Welcome to my first ever Blog Tour, hosted by TBR and Beyond! I am so grateful to be on this tour, especially for such an amazing book as Blood Like Magic by Liselle Sambury. I also posted a mini review on my Instagram account (full review coming up soon)! Enjoy and thank you so much to the author for granting me this interview!
A rich, dark urban fantasy debut following a teen witch who is given a horrifying task: sacrificing her first love to save her family’s magic. The problem is, she’s never been in love—she’ll have to find the perfect guy before she can kill him.After years of waiting for her Calling—a trial every witch must pass in order to come into their powers—the one thing Voya Thomas didn’t expect was to fail. When Voya’s ancestor gives her an unprecedented second chance to complete her Calling, she agrees—and then is horrified when her task is to kill her first love. And this time, failure means every Thomas witch will be stripped of their magic. Voya is determined to save her family’s magic no matter the cost. The problem is, Voya has never been in love, so for her to succeed, she’ll first have to find the perfect guy—and fast. Fortunately, a genetic matchmaking program has just hit the market. Her plan is to join the program, fall in love, and complete her task before the deadline. What she doesn’t count on is being paired with the infuriating Luc—how can she fall in love with a guy who seemingly wants nothing to do with her?With mounting pressure from her family, Voya is caught between her morality and her duty to her bloodline. If she wants to save their heritage and Luc, she’ll have to find something her ancestor wants more than blood. And in witchcraft, blood is everything.
Content Warnings: Whipping scene within the context of slavery, gun/police violence, discussion ofand character with an eating disorder,blood/gore/violence, death, substance abuse/addiction,mentions of child neglect.
Hello and welcome to @anotherbookworm! I am thrilled to have you here for this interview. Before you begin, can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?
Absolutely! I’m Liselle Sambury and Blood Like Magic is my first published novel, and the third I’ve ever written. I grew up in Toronto, Ontario in Canada where the novel is set and have been writing since I was 13. Now I live in northern Ontario with my partner and our beagle.
As soon as I read the synopsis, I was intrigued! I mean witches set in a futuristic setting?? Yes, please! What inspired you to write this story?
When I wrote the book, I was living in norther Ontario for the first time and really struggling with feelings of homesickness. Writing this novel was a way for me to reconnect with my hometown while delving into something I had been thinking about writing for a bit: a family of Black witches. Setting it in the future was actually a very on-the-fly idea that I’m very happy I came up with now.
Being a queer Black girl, this is the type of story I would have loved reading about growing up! What message do you want readers to take away from this story?
I truly would love for readers to see themselves in the characters and feel represented in some way, whether that’s through seeing their marginalizations on the page or connecting to Voya’s internal struggle. I do also want teens to take away from it that they have the power to control their futures, no matter what external forces try to direct it, and that it’s fine to grapple with what that looks like.
I also saw that you did some research on slavery in Canada and the US; Why was it important for you to include that aspect in your story?
So much of this story is wrapped up in our connection to our ancestors, and for Voya (and me too) that is entangled in the history of enslaved people. I wanted to make sure that I was presenting something that felt true to real history, especially in Canada where the country is often presented as the “good guy” because of people who fled there to escape slavery. But I find that it’s not as well known, and it wasn’t to me either, that Canada participated in and benefitted from enslaving Black people for many years. I wanted to be able to show the full scope of Voya’s connection to that history and how it still affects her, even as someone in the future, and the importance of knowing where you came from.
You have said Blood Like Magic is a personal book for you as you incorporated some of your own family history, your Trinidadian and Canadian background as well as Toronto in your story. How do you feel your upbringing reflects/impacts you as a writer today?
I think it’s definitely impacted the sorts of stories that I want to tell and what things I want to bring to the forefront in them. In young adult fantasy, I don’t often see stories about people with Caribbean ancestry, much less Canadian mixed in, so I wanted to do that. I also grew up without seeing Black girls as the heroes in SFF, and now there are so many more, and I wanted to contribute to that. I think that I naturally want to share my experiences on the page and that my stories usually come out better when I do.
Thank you so much for granting me this interview. I am so excited for the world to discover this wonderful book. To finish, this is a question I like asking people: where is your favorite place to be in the world?
This is a hard one! I think because I’m feeling very nostalgic for travel, in 2018 and 2019, I went to London, England for my birthday, and I went to the same outdoor market in Shoreditch twice, and I just loved being there. Sometimes I really enjoy being alone in a bustling crowd because I have my own internal silence, but everything is lively around me. I really hope that I can go back and visit soon!
I hope you enjoyed and please, check out the other blog stops on the tour! 🥰
About the Author
Liselle Sambury is a Trinidadian-Canadian author who grew up in Toronto, and her brand of writingcan be described as “messy Black girls in fantasy situations.” In her free time, she shares helpful tips for upcoming writers and details of her publishing journey through a YouTube channel dedicated to helping demystify the sometimes complicated business of being an author. She is represented by Kristy Hunter atThe Knight Agency.