hey! My name is Abiola Bello or known as 'A. Bello' for some of my books. I'm a middle-grade and YA author. I'm Nigerian and was born in London, Stoke Newington (Hackney), North London to be exact. I wrote my first novel at aged 8, where I fought monsters and dragons daily and was first published at aged 12 for a poem I wrote in school called 'Fireworks.' This was based on a group of boys setting off fireworks outside my all girls secondary school as we lined up for lunch. It was terrifying!
I 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!). I'm really passionate about writing books that are diverse and inclusive of all people. I believe everyone should be able to see themselves in books.
I've been fortunate enough to receive rave reviews for my debut book Emily Knight I am as well as success with my Emily Knight Warriors pop-up book. I'm also the founder of The Lil' Author School, co-founder of The Author School, ink! publishing services, Hashtag Press and new imprint Hashtag BLAK - we will publish Black and Asian British authors and The Diverse Book Awards.
My Emily Knight series has hit the top 40 Magical Realist Fiction for Young Adults, top 100 Coming of Age bestselling book for Young Adults and the top 100 Children's Superhero Action & Adventure bestselling books. This make me sooooo happy!
The Author School was shortlisted for The Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2016 and Hashtag Press won The People's Book Prize 2019 Best Publishing House.
I am signed to The Bent Agency and represented by Gemma Cooper.
I have a great PR so have appeared in Cosmopolitan magazine, Female First, The Mirror, BBC1XTRA to name a few.
On 26th March 2018, I was announced as the winner of the Trailblazer Award 2018 which is ran by The London Book Fair. I'm the first black person to win! I also was one of the Society of Young Publishers 2018 mentors.
My second book, Emily Knight I am...Awakened was nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2019, finalist for The People's Book Prize 2019 and won London's Big Read 2019.
As part of London's Big Read I held a free series to empower women in publishing and female authors called Girls Can Do Anything with special guest speakers including literary agents and best selling authors.
My third book Emily Knight I am...Becoming book is out now and is my favourite book so far! I love my illustrator Ale Artigas who brings my covers to life.
I'm currently on the advisory group for World Book Day UK and my next book is A Very Merry Murder Club, published by Farshore out in October 2021. My ten year old self is losing her mind about all of this!
I've written my first young adults book, that is under submission. I'm currently working on a new book but not sure if it will be middle-grade or YA. Will keep you posted! x