The cover reveal for BLOOD HEIR is live! Thank you for all the support! I’m so, so grateful to have the best friends and followers. You guys truly make 99% of the publishing experience and I love being a part of this community.
I also wanted to share the Dear Reader letter that we included in the ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) of BLOOD HEIR. It touches upon why I wrote BLOOD HEIR, and who I wrote it for.
Four years ago, I began writing a story about a corrupt empire steeped in winter, filled with morally gray con men, deadly assassins, twisted villains, and above all, a girl named Anastacya, who has the power to manipulate blood and who believes she is a monster.
It took me two years to realize that the monster in the story is me.
I am an immigrant. I am a woman of color. And I am an “Other.” In my time in the United States, I have never experienced the sense of crushing fear about my identity that I have recently. “Get out of my country, communist!” is only one of the slurs I’ve had screamed at me from across the street. What I’ve experienced personally and seen across social media outlets and national television broadcasts has all amounted to a hyperawareness of my foreignness, my Otherness, and the possibility that because I am different, I am not worthy of belonging.
Blood Heir explores the demonization of the Other and this experience of not belonging. Ana’s journey examines how one can internalize hatred and fear, how that can warp one’s core and turn it into something cruel and twisted. But ultimately, her story is one of self-acceptance, and of the realization that we cannot change who we are nor what we are born with, but we can choose what we do with what we are given. And like me, Ana chooses to fight for a better tomorrow.
So I gave magic to my girls who were told they were monsters. I gave my children of color the ability to fight oppression. Because in a world where there is so little I can control, I want to put hope and power in their hands for once—and in a world where those deemed “different” are often cast out and made to be monsters, I want them to win.
Thank you for reading.
Amélie Wen Zhao