What inspired Emily Knight?

I didn't feel there were a variety of strong, ethnic lead characters in children's books. I also grew up watching anime and loads of Dragon Ball Z and X-Men. To be honest I just wanted to read a book that was based on what I liked to watch but I didn't want it to be a comic book. When I couldn't find that book, I wrote one.

Is it hard getting published?

Yes! I thought it would be a breeze but there are so many ways to get published, especially now via e-books.As long as you believe in your vision just do what's best for you. Be consistent and persistent

You have such a diverse cast - was that intentional?

Not really. I live in London which is a really diverse city and I have friends from all different races and backgrounds. Some of my best friends are Jamaican, Greek, Turkish, Indian, Filipino - you get the idea! So I write about what I know. I wish more writers would have more diversity in their books.


Have you ever self-published? 

I self-published Emily when I was 23 after years if trying to getting an agent. 6 months later I signed to my first agent.

​Do you have an agent?

Yes I am with The Bent Agency and repped by Gemma Cooper.


Was it easy to get an agent?

I wish! I was trying to get an agent since I was 18 and secured one when I was 24 and then left them! Getting a second one was way easier though.


​Is it true that you have the same illustrator as JK Rowling?

Yes! We both used the amazing Giles Greenfield for our book covers. I used Giles for the first edition of Emily Knight.

​What is the best advice you were given?

Don't give up, write everyday and read everything. There's not any shortcuts so if you want something, be persistent and work on your craft even when you don't feel like it!

​Do you think being a young Black writer is harder?​

I've found it pretty cool. I think people are shocked by how young and determined I am but now I'm in my thirties (so not so young) and I think I've got a good reputation for myself in the publishing world. There are not as many opportunities in general for Black people in publishing but it is slowly changing. I for one am using my platforms to help with that change.

​Is Emily you?

No lol I'm cooler than her!

I want you to come to my school! How can this happen?

I'd love to come to your school! Just email me at info@a-bello.com

When is the next Emily Knight book out?

September 17th 2020!

Does Emily like Wesley or Julian more?

Ooh you'll have to wait and see!


Is Emily Knight a Saga?

Yes there are more stories to Emily. The I AM saga will be four books but I'm sure at some point I will do another saga because I love writing about Emily's world.


​What's the best thing about being a writer?

I can write all the crazy things that go on in my head.


Have you got any more books?

My third Emily Knight book is out in 2020. I have 2 other books I'm working on :)

Are you going to do anymore pop up blogs after Rose?

 Rose was so much fun to do and I wanted to see how it went. The views was so good that I wrote Lox and released that in 2015. Roberta came out in 2016 and The Knights in 2018. As long as I can make the time, I will keep doing it.


How can I learn about publishing a book?

I have co-founded The Author School, so come along to one of our classes or sign up to our online class! This was set up to help all budding writers.


Who are your favourite authors?

Jodi Picoult, Sophie Kinsella,  Jane Green, Lauren Oliver just to name a few. I am obsessed with all of Jackie Collins books!


What's your favourite book?

Ooh that's a tough one! I would go with Are you there God, it's me Margaret by Judy Blume. I've read it so many times my book is ripped!

How many words do you write a day?

I don't really focus on things like that. Sometimes I'll write just a paragraph and other times it will be pages. I'm not someone that works well with the mindset of a 1000 words a day! I just try and write as much as I can.

What are your thoughts on the lack of diversity in publishing?

It sucks! And has a black person, it's pretty discouraging. I can go on about diversity for days but it all comes down to publishers needing to do better! I'm so glad I have a publishing house and an imprint that is devoted to making a change.

What's your name on Instagram?

@abiolabello @emilyknightiam