The Windweaver's Storm
TJ Young & The Orishas Book 2
by Antoine Bandele
Genre: YA Fantasy
***Optioned for motion-picture adaptation!***
Never make a deal with a deity. Promises with one are impossible to keep.
TJ Young spent last summer fighting to unlock the secrets behind his sister's mysterious death but found himself battling the magic of the ancient Orishas instead. And some of the answers he sought came with a promise he may not be able to keep: to dismantle new human construction on the coastline of Lagos, Nigeria by the start of spring.
But how does a teenager do away with decades of infrastructure in only half a year?
He’ll need to enlist the help of new allies, mortal and immortal alike. And thankfully, after surviving the grueling magical curriculum of Camp Olosa, he’s now headed to the most prestigious magic school in West Africa: Ifa Academy for Tomorrow’s Diviners.
But will that be enough as he prepares for what can only end in an all-out war between mortals and gods?
Find out in this young adult fantasy based on the mythology of West Africa, where TJ will encounter forgotten tales, mystical realms lost to time, and the ancient secrets of the Orishas.
The Gatekeeper's Staff TJ Young & The Orishas Book 1
***Optioned for motion-picture adaptation!***
TJ Young has been surrounded by magic his entire life, yet he has never tapped into it... until now.
Fourteen-year-old TJ grew up normal in a secret community of gifted diviners in the heart of modern-day Los Angeles. His powerful sister was ordained to lead his people into a new age of prosperity, but her mysterious death in Nigeria threatens to destroy the very foundations of TJ's world.
Desperate to pick up where his sister left off and uncover the secrets behind her questionable death, TJ commits himself to unlocking the magical heritage that has always eluded him. So he enrolls in Camp Olosa-a remedial magic school for the divinely less-than-gifted in the humid swamps of New Orleans.
But little does he know, TJ is destined to cross paths with powerful spirits of old thought lost to time: the orishas.
Delve into this young adult fantasy based on the mythology of the West African Orishas, where TJ will encounter unlikely allies, tough-as-gatorhide instructors, and the ancient secrets of the orishas.
ANTOINE BANDELE IS AN AMAZON BESTSELLING AUTHOR IN ACTION ADVENTURE FANTASY, DARK FANTASY, SWORD & SORCERY, AFRICAN AMERICAN FANTASY, AND AFRICAN LITERATURE. He was born and raised in Los Angeles, though he spent one year in Fort Lewis near Tacoma, Washington while his father served in the U.S. Army.
He lives in Los Angeles with his girlfriend and cat. You can find him producing videos all over YouTube, including his own channel (which you should totally check out). He is also an audiobook engineer.
Can you, for those who don't know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I became an author simply because the book I wanted to read hadn’t been written. There is a source of mythology from the African country, Angola, that features a demon called a kishi. If you look up that creature, you’ll find that it features in no modern story, large or small. And it’s about a creature that has a handsome human face and a hyena on the back… how did that not exist!? So I made it exist.
What is something unique/quirky about you?
I have a lot of hotcakes when it comes to many geeky fandoms. Star Wars? I feel like a majority of the stories coming out of that franchise are subpar. Avatar: The Last Airbender? The follow-up, Legend of Korra, is far more than decent, unlike some of the vocal minority that calls it trash. Harry Potter? Half Blood Prince is my favorite book because of the teen drama. Fight me.
What are some of your pet peeves?
I hate it when, in an email thread, someone starts a new email thread instead of keeping the conversation in the same continuous thread.
Where were you born/grew up at?
Los Angeles, CA.
What are you passionate about these days?
Softball. I play four times a week. My greatest happiness? That I figured out how to manage my body so I can play more softball and avoid injury!
What do you do to unwind and relax?
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Probably when I was 6 or 7. My parents took me to an office supply story to get one of my stories bound and laminated. I felt pretty legit at that point.
Do you have a favorite movie?
Empire Strikes Back. Do the Right Thing. Napoleon Dynamite.
Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
Well… TJ Young & The Orishas is actually optioned for a screenplay adaptation right now, so… that one. LOL
What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
Um… I’ve been to Powell’s in Oregon. Does that count? That felt like a pilgrimage.
Do you have any “side stories” about the characters?
Yes, TJ Young & The Orishas has a companion short story series called Orishas Among Mortals.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Anytime the teens could be teens or just hangout among each other is always my favorite beats in the story. Yes, adventures with ancient deities and treks among magic users is great, but just having the characters sit down and share a meal was always the most fun.
How did you come up with the title of the book?
The titles of my books always refer to the climax in one way or another.
Who designed your book covers?
Arthur Bowling illustrated the covers, MiblArt designed the typography.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Like with most writers, I would have liked to have more time with it. But if no one had deadlines, things would never get released.
Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I didn’t learn so much as I was intrigued by the idea of trying discovery writing for the next project I do.
What is your favorite part of this book and why?
Anything to do with the main trio interacting with each other is often my favorite. There is a particular scene involving a haircut that is particularly touching.
If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?
I’m definitely hanging out with TJ, Emeka, or Manny, who are geeks like me. We’d debate all day about if The Last Airbender could be considered an anime or not.
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
A bit of both!
Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
The characters always hijack my stories. Always. I generally map out my stories but I often have to take detours or create entirely new paths because my characters don’t want to go the way I laid out for them.
Is there an writer which brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
George RR Martin.
What book do you think everyone should read?
How long have you been writing?
Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?
Many of my favorite characters come out of the blue. Like I said, I outline quite a lot, but characters and scenarios surprise me all the time.
What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?
Depends on the story, but a lot of time you’ll find me with a book about African history of African mythology, both in the mainland and in the diaspora.
Do you see writing as a career?
I don’t see it so much as a career as much as something that will be with me for life, whether it’s generating full-time income or not.
Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?
I’ve started to really enjoy non-fiction works, particularly history and that which covers the human mind.
Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?
It depends on my mood. Sometimes I need absolute silence, other times I need lo-fi beats in the background. I NEVER write with music that has lyrics in it, though.
Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?
I used to do multiple. Now I’m one book at a time.
Pen or type writer or computer?
Computer. Computer and keyboard all day. GoogleDocs in particular.
Do you have any advice to offer for new authors?
Follow the holy trinity: Mark Dawson, Jenna Moreci, and Joanna Penn
Describe your writing style.
Well-paced, fun dialogue, and active scene setting.
What makes a good story?
Characters. So long as you have compelling characters, you can have your reader journey through almost anything.
What are you currently reading?
Homo Deus, then The Dawn of Yangchen right after.
What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?
Outline for sure. I usually map everything out down to the beat. It’s the beats themselves that are “discovered” as a write.
What are common traps for aspiring writers?
Thinking they are wholly unique. No writer, nor their ideas, are as unique as they might think.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I definitely side more with giving readers what they want. While yes, I want to tell my own individual story, I always want to make sure readers can always engage with the text.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Publish NOW! The Amazon gold rush is a-coming!
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Do you believe in writer’s block?
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