Monday, February 6, 2017

Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza Guest Post!



Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin Random House
Pub. Date: February 7th, 2017
Buy it: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository 
Empress
Rhee, also known as Crown Princess Rhiannon Ta’an, is the sole surviving heir to a powerful dynasty. She’ll stop at nothing to avenge her family and claim her throne.

Fugitive
Aly has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a DroneVision show. But when he’s falsely accused of killing Rhee, he's forced to prove his innocence to save his reputation – and his life.

Madman
With planets on the brink of war, Rhee and Aly are thrown together to confront a ruthless evil that threatens the fate of the entire galaxy.

A saga of vengeance, warfare, and the true meaning of legacy.

Rhoda Belleza was raised in Los Angeles, where she grew up writing XFiles fanfiction and stuffing her face with avocados. When she's not writing, Rhoda obsesses over nail art tutorials, watches kung fu movies, and sews together crooked things that pass for clothes. She's a children's editor at a publishing house and writes from a sunny Brooklyn apartment stuffed far too many bikes and far too many shoes. Empress of a Thousand Skies is her debut novel.
Connect with Rhoda: Twitter | Tumblr
Importance of Diverse MC
By Rhoda Belleza

I knew I wanted to write characters who represented different planets, races, species and religions. But it wasn’t like I declared: “I will write a diverse/intersectional novel!” While it was absolutely intentional, I didn’t want to force it—it was more like I'd wanted to mirror the world I lived in. I wanted to write within a scifi fantasy setting that captured the conflict and the complexity of humanity. I’m not quite sure I succeeded. I think there’s always more work to be done, more buttons to push.

Sometimes diverse or intersectional pieces in fiction get a bad rep, like we're doing it to sell copies, in which I would respond with a huge LOLZ and the laughing/crying emoji because that's not the financial reality for most of us writing this type of work. In fact it makes people uncomfortable. They don’t want to see real-world analogs because sometimes the real world is a misogynistic, racist, hateful place—and they don’t want to confront that in themselves. 

I don’t care about those readers.

I’m interested in reaching readers who want to confront the world, who want to laugh and cry and learn. I want that for myself. It’s why I read and why I write.   

At some point when I was way too old to realize it, I saw that I was mostly reading and watching straight white boys save they day. There was a hero arc type, and it sure as hell wasn’t a brown girl like me. In fact if any one character looked any different, they were relegated to tokenized side kicks, hyper sexualized objects, and villains with accents or regionalized speech. And when I was little, what that taught me was that my value lay in how well I could serve this hero. 

This is absurd. It’s incorrect and harmful and it can be terrible for a kid’s self esteem. Why can’t a bunch of kids who looked like I did save the day? Why couldn’t they frolic across expansive fantasy landscapes, drive spaceships, be revered? Oh wait, they can. 





a Rafflecopter giveaway

21 comments:

  1. This is the main reason why I pre-ordered this bad boy last night. Diverse characters get almost zero rep in fantasy which sucks because that's my favorite genre to read. Thank you so much Rhoda. And that's utter crap that people think authors write POC for sales.

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    1. The diversity in this book is one of the reasons I love it so much. It was wonderful! And it is crap, but it's true. I've seen authors like Roshani Chokshi who have received criticism for this, when she was literally writing about her own culture! I can not roll my eyes anymore than I already am.

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  2. I've been hearing so much about this book, I can't wait until I can read it! I love this guest post; diversity is so important, and it makes me so frustrated when people think people are only writing diversely in order to sell books - it's just ridiculous!

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    1. This is probably one of my favorite guest posts ever! And it's sad but it's true, unfortunately.

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  3. I'm so happy to see more diversity in books, especially as a POC. Kudos to Rhoda! This book is def on my list to read soon (:

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    1. So am I! I'm so glad that they are becoming more common now and now more authors are writing diverse books! I highly recommend this book!

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  4. The diverse characters that this book was full of really made it so much more of a wonderful read. We definitely need more books like this one! Rhoda Belleza definitely gets a round of applause for how she wrote the characters in this book!

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    1. I agree entirely! I hope that this book paves the way for more diverse books in the sci-fi and fantasy genres.

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  5. I'm definitely intrigued with this one. And what a beautiful cover. Thanks for the giveaway as well!

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    1. I love this cover so much and I love what's inside even more. Good luck on the giveaway!

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  6. i am so excited for this!! The cover is to die for!! awesome post :)
    Kariny @ kariny's boox frenzy

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  7. Empress of a Thousand Skies is one of my most anticipated books of this year. I really love how publishers didn't "force" the diversity on readers. Diversity should be a normal thing in books considering how diverse of a world we are. Thanks for the giveaway Brittany! :D

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    1. I agree AND the way diversity is handled in this book is effortless. I hope you enjoy this book! I can't take credit for the giveaway since it's provided by the publisher but good luck!

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  8. I love this post so much and it's inspiring and beautiful and just ahhhhh. I am so excited for this book! And I'm so glad authors are just writing what's on their heart and writing diverse sci-fis and fantasy because we so so need them.

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    1. Yes! I really love it too, Rhoda is a rockstar. And yes we do, and the way diversity is handled in this book is so effortless! I hope you love it and I can't wait to see what you think about it ^_^

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  9. Empress of a Thousand Skies is definitely one of my most anticipated reads for this year so far. I'm so glad to read your review and see how much you enjoyed it. Thanks so much for hosting this amazing giveaway too!

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    1. It's so, so good! I enjoyed every second of it ^_^ Good luck on the giveaway!

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  10. Brittany, I'm so excited for this book! I've been dying to read it and pending on Netgalley for so long lol! Love the giveaway and thank so much as usual! Hopefully I'll be able to do this someday and give back!
    @TeacherofYA

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    1. It's such an amazing book and I hope you love it! I can't take credit for the giveaway because it's being provided by the publisher but I wish you good luck!

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  11. This book is so pretty. And sounds so great too. Gorgeous guest post sweetie :D

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