P. Djèlí Clark

When we spoke last year, RING SHOUT was getting some buzz before it was out. How does it feel to know that RING SHOUT not only found its audience, but also got a Nebula?

The amazing KiKi Layne is set to star in the television adaptation of RING SHOUT, and its being produced by Skydance. How did you hear the news about the deal and what was your reaction?

Last time we spoke you mentioned that LOVECRAFT COUNTRY was coming out, which was the first I’d heard about it, and that show was the best thing I watched last year. What did you think about the show?

A strong Haiti is central to the world of BGD, and that novella shone a light on an aspect of history I knew very little about. And I’m currently working my way throught THE BLACK JACOBINS.

Do you have more stories to tell in the universe of BGD?

How do you feel fiction, particularly Fantastika like BLACK GOD’S DRUMS, can help people to interrogate the history and politics of their worlds?

Yudhanjaya Wijeratne writes in THE RICEPUNK MANIFESTO about writers who are gazing outward and imagining multi-cultural and multi-polar worlds built not around one truth, but several, and describing ten thousand utopias, each different from the last. Where do you feel your own writing fits into that utopian project?

Have you thought much about how the worlds of BLACK GOD’S DRUMS and A MASTER OF DJINN would have changed by 2021? And might we see Fatima jump ahead and have an adventure in a future Cairo?

In A MASTER OF DJINN the action centres on Cairo, but the novel has a planetary scope. It is not a novel in a bubble. When you were building out that world, how much planning went on before you started writing?

I really enjoyed touches like the reference to Buddy Bolden and Do moments like those emerge fairly organically, as you’re drafting, or did you have a list of things you knew you wanted to have in the book?

also to the idea of the magic of the Ganges leading to India fighting back against colonialism.

There is a lot of tension and humour in the pairing of a rookie cop with someone who knows the ropes. How did the character of Hadia come about and was there any specific inspiration?

You mentioned Run the Jewels in an interview and I like some of their tracks, but hadn’t heard their newest. Do you generally listen to music while you write, and what was playing while you wrote A MASTER OF DJINN?

There is a lot of excellent middle-grade fiction right now, with writers like Roshani Chokshi and Kwame Mbalia and Tehlor Kay Mejia and many others writing stories describing some of multi-polar worlds of our time. Speaking purely hypothetically, if you were to write a middle grade series or a young adult series, what are some of the stories you’d be excited to tell?

And you said you were listening to Run the Jewels while writing something. Was that the undead assassin book? Or something else?

Do you write every day? And do you have any tricks when it comes to balancing things so you have time for the academic work, the fiction, family, and yourself?

I saw you recommend CREATURES OF PASSAGE by Morowa Yejide and really liked the vibe of the Audible sample. Then I today I was completely sold when I read ‘1967 Plymouth Belvedere with a ghost in the trunk’, so that’s on the list.

Which other authors are you excited about at the moment?