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.
And now for the interview! Enjoy!
Describe your book in ten words or less. Go!
A family of Black witches in a near future Toronto.
Which character was the easiest to write/get inside the head of?
I actually find that Keisha, one of my main character Voya’s cousins, is the easiest for me to get into character with because I just have so much fun writing her. She’s truly unafraid to speak her mind or share her opinions which makes for interesting interactions, but at the same time, she has her own insecurities that she’s protecting. I love writing Keisha.
On the flip side, which character was the hardest to write/get inside the head of?
I struggled the most with Voya partly because I was determined to get her right but also partly because when I started, I didn’t have a perfect sense of who she was. It took many revisions for me to understand exactly the sort of character that she is. But once I nailed her in Blood Like Magic, it was very natural to get back into her head for the sequel.
Craziest thing you’ve had to Google for a work in progress?
I don’t think anything I googled was particularly wild or out-there. But it was really interesting to learn how much progress we had made on things like self-driving cars and gender affirming surgery beyond what I already knew, which were things I researched so I could decide how to advance them further in the future.
What are three must-have items when you sit down to write?
The first is something to drink, which I did tea for a long time but I’m trying to drink more water, so now it’s water. I need to have Scrivener which is what I use for my word processing. And I do need complete silence but that’s less of an object and more a state, though I don’t need much beyond those two things. I have a very boring writing routine in that I literally just sit down at my desk and do it so I have very few needs.
What book are you currently reading?
Right now, I’m reading The Witch King by H.E. Edgmon which follows a trans witch who ran away from the fae world, but he’s found by his royal fiancé and basically dragged back into the world he left behind. It’s a contemporary fantasy and it’s honestly unexpected just how funny it is. The characters have so much humor and personality, and yet it still digs into some important topics. Balancing those two things is definitely a skill!
Are you working on anything new?
I’ve been doing a lot of tinkering with an adult horror novel that I’m trying to get going, so that’s what I’m working on in between edits of the Blood Like Magic sequel. It’s a little intimidating to jump into an adult age category after doing young adult for so long, but I’m excited about where that path could potentially lead.
About the Author
Liselle Sambury is a Trinidadian-Canadian author who grew up in Toronto, and her brand of writing can 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 at The Knight Agency.
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