I Wrote a Book



I wrote a book. An actual book. Well, it’s a novella–that no man’s land between full fledged novel and short story. It’s called The Black God’s Drums. And it debuts in one week. I thought it might be important that I tell people about it.

That amazing cover is courtesy of artist Chris McGrath.





I wrote a book ya’ll. A novella to be exact. And in one week, on August 21, it’ll debut from Tor.com Publishing. Anyone who follows my blog, knows I’m a SFF writer. If you’ve followed long enough, you know that my writing career has been anything but straightforward. The journey has definitely had its rough patches. This particular story, The Black God’s Drums, I wrote several years ago. The idea sprouted in my head in about 2013. I actually completed it in early 2015. It got picked up in 2017. By Tor no less. Friggin’ TOR! And now, here we are.

A synopsis:

In an alternate New Orleans caught in the tangle of the American Civil War, the wall-scaling girl named Creeper yearns to escape the streets for the air—by earning a spot on-board the airship Midnight Robber. Creeper plans to earn Captain Ann-Marie’s trust with information she discovers about a Haitian scientist and a mysterious weapon he calls “The Black God’s Drums.” But Creeper also has a secret: Oya, the African orisha of the wind and storms, speaks inside her head, and may have her own ulterior motivations…

In the coming weeks, I’ll probably write more than a few blogs on the conception and world building, the inspiration and characters. There’ll be time enough for that. Right now, I just want to tell the world–I wrote a book!

And it feels like…

The Black God’s Drums debuts on August 21. But why wait? You can pre-order at Amazon, Barnes & Nobles and other booksellers.

Want to read a really long excerpt? You can do that too, here.

What very nice people are saying about The Black God’s Drums:

“A sinewy mosaic of Haitian sky pirates, wily street urchins, and orisha magic. Beguiling and bombastic!” —Scott Westerfeld, New York Times bestselling author

“Definitely do not miss this lightning fast romp through the steampunk bayous of an alternate New Orleans. Clark’s story bleeds with style, elaborate language, and unforgettable characters who are pulled by the undercurrents of hidden gods.”—Daniel H. Wilson, bestselling author of Robopocalypse and The Clockwork Dynasty

“Clark masterfully rewrites history in this spellbinding post-Civil War fantasy…. This story is thrillingly original and will enthrall fans of alternate histories.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“This delightful novella is a breath of fresh air, and promises good things for P. Djèlí Clark’s career – though I should note that he already has no mean streak in shorter fiction…. Renegade scientists, feral girls, nuns whose knowledge is this side of disturbing: Djèlí Clark creates a setting that feels vivid and alive, and populates it with interesting, complicated characters – even if we only really meet Creeper and Ann-Marie up close. The Black God’s Drums is, in short, a delight. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I’ll definitely be looking up P. Djèlí Clark’s other work.” —Locus magazine

“International intrigue involving the Confederacy, strange science, and hoodoo magic!” —David D. Levine, author of the Andre Norton Award winning-novel Arabella of Mars

“Whether you’re new to orisha magic or seasoned in the lore, Clark’s retro-afrofuturistic tale will keep you engrossed in a world of airships, New Orleans, alternative history, and renegade scientists. The language and setting is so authentic you’ll taste the gumbo.” —Tade Thompson, author of The Murders of Molly Southbourne and the Nommo Awards-winning Rosewater

“A mesmerizing, sprawling alternate history brimming with authenticity and voice. You’ll be bitterly disappointed when it’s over. Clark’s novella will leave you ravenous for more.” —Justina Ireland, author of Dread Nation

“This mashup of history and culture has been perfectly distilled into a world fully realized and authentic. AU-THEN-TIC. Down to the sounds and tastes. Clark is a griot of the first order and The Black God’s Drums is a call from the ancestors, an invitation to join in with them to celebrate story.” — Maurice Broaddus, author of Buffalo Soldier and the Knights of Breton Court trilogy

“P. Djeli Clark’s novella sunk its teeth into me from the first page, with a narrative voice that perfectly captures the spirit of The Crescent City. It chilled me to the bone, warmed my heart, and had me laughing out loud—sometimes all at once.” –Robyn Bennis, author of the Signal Airship series

The Black God’s Drums is a must read for fans of fantasy and alternate histories alike . . . Clark has proven time and again that he’s a talent to watch, and this latest offering cements him as one of the best new fantasy authors around.” —Troy L. Wiggins, executive editor of FIYAH Magazine

“A superb and elegant blend of alternate history, top-shelf worldbuilding, magic, and steampunk adventure with a unique voice to tie it all together. I can’t wait for more tales in this setting!” — Michael F. Haspil, author of Graveyard Shift

The Black God’s Drums is a fast paced tale of wit, wiles, and wisdom.” — Curtis Craddock, author of An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors


18 thoughts on “I Wrote a Book

  1. I’m not gonna lie, that’s a pretty kick ass title. I’m gonna try and order a copy, but I don’t know if it can get shipped all the way to Ireland

  2. …and another one for the to-read list! 🙂 This sounds like something that’s right up my alley.

    Congratulations on this success! I hope the book will do well, and the Locus reviewer’s prediction for your career will come true.

  3. Pingback: Histories and Worldbuilding in The Black Gods Drums | Phenderson Djèlí Clark

  4. Pingback: Review: The Black God’s Drums | Nessa's box of wonders

  5. Pingback: I Wrote Another Book | Phenderson Djèlí Clark

  6. Pingback: Building My Author Site: A Step by Step Guide | Phenderson Djèlí Clark

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