CHICAGO (CBS) — The next J.K. Rowling may be right here from the Chicago area!
24-year-old Tomi Adeyemi just signed a seven-figure book deal, an unprecedented move for a debut author.
Adeyemi promoted her new book, Children of Blood and Bone, Thursday night in downtown Naperville. The book is based in a fictional African nation.
“It’s just Black Panther with magic. Instead of genetically engineered rhinos, we have magically bred giant lions,” the Harvard University graduate said.
Like some of the popular movies in theaters now, the characters are African-American. Adeyemi said she hopes people who read her book get the same pride many experience when watching Black Panther.
“I’ve been saving pictures of young black girls and young black boys going into Barnes & Noble to buy the book.”
Growing up, she never read about powerful African-American fantasy characters. She wrote about Zelie, the main character, to inspire other black girls.
“Hopefully not have as many of the self-esteem issues that I had because she sees herself as epic and powerful and she’ll see it again on the screen.”
In addition to the seven-figure book deal, the people who made Twilight and Maze Runner are making a movie based on Adeyemi’s book. She’s already signed a deal with Fox 2000 for the film rights.
“I’m 24 now, but I didn’t show anybody my writing until I was 21. But I’ve been doing this since I was 5 or 6, and I never thought it was possible.”
Adeyemi is already working on the second book in the trilogy.