For the Love of Fantasy, featuring Kwame Mbalia and Namina Forna

Aug 8, 2022

Namina Forna and Kwame Mbalia

In this week’s remembrances of some of the best episodes of the past year, we’re highlighting fantasy’s importance as a genre with guests Kwame Mbalia and Namina Forna. There’s so much goodness packed in here—about process, about why we write, about inspirations, and some fabulous tips for staying the course even when you feel like you don’t have the time. This isn’t so much an episode about fantasy as it is about writing intentionally and infusing meaning into genre writing just as you would any writing you do.


Kwame Mbalia is a husband, father, writer, a New York Times bestselling author, and pharmaceutical metrologist in that order. His debut middle-grade novel, Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky, is published by Rick Riordan Presents/Disney-Hyperion. A Howard University graduate and a Midwesterner now in North Carolina, he enjoys impromptu dance sessions and Cheez-Its. Namina Forna is a young adult novelist based in Los Angeles, and the author of the New York Times bestselling epic fantasy YA novel The Gilded Ones, which is the first book in the Deathless trilogy. Originally from Sierra Leone, Namina moved to the U.S. when she was nine and has been traveling back and forth ever since. Namina is a novelist and a screenwriter in LA.

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