Author Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé on Her Exciting Debut, Ace of Spades

Culture

An exciting new book is coming soon- and we couldn't be more thrilled to soon have Ace of Spades in our hands and reading away.

The Teen Magazine had the chance to interview author, Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé, on everything about her newest book, writing, and more.

Meet Faridah

Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé, pronounced (Fa-ree-dah Ah-bee-keh Ee-yee-mee-deh), is a writer from South London and currently studies English Literature at a university in the Scottish Highlands.

"[I am a] writer from South London who has dreamt of writing books about black kids saving (or destroying) the world all her life. [I am] an avid tea drinker, and a collector of strange mugs," Faridah writes in her website.

About Ace of Spades

Set in an elite high school, Ace of Spades follows two teens—Devon and Chiamaka—at their private academy. Suddenly, their secrets are spilled by an anonymous texter who goes by Aces.

As their lives take a sharp turn, Devon and Chiamaka have a choice to make. They can either surrender or fight back against whomever wants to take them down.

Ace of Spades has been coined as a mix of Gossip Girl and Get Out. Make sure to look out for it, as it will be published by Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan in the US (1st June 2021).

To preorder Ace of Spades, click here.

A Peak into Her Writing Process

How would you describe the writing process of Ace of Spades in three words?

"Hard, scary, frustrating," reflects Ms. Àbíké-Íyímídé.

The Best Part

From your overall writing and publishing experience for Ace of Spades, what are you most proud of?

"I am really proud of finishing this book. It was very difficult to write at times and I’m so happy I persisted and didn’t give up!" says Ms. Àbíké-Íyímídé.

The Challenges

What was the most challenging?

"Aspects of my main characters' lives are taken from my real experiences and so it was very challenging having to revisit difficult feelings and situations, but I'm glad I did and hope that some of these scenes resonate with people," Ms. Àbíké-Íyímídé tells us.

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A post shared by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé (@faridahlikestea)

Relatable Characters

Which character in Ace of Spades do you relate to the most?

"I am very unlike the characters I write, because in order to write them I need to be a little detached from them," says Ms. Àbíké-Íyímídé, "However, I do have a lot of similar experiences to Devon. His neighbourhood and upbringing is definitely inspired by my own."

Themes

What are the most prominent themes within your novel?

"Dreams, ambition and loneliness are very prominent themes in Ace of Spades." says Ms. Àbíké-Íyímídé.

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A post shared by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé (@faridahlikestea)

On Diversity and Representation

Why do you think representation and diversity is important in books?

"It’s important because people of all backgrounds read books and therefore deserve to be represented in the stories they consume," Ms. Àbíké-Íyímídé tells us.

Important Lessons

What are some lessons or take-aways that people can gain from Ace of Spades?

"That Black people deserve happy endings."

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A post shared by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé (@faridahlikestea)

Inspiration

Are there any authors that have inspired your work?

"Yes, I am a really big fan of Jason Reynolds, Patrick Ness and Akwaeke Emezi," exclaims Ms. Àbíké-Íyímídé, "Their work is brilliant and I love the kinds of stories they all tell."

Faridah's Current Reading List

Are you looking forward to any newly released books? What’s on your to-be-read list right now?

"I am really looking forward to Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Nicola Yoon, Ashley Woodfolk and Angie Thomas!" says Ms. Àbíké-Íyímídé.

Advice for Teens

What advice do you have for aspiring teen authors?

"Don’t let anyone tell you that you are too young to be a writer and also don’t let anyone tell you that you shouldn’t strive for a creative career. I believe that life is too short to listen to what others want for you and not what you want for you." advises Ms. Àbíké-Íyímídé.

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A post shared by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé (@faridahlikestea)

Keep Up

We hope this interview gave you more insights on Ace of Spades. Get ready to be hooked to this unputdownable thriller!

Ace of Spades is available for preorder on Amazon and Barnes & Nobles. To stay updated with Faridah, check her Instagram, Twitter, and Website.

Thumbnail image by @fiercereads.

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Maha Laiq
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Maha is a current high school junior from Virginia. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, catching up on binge-worthy TV shows, and spending time with her friends and family.